Stability isn’t sexy.
No one ever comes up to me and says, “I want you to make me stable as fuck.”
It’s always about losing fat and toning up. Or building strength and getting jacked. None of those are bad goals, but in the rush to do those things, stability often gets pushed aside.
And the thing about stability is that you don’t notice you don’t have it until you need it. Then it’s too late.
Flexing your biceps and seeing some definition is nice.
Watching the number drop on the scale is fine.
Seeing your PRs increase is cool.
But you know what’s better?
- Being able to carry a squirmy, wiggly toddler down a set of stairs without dropping both of you onto your faces.
- Regaining your balance after slipping on a patch of ice instead of landing on your ass.
- Seeing it as only a minor inconvenience when your 90 lb pitbull rams into one leg instead of a chance to get up close and personal with the floor.
- Or, if you’re like some of the folks I work with, being able to maintain your space on the track as you dominate in roller derby.
Plus, a base of stability can help with the jacked, tanned, fat loss, strength building. If that’s what you’re into.
#1 – Reverse Lunge
The reverse lunge is nice because it’s kind and gentle on the knees. But really you can do any sort of lunge here: walking lunges, regular lunges, side lunges, et. al. You can even play around with the orientation of your torso. Sit straight and tall or hinge forward at the hips.
EXTRA STABILITY CHALLENGE: Avoid touching down your moving leg when you stand to the top. Exhale as you stand up and bring your knee up a big towards your chest instead.
#2 – Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
Deadlifts are one of my favorite things, at least this week. The back of the legs are often neglected in today’s sit down world and deadlifts can help. Standing on one leg will definitely increase the challenge. Keep your movements shallow and unweighted at first. Once the move starts to feel comfortable, hold a weight in the hand opposite the working leg.
EXTRA STABILITY CHALLENGE: Combine a reverse lunge with a single leg Romanian deadlift. Step back into the reverse lunge, press to the top, then execute an RDL with the same working leg by hinging forward at the hips. Start without weight until you figure out the mechanics. Then go to town.
#3 – Skater Hop + Hop
There are a few things to focus on here and speed is not one of them. Just like with a traditional skater hop, you want to lunge low and wide as you go from side to side. Take care to land solidly on your foot and pause for a tick before exploding up into your single leg jump.
EXTRA STABILITY CHALLENGE: Make it a skater hop + hop + hop.
#4 – Step-Up
The video explains it all here. The goal is to get your stepping leg to do the work and avoid pushing through your back leg. It might help to bring your back leg in closer than what is shown in the video and drop the weights to start. Exhaling as you step will keep your core naturally engaged. Don’t worry if you weeble, wobble — that’s what you’re working on getting better at!
EXTRA STABILITY CHALLENGE: Lower yourself off the bench slowly over a 3 or 4-second count.
The “Single Leg To Stand On Workout”
Check out the exercises above in a quick little training day circuit from Facebook. Give it a shot and let me know how it went.
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