Forget Pilates, Wobble Boards & Fit Balls! 5 Must-Do Dynamic Stability Exercises

UntitledIn order to function properly we need strength and mobility, but we also need stability and control. In this article I explain the fundamentals of Dynamic Stability Training (DST) (sometimes referred to as Functional Stability Training) and how you can get better at it to prevent unnecessary injuries and improve your physical performance through increased efficiency.

"Dynamic Stability Training is the integration of physical therapy and performance enhancement training and the integration between mobility, strengthening, and dynamic stabilization" Dr Mike Reinold 

Traditional training programmes often overlook the basic need for everyone to be able to effectively move across the ground, and you may think it's too simplistic and basic for the needs of a highly functioning athlete. However in my 20 plus years experience, ignoring the benefits of DST is throwing away a massive performance advantage! Here's why:

#1 - DST engages the lateral stabilisers (groin, outer glutes & ankle inverters/everters) which are very often forgotten. For the body to move in a certain direction it requires stabilisation from another direction (axis of rotation).

#2 - DST re-enforces correct take-off (force production) and landing (force absorption) mechanics to prevent unnecessary injuries (such as tendinopothies, muscle strains and joint sprains) and enhance performance through greater efficiency.

#3 - DST increases the bodies 'eccentric' strength capabilities i.e. you become more rigid when landing and able to more easily overcome the external forces of gravity.

#4 - DST transfers adaptations very well across many different sports/activities (even cycling!)

All that said, a word of caution - DST must be specific! You cannot, and will never, get efficient at running using floor-based exercises because your muscles function completely differently when you're vertical (see below). Similarly, you won't get the desired adaptation using unstable surfaces (i.e. wobble boards etc) because you don't perform your chosen sport on a wobble board (see below)! 

Pilates      Wobble Board

Unfortunately, it's beyond the scope of this article to fully explain why this is the case but trust me, the adaptations of DST are very different.

So, when it comes to building performance, whether it’s more speed or more muscle strength you’re after, it’s very important to leave time in your routine to work on the basics of human movement and function. Thus, the path to efficient, high-powered, and injury-free performances is paved through full-body Dynamic Stability Training.

Have a go at these exercises in the video. It's progressive so make sure you master each one before trying the next. Good luck, and remember 'effectiveness' is doing the right things (the video) and 'Efficiency' is doing things correctly!