The past couple of weeks we have had some exciting moments in the Open. We have seen people smash Clean PRs AFTER performing 55 dumbbell squats and bar facing burpees! Some have even got revenge on the much dreaded double unders that have given them so much trouble. We have even seen some people get their first muscle up. While all these moments have been thrilling and have a lot of people fired up, I wanted to just touch base with the not so exciting and thrilling portion of exercise: stability work. Yes, its boring. Yes, it can be monotonous. And yes, it is very important to maintaining joint health.
We have written a fair amount of articles in the past about stability work, some pretty darn good ones if I do say so myself!! Check out articles discussing the importance of accessory stability work written by JB, Marko, and myself. Stability work is important because we want to be able to perform a variety of compound movements (the squat, the press, the pull), in a variety of fashions, with a variety of implements. In doing so we need to make sure our joints can meet the demands these movements place on us. We need to know how to put ourselves in proper positions, how to accelerate, and decelerate under load. In order to meet all the demands placed on our body without constantly compensating, we have to have adequate stability in our joints. Not having enough stability in a given joint is how injuries can occur. Think of the compound movements and joint stability as trying to build the best race car you possibly can. If you put everything towards building up its maximal speed (the compound movements) it will be amazing in a drag race….but will have issues when it comes steering and handling (joint stability and overall joint health). We can develop maximal force by performing these big compound movements like the squat, press, and deadlift, but we cannot neglect the fact we need to have fine motor control, and balance, in the joints we use for these larger movements.
If you are really trying to embrace the wholistic idea of fitness, you need to start embracing the concept of improving joint stability. I am not saying that these movements need to be done every single day, but hitting 2-3 movements, for 2-3 sets before or after your workout, can make a big difference in injury prevention and strength improvement. Please refer to the above articles for some ideas on how to improve joint stability. If you need more help figuring out some movements to do to improve stability please ask a coach we would be more than happy to help!
As much as I do not like Lebron James, I have to admit he is a phenomenal athlete. Here he is doing some pretty impressive stability work for his midline and shoulders. Whats even more impressive to me, is that even someone at the top of their sport values stability work. This is a pretty extreme example of what Stability work can look like but it still hammers the same message home. Swiss ball and double bottoms up kettlebells are not suggested for beginners.