Stability and reactive training are important aspects of every exercise routine. NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) recommends incorporating stabilization training into the beginning of a periodized workout program, and into part of each workout. As “Phase 1” of NASM’s famed OPT Model of exercise design, stability is a fundamental aspect of complete optimal fitness with the following benefits:
Prepares exerciser for more demanding training and performance
Improves core strength and joint stability
Prevents potential injury
Can correct imbalances and Faulty movement patterns
Can improve overall strength and performance
Stability is defined as “the property of a body that causes it, when disturbed from a condition of equilibrium or steady motion, to develop forces or moments that restore the original condition.” As an example, if standing up straight is my “condition”, and a force tries to push me to the left, “stability” (or balance) is the “property” (or strength), that brings me back to my original standing “condition”.
So, how does one go about incorporating this into their workouts?
Aktiv AQUA products offer a novel and effective form of stability training and are applicable for use during warm ups to more intense strength and conditioning training, and everything in between.
Since the amount of water is adjustable, the exerciser or trainer can easily modify the weight toward usage, and the user.
Below are some examples.
Marching with an AQUA BAG overhead is a great way to warm up the core, back, shoulders, and stabilizers in the hips. Doing simple sit ups with the AQUA Ball effectively prepares the abs and other core muscles for a workout.
To develop brute strength, endurance, and stamina as well as improve athletic ability, add water and try explosive movements, such as power cleans, thrusters, overhead presses, and rack lunges. The AQUA Bag II can handle anywhere from 1lbs-80lbs of water and the AQUA Beast lives up to its name with the ability to hold over 120lbs of water.
The reactive forces provided by shifting water ignite the nervous system and pinpoint imbalances through the musculoskeletal system. Both the ability to maintain equilibrium (example: perform a forward lunge while holding the AQUA Ball or Bag in front of you with straight arms and work on minimizing the water shift), or to stop a moving force (example: Try a simple Chop, forcing the water to crash at the end of the movement), are important for athletic ability and general health.
By: Andrew Gavigan is a recognized speaker in the fitness industry, master trainer, and serves as Director of Education for Aktiv Solutions. He is a NASM and NFPT Certified Personal Trainer and Behavioral Change Specialist and has developed comprehensive fitness and exercise programs for health club & workplace wellness facilities. Andrew’s passion centers around user engagement and human behavior. He is currently studying psychology and economics at Los Angeles Pierce College.