Welcome to the first week of lockdown 2.0.
And fear not, it isn't all doom and gloom. While gym's are closed and you are confinced to training from home, or outdoors there is still much progression to be made!
This blog will talk about the work you can do at home to make your body more stable, creating a better platform for running, climbing and riding.
All without having to join a gym.
So, let's get into it.
Why is stability work so important?
Stability work can make the difference between having a little wobble, or crashing down to the floor.
For trail running especially developing a stable core is vital if you want to stay on your feet when the weather gets slippy. The more control you have over your body, the less likely you are to fall when you slip.
And on the cycling front, the more likely it is to get out of shape on the bike when the weather is like this. The more stable and functional your core is, the more likely you will be able to save it. And we all love a save, whether it's on two feet or two wheels.
So in short, being more stable means more time exercising and less time falling over. Winning.
How can you increase your stability?
Increasing your stability actually involves very little equipment, sometimes none at all.
Below are my top three stability based exercises that require hardly any kit at all.
1: Single leg stands:
So simple, but yet so effective. Simply standing on one leg with your other foot slightly off the floor can greatly improve ankle, knee and hip stability. This can even be done in between sets during your training. And is something I get clients to do all the time.
If you want to make it harder, simply raise your balancing leg higher, close your eyes or have distractions in the room (dogs are great for this).
You can advance this by getting your partner to throw tennis balls at you to catch, this improves cognitive function as well as physical stability.
2: Bosu ball stands:
For this exercise you need one piece of kit. A bosu ball. Simply stand on the bosu ball on two or one feet depending on your skill level. To increase difficulty even further you could even add some squats to the movement. Again single or double leg depending on your ability level.
Another great way to improve your knee, and ankle stability.
3: Side plank:
One for the core, and a great beginner exercise. Laying on your side, prop yourself up with the palm of your hand and keep your other arm outstretched (pictured below).
This is a great static exercise. Keep an eye on how your body feels, you want to avoid excess shaking.
10 seconds of good is better than 40 seconds of bad.
Remember to do each side, and track improvement by how long you can hold it for.
Using these three exercises you can drastically improve your running and riding ability when it all goes wrong. But, can you strengthen your body up too doing stability based work?
Of course. Exercises like pistol squats are so important when it comes to leg strength and stability and are also beneficial for both runners, cyclists and climbers alike.
Pistol squats (pictured below) are an excellent home exercise if you find training on two legs a little bit easy.
You can make them more difficult by adding weight, or doing them on a higher platform.
And make them easier by not squatting down as low and building into them.
Have a go the next time you do a home workout on the lower body, see how you get on.
When it comes to conditioning your body for running, and riding or anything outdoors based. I am a massive advocate of using your bodyweight and training movement over muscle.
Even when gyms are available I don't think bodyweight work should be left out.
I hope this passion is reflected in this blog and you can take some information away with you to benefit your own training.
If this has inspired you I would love to hear it! Click the button below to email me your thoughts and ideas about training, and how to become fitter, faster and stronger!