Is Core Strength and Stability Enough


While emphasizing stability and core strength is certainly an important part of a workout, it is not good practice to focus more on the core at the expense of other parts of the body. An all-encompassing approach that puts more consideration on the whole rather than the parts is a much better approach.

Recent years have seen that a large number of professional fitness training programs have focused on stability and core strength above everything else. While these two areas are no doubt important, what costs have there been to the potential of areas such as the shoulder, knee, hip, and ankle?

Imagine an athlete that’s been focused on working out their core strength and stability throughout their training regimen. If they get into a position where they would need to change the direction they’re heading quickly, it’d be no surprise to anyone if their knee were to give out. Focusing purely on the core won’t offer too much to joint structures and limbs.

While it’s not going to simply be one or the other, core strength should be seen as just one part of a fully inclusive and comprehensive workout that emphasizes a holistic view of all parts of the body.

The Holistic Approach

There are a variety of reasons to choose a more comprehensive approach to stability:

  • It increases movement accuracy.
  • It provides more force and speed.
  • It improves successive muscle use.
  • It allows much more efficient compound muscle movement.
  • It can prevent injury.
  • It helps the body cope better to the demands of rigorous activity.

It’s important for a trainer to understand that ‘stability’ should refer to a comprehensive view of the patient’s body, where every individual body part is observed as part of the whole. Rather than ‘core strength,’ we should be looking at overall stability levels when discussing controlled movement and motion.

While the answer to the question “is core strength enough?” is ultimately up to you, consider what methods you do utilize with your clients:

  • Are you mindful of stability in the shoulder, knee, hip, and ankle areas?
  • Do you regularly switch between session formats and exercises?
  • How well are you able to assess technique, correct posture, and joint stability?
  • Are you having the patient train the same muscles from different angles?
  • Do you consider changing the regimen in regards to exercising on grass versus concrete?
  • Are you clients being trained to move with rotation, vertically, laterally, forward, and backward?

Properly identifying instability can be an incredibly complex skill that will require a large breadth of skills in physiology, anatomy, and the proper training methods to ensure overall improvement.

In order for you to better manage and assess stability at every level, consider the following:

  • Study physiology and anatomy
  • Do research about stability online
  • Choose one joint on the client and observe it individually over a week’s time
  • Pay close attention to clients while they’re doing lunge and rotate movements, as this should highlight stability
  • Get your clients to detail any previous injuries they’ve had

Maintaining a balanced program relies on looking at stability at all levels, and adopting this standpoint will help your clients transition from easier to more difficult movements.

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