Why do runners need stability exercises?

There is a lot said and written about the stability exercises lately – there are many articles encouraging to this kind of exercises, but a clear description of why anyone should really do them is a rare thing to encounter. Additionally, stability exercises themselves are rather unattractive, particularly for males and they usually lose the competition with strength training, another run, special training sessions or running strength.

In this article I don’t want to go deep into the physiology, build or mechanics of muscles; I just want to use simple analogy to show as simply as possible why one should do the stability exercises and what happens to a runner’s organism neglecting this training aspect.

little-technicianI am old enough to remember the “young technician” toy blocks from which I assembled various vehicles and cranes – now those are back available in the new, colorful version… but to the point – imagine that you are building a car from the picture and you test your vehicle on a rough pavement. Let’s assume that your car is made of body parts, engine, battery and screws:

  • Training general strength or running strength is like improving your engine,
  • Training endurance is like charging your battery,
  • Training stability is like tightening the screws that come permanently loose.

And now, think what do you prefer to play with 🙂 … a car with a big engine, which will fall apart after few minutes, or a well fixed car which will run slowly on a road?

  • I want to have my car fast and well fixed – that is why I train both strength and stability 🙂

To continue the narration of my analogy:

  • The faster and further you want to ride, the more you have to take care about tightening the screws,
  • The larger car you got, the greater forces effect your screws and body parts,
  • The strength and endurance of your car’s engine should not exceed the strength and endurance of your screws that keep it in one piece – otherwise the whole vehicle will fall apart into pieces.

 Simple and obvious? …take a look at thousands of runners who break their training cycles due to injuries…

Run fast, long and with no injuries – good stability is your foundation!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.