Weightlifters, powerlifters, bodybuilders, and general gym patrons all have specific fitness goals in mind. We program our workouts to guide us towards these specific goals over the course of a few months, even years. For some, they want to become as symmetrical as possible. For others, they want to become as strong as they can possible get. Whatever your personal goals may be, there is one very overlooked idea that can help you achieve your goals: stability.
Adding in stabilization to a workout has a plethora of benefits. For example, adding in balance exercises can increase your neural efficiency, which leads to more strength gains. Neural efficiency is how well your brain can communicate with your muscles through your nervous system. The better your brain can communicate with your muscles, not only does the speed of the muscle contraction increase, but the force produced by the muscle contraction increases. More force produced means more strength. An example of a balance exercise would be a Single Leg Dumbbell Curl. Standing on one leg, perform a dumbbell curl. Do sets on both legs. The weight shift in the dumbbell will challenge your balance, so make sure to pick a proper weight.
Another benefit of adding stabilization to your workout is adding variety to your workout. Doing the same workouts over and over again can lead to burning out, or even overuse injuries. Stabilization exercises add in some variety to your workout, allowing your muscles to work in a different way than their used to. Variety is one of the best ways to keep your workouts from becoming too boring!
A third and final way stabilization exercises add benefit is core strength. Core strength is absolutely essential to any person, regardless of their level of fitness. Any lift performed has some level of core strength required to perform it. Exercises like a bicep curl or a Tricep Pulldown require less core strength than a Barbell Back Squat or a Deadlift, but it is still necessary. Adding in core stabilization exercises such as planks, side planks, or any TRX core exercise will help you with your compound lifts later on!
Looking for a fun way to break up the monotony of your workout? Feel like your core strength isn’t up to snuff? Get yourself some stabilization exercises!! Your body will thank you later.