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The Importance Of Lateral Stability In Athletes

The Importance Of Lateral Stability In Athletes

Athletes are expected to be mechanically efficient in order to execute outstanding performances in their chosen field of sport. Sufficing this expectation successfully, an athlete requires lateral stability. In this context, lateral stability refers to an ability that lets an athlete utilize strength and full endurance in the most effective manner.

To be extremely efficient, an athlete needs lateral stability and core strength, making them a spectacular combination for an athlete to succeed.

Importance of Lateral Stability in Athletes

If you happen to get a chance to meet a Physiologist or a Physiotherapist, you will know that one of the commonest concerns found among the athlete community is lateral trunk stability. Poor trunk stability will cause poor power transfer. For an athlete, a healthy and able torso is imperative, leading to injury risk if proper care is not taken. When the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex isn’t stable, all the peripheral muscles will demand forceful contractions to produce power, which will inevitably cause muscular injuries.

Did you know that lower back pain is the most common complaint in athletes? 30% of college football players complain of lumbar pain. This particular pain is caused due to instability in the spine and/or pelvis. That is why lateral stability should be maintained by all the athletes.

You don’t have to know human anatomy in detail to maintain lateral stability and core strength; however, you do need to know that some muscles such as the obliques, gluteus medius, and quadrates lumborum play a pivotal role in providing lateral stability to your torso. These particular muscles are vital in stabilizing the trunk, and should be adequately trained with correct exercises in order to develop powerful muscles such as hamstrings and quadriceps.

Preventive Measures

Due to frequent running and jumping, athletes are surely at more risk of developing injuries. However, employing evidence-based tips is highly recommended in order to prevent lateral instability. Of course, your workout does play a significant role in preventing this form of instability. Make sure you include stretching and strengthening exercises in your daily workout schedule.

In addition to these exercises, an interesting method has emerged to get a perspective on an athlete’s lateral stability. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is developed as an injury risk screening tool. Few of the studies have proven that athletes who score below 14 in their FMS are more at risk for developing injuries. The best way to improve an athlete’s FMS score is by incorporating an exercise program that focuses on mobility and lateral stability.

An athlete needs to inculcate a balanced approach toward overall muscular strength and stability.

An athlete should do everything possible to make him or her a successful and healthy athlete. An athlete who is stronger, sharper, cleaner, and with lateral stability is likely to execute more energy. Besides employing preventive measures, an athlete must also maintain a good care of their bodies by showering daily with the best antifungal body wash. Personal hygiene too is profoundly significant in ensuring success in an athlete’s profession.


Hodges PW; “Core stability exercise in chronic low back pain”; Orthopedic Clinics of North America, 2003; viewed on 19th March 2016.

McCriskin B, Cameron K, Orr J, Waterman B; “Management and prevention of acute and chronic lateral ankle instability in athletic patient population”; World Journal of Orthopedics, 2015; viewed on 19th March 2016.

Author Bio:
Evie Dawson is a fitness coach and health writer based in Boston, MA. Her passion is to encourage others to rediscover their lifestyle and get inspired for organic living.

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