Improve Your Stability and Mobility with These Functional Exercises

Function: It is the newest addition the ACE Integrated Fitness TrainingTM (ACE IFTTM) Model continuum and is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Without function, we are unable to perform activities of daily living, leaving us dependent on others for assistance and unable to work toward other goals in health, fitness and performance. To remain functional with every day activities such as walking up stairs, using a vacuum or putting something on a high shelf, addressing muscular balance and range of motion within the fitness routine, while also including low-intensity cardiovascular efforts, is key. Within the ACE IFT Model, these two components are referred to as Stability and Mobility training and Aerobic-base training. It is important that both aspects are addressed for all populations, not just clients who are older or have injuries.

When looking at the body from the ground up, it follows a pattern of stable and mobile joints, alternating as we ascend upward. To improve the function of the entire body, we start from the ground up by using exercises that will challenge the stability of joints that are meant to be stable, while increasing the mobility of joints that are designed to be mobile. By using this method, injuries can be prevented and function improved (or restored).

Use the following exercises in your clients' current workout routines as part of a dynamic warm-up or, if a client is new to exercise, start with these to begin developing his or her stability and mobility, while also gently increasing heart rate. Have the client complete one to three sets of five to 10 repetitions of each.
(For more of a challenge and to strengthen the muscles of the feet, have your client perform all of these exercises without shoes.)

Foot Stability Stationary Runner

Stationary runners

With one foot grounded and the knee slightly flexed, move the body slowly through a running action while maintaining balance.

Ankle Mobility - Standing Plantar-/Dorsiflexion

ankle mobility

While standing, rock slowly from the toes to the heels, working the ankle through a full range of motion.

Knee Stability - Lunge Matrix

knee stability

knee stability

Perform lunges in a clockwise motion, moving from a traditional forward lunge to a diagonal lunge, lateral lunge, reverse lunge and crossover lunge. There is no need to go to great depths, because this exercise focuses on increasing the strength of the muscles and connective

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Fitnovatives Blog — Courtesy “American Council On Exercise” (ACEfitness.org)

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