Stability training teaches the body to stabilize muscles to provide dynamic joint balance and balanced posture during functional exercise. The aim of core
stability training is to effectively recruit the deep-trunk muscles
and then learn to maintain a neutral position of the spine and
pelvis during dynamic movements.
The deep trunk muscles — transversus abdominis (TA),
multifidus (MF), internal oblique (IO), paraspinal and pelvic floor
— are key to the active support of the lumbar spine. The
co-contraction of these muscles produces internal forces that
stabilize the lumbar spine. Also, it is not just the recruitment of
these muscles, but how they are recruited that is important.
Research shows that the co-contraction of the TA and MF muscles
occurs prior to any movement of the limbs. This suggests these
muscles anticipate dynamic forces that may act on the lumbar spine
and stabilize the area prior to any movement.
Stability training results in increased muscular endurance, more
tendon and ligament strength, greater joint and muscular range of
motion, enhanced nervous system activity, better balance and core
function, and increased injury prevention and improved
Water provides an ideal working environment for stability
training. Its buoyancy creates natural instability, and
water’s increased density offers higher levels of resistance
that assist as well as resist movement.
To create exercises that challenge stability in shallow water,
use a single hand buoy in combination with movements that remain
“anchored down,” with one or both feet firmly grounded
on the bottom of the pool.
The exercises presented here focus on the essential abdominal
tasks of rotation, compression and bracing. The hand buoy acts as a
tool to increase resistance or “loading” and boosts
recruitment of the shoulder girdle for stabilization and