How To Get Back In Shape
Stabilization Exercises for Stability
What is Stability Fitness?
Stability Fitness is an
important part of getting back in shape. It involves strengthening your postural muscles or trunk muscles, often
refered to as your core. These muscles stabilize the spine and support your abdomen giving you better posture,
balance and overall strength, as well as reducing back pain.
Any program to get back in shape should include
stabilization exercises to improve your stability fitness. Make sure to include core
muscle strengthening in your strength training workouts.
When beginning a strengthening or a weight training program,
stabilization of your trunk or your "core" is essential. Stabilization exercises give you a good base
for strengthening other muscles.
What are the
best Stabilization Exercises?
The Plank Exercise
The Plank is one of the best
stabilization exercises and a good way to begin your core muscle strengthening. The plank is essentially an Isometric Hold Exercise, once you get
into the plank position. It works multiple muscle groups.
To Perform the Plank
1. Lie prone. (face down)
2. Prop up on your elbows and toes.
3. Keep your back straight.
4. Draw you navel in towards your spine.
5. Contract your abs, glutes & thigh muscles.
6. Continue to breathe as you hold the position.
Gradually work up to holding 30 to 90 sec.
Avoid raising your hips or letting your back sag. To progress, try the Plank
on a BOSU.
If your core strength is not sufficient to support your body weight, you can
modify this exercise by propping up on your elbows and knees. Or partially support your mid-section
with a pillow to support part of your weight until you are stronger.
Once you have good control with the plank in the prone position, you can
progress to the side plank (see video below). Remember to
activate your abdominal muscles by drawing your navel in towards your spine.
While holding an isometric contraction, your blood pressure may increase. Be sure to breathe and avoid
holding your breath. If you have a medical condition, be sure to consult with your doctor to see if
isometric exercises are safe for you.
The Bridge is a good exercise
to incorporate into your stability fitness as it strengthens your glutes as well as your abdominal
How To Get Back in Shape with The Bridge
To Perform the Bridge:
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent.
2. Draw your navel in towards your spine.
3. Squeeze your buttocks muscles.
4. Slowly lift your buttocks up and hold.
5. Continue to breathe while your hold.
6. Slowly lower your buttocks back down.
Watch the video to see how to perform the bridge exercise.
To progress, do the bridge one leg at a time or perform the bridge with your legs on
a fitness stability ball.
The Bird Dog
The Birddog incorporates your back muscles into your stability fitness
exercises. This includes your Multifidi muscles that protect your spine and help to improve your
The Bird Dog Exercise
To Perform the Bird Dog
1. Begin on your hands and knees.
2. Draw your navel towards your spine.
3. Raise your opposite arm and leg.
4. Maintain a flat back.
5. Reach with your arm and leg to extend your spine.
6. Repeat on the opposite side.
For progression, try the Birddog on a BOSU.
To learn more about The Plank Exercise, Side Plank and Bird Dog Exercise see
the Video below by Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training and download his Free 10 Minute