strength in stability

As I mentioned in my first two posts, I’m currently studying with The National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) to get their Personal Training Certification. I’m about halfway through my studying and have absolutely loved it so far. Is it easy? No. Is it interesting? Hell yeah! Building a strong and healthy body can play a huge role in your happiness- endorphins are no joke!

NASM has created The OPT Model as a template for their students to use when creating workout regimes for their clients. While most trainers don’t follow the OPT model exactly, many use it as a base for their own training techniques and schedules. It has 3 Phases: Stabilization Endurance, Strength Endurance, and Power Training and clients are supposed to move through the phases in that order.

Today, we’re focusing on Phase 1: Stabilization Endurance Training…

“Stabilization Endurance Training is designed to create optimal levels of stabilization strength and postural control. This phase of training focuses on: increasing stability, increasing muscular endurance, increasing neuromuscular efficiency of the core musculature, and improving intermuscular and intramuscular coordination” –NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training (pg. 350)

A lot of big words? Yes. But it all boils down to one simple fact: creating and strengthening your stability and stability endurance is the basis for any type of training regime. This applies to core stabilization, balance stabilization, plyometric stabilization, etc. To avoid injury, it’s crucial that these muscles are strengthened before more intense workouts are attempted.

Alright, enough of the technical stuff, how does this apply to me and you?

No matter what stage of training you’re at, it’s imperative that you continue to focus on stabilization muscles. Having good balance and core strength will allow you to perform safer and more efficient strength workouts and your cardiovascular training won’t seem quite as daunting.

One of my favorite ways to strengthen these muscles is through static exercises. Static exercises are held for a duration of time in order to fatigue muscles and force your stability to kick in. Ironically enough, in the midst of studying this chapter, my dad sent over a workout that he wrote (he’s also a personal trainer and owns his own studio) for me to try that met all of the criteria I was looking for. So, I thought I’d share it with all of you and, hopefully, you’ll benefit from it as much as I did!

Hold & Hop Workout

It looks fairly simple on paper but, I assure you, it kicked my booty. Section B should be performed as 20/10 Tabata supersets. That means you’ll perform each group of 2 exercises, working for 20 seconds then resting for 10 seconds. So, the first section would look like this: 20 seconds Jumping Jacks, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds Jump Squats, 10 seconds rest…then repeat that 4 more times.

If you’re up for the challenge, go back to Section A after you’ve completed Section B. Not easy!

If you have any further questions about stability training or this workout, please let me know! And, of course, if anything feels uncomfortable or painful- STOP. Everyone is different and, depending on your current health or past injuries, certain exercises may not be suitable for you. Listen to your body!

Also, never forget all of the amazing things your body does for you on a day-to-day basis. Honor it, take care of it and, most importantly, love it. Like your mind, your body is unique and special. You would never try to conform your mind to fit some stereotypical mold, so why would you do that to your body? Embrace every trait you’ve been given because they’re what make you, you.


Here’s to finding the beauty in building YOUR body…


    • Emily said:

      Aww, yay! Let me know what you think!

  1. This is such a great topic to talk about because stability and mobility are seriously so important, no matter what a person’s fitness level is!

    • Emily said:

      I agree! And it’s something that’s overlooked a lot of the time- especially as people progress into higher levels of training.

  2. This workout looks fun! (HA I’ll probably be cursing myself when I try it ;)). But I will definitely try it sometime soon!

    • Emily said:

      Yay! Let me know what you think when you do!

  3. Lisa said:

    Looks like a great workout! Glad you’re enjoying studying for this, and that you’re back blogging:)

  4. This is such an important thing to talk about! As much as I love my workouts, I neglect stability workouts and I know doing them more often would really help improve my stamina. I’ll definitely have to give this one a try!

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