Stabilization & Balance: From Athletes to the Elderly

January 30, 2015 by Liz

Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher
Master Trainer & NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Jen Schildwatcher

By Jennifer Schildwachter
Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach Leader

When you hear the terms “corrective exercises”, “prevention of injury”, and “functional strength”, what type of person comes to mind? Although the common answer to this question would be possibly a post-rehab senior with serious injuries, these terms also apply to athletes on their off season maybe dealing with a pre or post season injury or muscle imbalances to correct. When you think “athlete” you often think speed & agility drills or Olympic weight lifting, but the need for core stabilization and balance are needed for all!

Balance is the key to all functional movement and it should also stress a person’s limits of stability, or their “balance threshold”. By training in a multi-sensory environment, the nervous system’s ability to activate the right muscles, at the right time, and in the right plane of motion is vital to the elderly and athletes alike to enhance performance in every day life or an athletic event. All levels of fitness need to infuse this much needed balance and core stabilization exercises to benefit all planes of motion. Both of these needs can be fulfilled in NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Performance Enhancement Specialist Jennifer Schildwachter’s paid program; Correct, Select, and Never Neglect. Participants of all adult ages and fitness levels, learn that there is an inherent difference between functional strength and functional stabilization, which both come into play when trying to improve balance.

Core Stabilization and balance go hand in hand. The main goal of an athlete or senior would be to continually increase their limit of stability by creating progressive balance exercises in a controlled but unstable environment.

A good example of an exercise that you could give an athlete or senior, would be: “Single-Leg Dumbbell Shoulder Scaption”

How to do it:
A. Stand with a light dumbbell in each hand; lift one leg directly beside balanced leg.
B. Keep thumbs pointed up while raising arms to shoulder height at a 45-degree angle in front. Slowly lower. Repeat; alternate legs in each set.

This exercise and more can be learned in this class as well as the improvement in balance and stabilization in all physical abilities!

Interested in taking Correct Select and Never Neglect with Jen? You can sign up for the upcoming session beginning on February 17! Feel free to email Jen with any questions at jschildwachter@clubfit.com!