Some fitness professionals believe that there is no such thing as stabilizer muscles as there are no specific muscles that can be defined as stabilizers. The stabilizers are muscles that aren’t directly involved in a movement, but instead keep certain parts of the body steady so that the main working muscles can do their job properly. Therefore, virtually every muscle can play a stabilizing role depending on the given movement.
That being said, MOST fitness professionals agree that when one speaks of stabilizer muscles they are referring to the core and trunk muscles; the muscles that stabilize the joints and spine during a movement. The reason for this is that the core is your power center and works at stabilizing the body in virtually every movement.
Take a soccer player for instance: he can have the strongest leg muscles ever, but without strong abs, back, hips, and glutes his kick won’t be as powerful. When strength training, lack of a strong back and abs may reduce the amount you are able to lift even with strong arm muscles. Even regular daily activities like picking up grocery bags or walking up stairs requires the body to balance and steady itself.
Without a strong core one doesn’t have enough stability in the spine and joints which can cause joint degeneration, back pain, and injury. Strong stabilizers also mean better balance, coordination, power, and speed.
2 ways to train to increase your body’s stabilization abilities:
1. Perform exercises that puts a decent amount of tension on the entire body. Some exercises are more effective than others at keeping the body tight throughout the exercise. For instance, for leg exercises try squats, deadlifts and weighted lunges (these require the back and shoulders to support and steady a barbell) instead of leg presses and leg extensions (these rely on the seat to support you).
2. Do exercises with one arm or one leg at a time. (Examples: one-armed dumbbell bench presses, one-legged squats, one-armed dumbbell rows, etc.) Unilateral exercises adds balancing to the exercise which causes the obliques and the lower back muscles to tense in order to keep the trunk steady.
The Human Trainer is an easy way to workout in both the ways mentioned above. The core stabilizers are present in ALL Human Trainer exercises because of the balancing aspect of doing the exercises suspended from straps. Imagine how strong your core will be when you incorporate those muscles into every exercise you do! The Human Trainer is a full body workout system, giving you strength and cardio training all in one.