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Here Are The Factors Contributing to the Stagnation of Your Stability Progress

You may cover long distances by running, swim numerous laps, and engage in heavy weight lifting sessions, but when challenged to balance on one leg, you struggle. “Maintaining stability is crucial – not just in physical fitness but also in our daily routines,” asserts fitness expert Katie Austin. “Balance plays a significant role in all movements; even when standing on both feet, we are subconsciously maintaining equilibrium.”.

As we grow older, our stability tends to deteriorate, leading to an increased risk of accidents such as falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four individuals over the age of 65 experience a fall annually, making it the primary cause of injuries and injury-related fatalities. This underscores the importance of integrating stability exercises into our workout routines, regardless of age, says Austin. “It helps counteract the decline in balance associated with aging, reduces the risk of falls, enhances posture, assists in quicker recovery from injuries, improves coordination, enhances workout efficiency, builds muscle, and boosts cardiovascular health,” she explains.

What Influences Stability?

“Our stability is rooted in our core,” Austin emphasizes. “The core includes the central parts of the body such as the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen. Training these core muscles not only helps them function cohesively but also promotes overall balance and strength.”

What Hinders Stability Enhancement?

1. Muscle Weakness and Instability

Maintaining balance necessitates holistic muscle strength, not just a robust core. “To enhance core strength for stability, it’s crucial to engage the entire body,” suggests Austin. Therefore, if you’re struggling to improve your balance, ensure you incorporate muscle-building and resistance training regularly into your workout routine. This not only fortifies and stabilizes muscles but also joints. Strengthening these areas gives you more control over your body’s movement and contributes to improved balance and speedier recovery in the event of a fall.

The duration required to enhance stability through strength training varies for each individual. However, a 2016 study revealed that after six weeks of 16-minute strength training sessions four times a week, participants increased their one-leg standing duration by 32% with open eyes, 206% with closed eyes on a solid surface, and 54% with closed eyes on a compliant surface.

2. Opting for Exercises of Inadequate or Excessive Difficulty

When working on stability, steady progression is key, but you must also continually challenge yourself. Jumping into rigorous workouts too hastily can lead to injuries. Thus, it’s wise to begin with simple stability exercises and gradually advance. If balance poses like standing on one leg while extending the other is too demanding, simplify the movement. Begin by slightly lifting one leg off the ground, or use a nearby wall for support. Master each exercise before moving on to the next level.

3. Lack of Consistency

Similar to other endeavours, improvements in stability require time and consistent dedication. A study from 2015 revealed that conducting three to six training sessions per week over 11 to 12 weeks, each comprising four stability exercises, effectively enhanced participants’ balance. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be overly complex.

“Fancy equipment is unnecessary for stability improvement,” Austin advises. She recommends exercises such as single-leg Romanian deadlifts, bird dogs, and modified pistol squats as her favourites, all of which are unilateral movements that concentrate on one side of the body at a time. This approach aids in boosting balance and strength without creating muscle imbalances caused by relying too heavily on your dominant side. “Try both sides and identify the weaker one for improvement,” suggests Austin.

Regularly practise stability exercises, and you’ll soon find yourself effortlessly balancing on one leg with your eyes shut.

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