Stand up tall and get unbalanced to strengthen the core

Vertical or standing is the last of the 4 squares on the Robertson training system arrow. This changes the stability.  While when we initially think of vertical or tall standing, we usually think of standing on 2 feet, shoulder width apart.  That is the stance that is most talked about in gyms by fitness instructors 

Go ahead and try the exercises in last weeks article, Get on your knees to strengthen your core, but this time on 2 feet instead of your knees.  Feel how that changes.  Does it make it harder?

When you are on 2 feet, shoulder width apart, you are fairly stable in vertical.  Your ankles are stacked under your hips and your shoulders over your hips.  Now changing your base of support will certainly affect your stability.  A wider base of support means more stability while a narrow bass means less stability.

If you have completed the exercises in the last 3 articles, you will notice that you engaged your core more and more, as you moved up the arrow.  When you decrease stability, you increase the work your core has to do so maintain stability.

Let’s take the overhead press as our example.  In this picture, the feet are shoulder width apart and stacked under the hips and shoulders.  Stable, right?  



Try it with your feet together.  Can you feel your core firing just a little more?


Now try the same exercise with your feet together in an off set position.  How does that feel?  Change the lead leg.  Does that change anything?

Shoulder press with one foot in front of the other is the next exercise you should be trying. Again try with the left foot forward, then the right.  Can you hold that position for 10 seconds?  How about 30?



Let’s decrease the base of support from 2 feet to one foot.  Look at the shirt line of the athlete in the black clothes.  Her hips appear to be parallel to the floor, while the athlete with the white shirt on the left appears to have allowed her left hip to drop. When you lift one leg off the ground maintain your pelvis parallel to the floor.

If you are feel like even more of a challenge, experiment with different surfaces. 

First try one foot on the unstable surface and one foot on solid ground like the picture on the right. Experiment with different surfaces.  How does it feel?  Then try both legs.  A Bosu ball is great for this.  Bosu actually stands for Both Sides Up, meaning, you can use it by standing on the ball part with the flat surface on the floor like the picture on the left.  You can also use it the other way with the ball side down, standing on the flat surface.

Ultimately I would like to be able to stand on a ball like the elephant and be able to move my arms in a chest press and over head press.  Perhaps Ill add a few squats or two in the mix.

What is your stability goal?


Till next time, have a great active week.

Published by Waltenbury Lise

Podcast host, triathlete, wife, mother of 3, commuter, volunteer, hockey coach, triathlon coach, and student. I am a Jane of all trades and a master of some on a journey to higher consciousness.

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