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A wobble lunge to challenge the stability and control
2 Credits

Stability Training

Stability Training: An exercise or rehabilitation program designed to enhance the body's ability to stabilize (maintain or regain balance). A stability training program prioritizes exercise progression over increasing repetitions, sets, load, or speed.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush

DPT, PT, MS, CPT, HMS, IMT

Course Description: Stability Training

Definition:

  • Stability Training: An exercise or rehabilitation program designed to enhance the body's ability to stabilize (maintain or regain balance). A stability training program prioritizes exercise progression over increasing repetitions, sets, load, or speed. For example, progressing from a plank to a plank on a stability ball increases the stability challenge. Reducing the base of support during this exercise from two feet on the ground to a single foot would be an additional stability progression.

Introduction:

This course discusses stability training, including core stability training, upper body stability training, lower body stability training, balance training, injury prevention, and the use of stability training in physical rehabilitation. A comprehensive systematic research review was used to develop evidence-based progressions and regressions for all large movement patterns (muscle groups), including the use of unstable loads and environments. Additionally, stability training outcomes and adaptations are discussed in detail: EMG activity, motor pattern recruitment, fatigue, rate of force development, balance, muscle endurance, muscle strength, muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth), sports performance, injury prevention, and injury recovery.

Research Review Findings:

Some findings from the included systematic review resulted in counter-intuitive, or at least less conventional recommendations. For example, there are a few studies that suggest unstable environments (e.g. core stability exercises on a Bosu Ball) may exaggerate altered recruitment patterns in those exhibiting dysfunction. This may imply that corrective exercise (e.g. serratus anterior activation ) should precede multi-joint stability exercises. Additionally, research suggests that unstable loads result in larger changes in EMG activity than unstable surfaces/environments. This may imply that slosh pipes, sandbags, hanging/swinging loads, etc., should be considered more often and perhaps be prioritized over unstable environments like foam pads, Bosu balls, and balance boards.

Movement professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, etc.) should consider stability training a pillar of performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation programming, and the recommendation of progressions and regressions based on stability, an essential skill. This course is part of our continued effort to optimize, evidence-based “exercise program design” recommendations.

This Course Includes:

  • Study Guide
  • Test and Illustrations
  • Audio Voice-over
  • Research Review
  • Technique Videos
  • Case Study and Sample Routine
  • Practice Exam
  • 3 Credit Final Exam

Stability Course Outline:

  • Introduction:
    • Definition
    • Models
    • Stability training for performance enhancement
    • Stability training for rehabilitation
      • Healing tissues
      • Balance deficits
      • Chronic ankle sprain
      • Low back pain
    • Special Note: Corrective Exercise
  • Stability Training Research by Movement Pattern/Muscle Group:
    • Lower Body
  • Squatting
  • Comparing the squat, lunge, Bulgarian split-squat, and single-leg squat
  • Comparing the squat, step-up, and single-leg squat
  • Comparing unilateral lower body exercise on stable and unstable surfaces
    • Upper Body
  • Push-up
  • Chest Press
  • Overhead Press
  • Inverted Row
    • Core
  • Planks and side planks
  • Glute bridge
  • Quadrupeds

Additional Courses:

A wobble lunge used to help improve stability and control
Caption: A wobble lunge used to help improve stability and control

Study Guide: Stability Training

Introduction

2 sub-categories

Definitions

Models

Unstable Surface Training in a Rehabilitation Setting

Stability Training for Performance Enhancement

Lower Body Stability Training

5 sub-categories

Upper Body Stability Training

4 sub-categories

Upper Body Exercise Summary

Core Stability Training

4 sub-categories

Case Study: Stability Training Program

Bibliography

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