Stability Exercise Progression

If you’re a beginning exerciser, balance and stability may be a challenge, which is a great reason to focus on these areas of fitness before moving on to more challenging workouts. There’s a natural progression of stability, depending on where you’re starting. Here is how your exercise regimen will progress if you are a beginner so that your stabilizer muscles get stronger and your balance improves.

  • Exercise while seated. When you’re seated, you have support for your lower body, so you don’t have to work as hard to stabilize.
  • Stand during exercise. As soon as you stand, you involve the entire body in the exercise because you’ve taken away any support. Now your body has to support itself while you do the exercise.
  • Stand in a wide stance. When you stand in a wide stance, you increase your base of support, making you feel more balanced and stable.
  • Stand in a narrow stance. Bring your feet closer and you’ll feel less stable, thus triggering your stabilizer muscles to kick in.
  • Stagger your feet. The next progression is to stand in a staggered position, with one foot just a bit behind the other. This immediately challenges your balance as that stable base is no longer there.
  • Use a split stance. Now try standing in a split stance where one foot is in front of the other, with the feet about three feet apart. This is the same stance you use during a lunge and, again, much more challenging to your balance than a wide stance or staggered stance.
  • Use a tandem stance. This is like standing on a balance beam, with one foot in front of the other. Try doing an exercise in this position and you’ll really challenge your balance.
  • Stand on one leg. The final progression is to stand on one leg while exercising. You’ll notice that every muscle in the body will contract to help keep your balance.


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