Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers. Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about. Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post. Today’s word is stability….. I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.
Stability – the quality or state of something that is
not easily changed or likely to change;
the quality or state of something that is not easily moved
Stability is everything… Whether it’s structural, financial, marital, family, emotional, or core stability; without a strong foundation, things will eventually begin to collapse.
I learned about the necessity of core stability when I participated in a 3-D gait analysis at George Mason University a couple of years ago. Until then, I assumed that my core (made up of muscles deep within my torso that attach to my spine and pelvis and aid in keeping me upright) was about as strong as it could get.
Boy, was I wrong!
After being put through a litany of tests by two GMU PhD students, it was determined that one of my areas of weakness is my core. I was actually quite surprised since strength training has been a consistent part of my overall training for over thirty years.
Of course, in the early years I wasn’t focusing on core strength… Sure, I did crunches, used various ab machines, and a couple of different lower back machines; and I was strong, but my core wasn’t – my foundation was lacking stability.
It seems like it was only about twelve years ago that I really started focusing on my core strength; however, I also assumed that my many miles spent running contributed to helping build a stronger core. In addition to my running, I’d end my strength training sessions with a few core exercises, but apparently not enough. In fact, when looking back I realize that as I got into the later miles of some of those long training runs and races, I’d start to slump forward with my core exhausted. Had I been focusing a little better on that aspect of my training back in my marathon heyday, I would have been a much stronger runner.
Once I completed my 3-D gait analysis and my results were broken down for me, it was recommended that I increase time spent on strengthening my core, and several exercises were recommended.
Since my gait analysis, I’ve focused more on core stability, and incorporated many core exercises into my routine. Here are just a few:
- Side planks with leg raises
- Stir the pot planks
- Russian twist
- Oblique V-ups
- Swiss ball lower back extensions
- Supine bridge pumps
- Practicing good posture
I’ve seen a big improvement in my core stability since focusing on these key exercises. I don’t do all of the exercises every day, but try to mix them up in my routine at least three days a week. When sitting, I focus on core engagement, especially if I’m tired and would otherwise tend to slump. As a result, not only do I feel better, but I look better, too!
What part does stability play in your life?
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Next Wednesday’s Word: Confident