Stability is super common and popular in Movement Training, Rehab, and Fitness, so why is it not an element of movement in my Movement Philosophy? In this episode of MoveMedics TV, I share with you the 2 reasons for this deliberate decision and I hope this will spark a conversation about Stability we desperately need to have.
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Stability is a word we hear all the time in movement training, in rehab, and in fitness, so why isn’t it an element in my Movement Philosophy? There are two reasons for this deliberate decision and I’m going to share it with you right now in this video. Ready? Let’s jump in.
Hi, I’m Selina, physio from MoveMedics, welcome to my channel. I help people improve their mobility so they can do the splits, bend the backs, and also for optimal singing, if that sounds good to you please subscribe to my channel and ding that notification bell so you don’t miss my new videos when they come out.
This is a bonus episode for my Movement Capacity Series and I’m going to share with you the two reasons why stability is not an element in my Movement Philosophy.
Before I get started let’s get on the same page first, I am not talking about stability in terms of structure, so not in the cases where people have say a ligament deficiency in the knee, or they have had recurrent injury to the capsule in the shoulder and they have now an unstable shoulder, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about stability in terms of movement.
The first reason why stability is not a part of my Movement Philosophy is because when I was working on my philosophy I wanted the movement elements to be building blocks for movement, and for me stability is not a building blocks, it’s really just a quality of movement you can observe when someone has good Movement Capacity, it is a manifestation of good Movement Capacity.
Let me demonstrate. Let’s say a patient comes in and you, they have an unstable knee and you do your assessment and you want them to show you some single leg mini squats and they go like this.
It’s all over the shop right, but why are they doing it like this? Maybe they don’t have the knowledge of movement? Right, let’s try that again but this time I want you to try to keep your hips and your pelvis still, hold on to them if you want to, and try to move mainly from your knee and making sure your knee tracks over your first and second toe, and take your time. And this time they go like this.
It’s better but it’s still wobbly, right? Why are they wobbly? Maybe because they have shocking proprioception in their knee, maybe it’s their balance, maybe they just don’t have the strength, maybe it’s a coordination thing, and maybe they don’t have good neuro-motor control because this is not a familiar movement.
So when you give them home exercises what do you give them? You give them exercises for proprioception, for balance, for strength, you give them good instructions so they learn what to coordinate and so they can build good quality neural motor pathways to have good control of that movement, and then weeks later they come back and this is what you see.
Wow! That knee now looks stable! What has changed? The Movement Capacity has changed. They are better able to do that movement because they have better strength, they have improved their proprioception, they have got better balance, and now you can observe a change in the quality of movements that we call stable, so for me stability is what you observe as a byproduct of good Movement Capacity and not a building blocks of movement, you get stability when you get your blocks right.
The second reason why stability is not an element in my Movement Philosophy is because of what’s happened to stability in the last 20 odd years.
Core stability research, the research on transversus abdominis and back pain started coming out in the 90s, a lot of those research actually came out from my uni, the University of Queensland, I was even taught by a lot of these researchers, it was really cool. But in that 10, 15 years after this research started coming out, stability has gone on a wild and wicked ride. The fitness industry grabbed hold of stability and went to town with it.
The fitness industry is mighty, it has a lot of money, it has influence, it has power; when the fitness industry decides to give celebrity status to something, it takes off, and stability took off and the world became obsessed with stability.
Every gym, everywhere you went there’s stability this, stability that, Pilates which wasn’t new, took off in popularity because of that influence, and with that stability started morphing into something else, it started becoming synonymous with bracing, and eventually more with rigidity, and people started, the language around stability also started changing, people started talking about activating, as if there is a button inside your body that you can switch on and you are now activated and now all solid, and movement became rigid and stiff as opposed to natural and free-flowing.
And it also started creating problems, people started getting neck pain and back pain from over bracing, it perpetuated people’s existing problem and what’s worse, what really is heartbreaking for me and what drives a lot of what I’m telling you right now is that people started believing, and there are people out there right now believing that unless they keep activated all the time, if they let go that their back would snap or their head would roll off, people literally believe that they have to stay activated all the time or else they would break, which is of course bull shit, right.
Like that has caused so much unnecessary pain and suffering, once someone has adopted that kind of mechanism, it is really hard to break, I know because I have worked with people trying to undo these patterns. When you have worked with one person and see how much they suffer, you don’t want to ever see another person in that same situation and I have seen them plenty of times, it’s horrible, I am so sick of it for these people, it needs to change and I want to be part of that change.
So this plus the fact that I think stability is really just a quality of movement you can observe, these two things together are the reasons why stability is not an element in my Movement Philosophy.
So what do you think? This is a super important conversation I think we desperately need to have, so whether you agree or disagree, or perhaps you have your unique experience you can share with us, please I would love to hear from you, so do leave your thoughts in the comments below so we can learn and grow together.
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And until then, thank you so much for watching and Be Free In Your Movement™