Stabilization training – everything you need to know.
Human movements are complex programs of coordinated muscle tension and relaxation that have a specific purpose — conscious, from our decisions, or one that comes from patterns recorded in our nervous system. The movement aspect is evident and clear to everyone. For it to arise, muscles must contract and relax in a particular order. It is less evident that the fact that only the desired parts of our body move and the rest are STABLE – DOES NOT MOVE, is part of the program and requires actual work. And just as it is with movement, you can stabilize better or worse.
In our body, there are joints and muscles, whose primary role is to create a base for movement (stationary base). Their structure allows them to counteract with external forces without a significant effort. It establishes the foundation for motor muscles that move more mobile joints.
Due to the countless number of motor tasks facing the human body, it is possible to use muscles that specialize in stabilization to cause movement, and it is possible to use motor muscles to stabilize, which we regularly use. However, when we talk about stability training, we mean learning (practice) the most beneficial system (effectiveness and safety) for stability in specific movement tasks, from the simplest life activities to complex movements occurring in sport.
Stability is a skill.
It means that every movement has its stabilization component, appropriate for this particular task. And it is essential to understand that there are more effective strategies (safer, more economical) and those that are not as effective as we would like.
For this reason, the path of human motor development runs in a certain way. The body in steps learns to stabilize subsequent segments. In this way, it builds the foundation for new patterns of movement. Standing is therefore preceded by a 12-month, daily training, taking into account work on subsequent segments and their cooperation. When a small person learns to stand, he begins his lesson on how to move, walk, and run. The next stages of development depend mainly on the environment and its requirements. My experience is that up to school age, most children (not counting the cases where the child has limited access to movement or eat in a way that impairs growth) develop correctly in terms of movement quality. Because the school period is a time of rapid growth and significant changes, the body needs constant stimuli to choose and consolidate the most favorable patterns of movement (including stabilization). Instead, the child sits at school for many hours and then at home, doing homework, watching TV, or playing on the computer. Even if we add to this scheme a few hours of physical activities (those that take into account the developmental needs of the child, who spends most of the day on the bench or the sofa), the advantage of the time when the child sits overactive time is decisive. Let’s remember that the previous generation, which is not free from the problems I am talking about, spent many hours playing in the yard. It means that the majority of young people enter adult life with suboptimal movement patterns and thus unfavorable stabilization strategies.
Problems resulting from suboptimal stabilization:
- There is a higher risk of injury, related to taking load by segments (areas of the body) that are not designed for this.
- Sensitive body segments are point-loaded (instead of zonal).
- Inability to use the collaboration of spaced segments.
- A quick change of movement direction (global or segmented) is not possible.
- The body is unable to react quickly to an external stimulus.
- Using motor muscles to stabilize:
- Motor programs in which given muscles play a crucial role are disturbed.
- They are not specialized in stabilization – they are not strong enough to keep the position for a long time,
- They are not specialized in stabilization – due to the levers they work on, maintaining a stable position requires a lot of strength.
EFFECTIVENESS vs. SECURITY:
If we want to enjoy physical activity until old age, we should bear in mind that it is possible to carry out even the most complex and challenging motor tasks with a stabilization model that is not safe. It often puts our vigilance to sleep. Because We can do more, faster or harder. Our body has a fantastic ability to adapt. By practicing a given movement (burdening it) with an incorrect stabilization pattern, we will get better and better in this movement. We will be able to overcome increasing resistance. You have to remember that with optimal movement, tissue consumption is minimal, and repair is possible on an ongoing basis. Any error speeds up this consumption. The larger the error, the faster the injury will occur. And when we put a burden on a mistake, we have a disaster.
The execution of the task does not mean that the stabilization model is safe.
Stabilization is also used to determine the paths of movement in the joints. The idea is that, if it is possible, the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments system take the load in the positions in which it is most potent. For example, when landing knees inward (no external rotation in the hip), knee injuries occur.
IN MOTION AND WITHOUT MOTION.
Static stabilization is one of the main aspects that determine the correct posture, i.e., one that costs little and allows the body to set in motion quickly and efficiently.
Dynamic stabilization – a smooth transition between stabilization programs adapted to the tasks performed and changing movement conditions.
- It provides optimal positioning of body parts relative to each other.
- It protects sensitive segments from dynamic loading.
- It counteracts forces that disturb the movement structure.
- It allows you to react quickly and effectively to stimuli or changes in the environment.
STABILIZATION – REEDUCATION
Learning or training? If someone can apply the correct stabilization scheme in a given situation (optimal technique) but is unable to maintain quality due to additional load or fatigue, they can do exercises in which maintaining the correct position will be more difficult than in standard activity. However, if the problem is the technique, i.e., the choice of stabilization method, reeducation is necessary. Loading a wrong pattern improves the error and exposes the body to overload or injury. It is crucial to precisely diagnose your starting level and the source of any problems and then apply the appropriate learning or training program.
In the following articles, I will try to introduce stability anatomy and teach you the correct patterns.