Sports Performance

Why Mobility and Stability Training Is Important for Olympians

Posted February 21, 2018

As we watch the ongoing Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, we marvel at the athleticism of the athletes as they perform their sport at the highest level. One of the aspects you may have noticed is that many of the sports in the Winter Games are highly demanding on the body, involving jumps from great heights, landing on uneven or unstable surfaces, and maintaining good balance in unusual positions.

When we watch our favorite athletes perform events such as the half-pipe, aerial skiing or freestyle skiing moguls, it’s obvious that their ankle and knee joints bear the brunt of a lot of stress and impact. But the reason they are able to perform such high-impact movements is because of the extensive mobility and stability training they do in the gym. Take, for example, the ankle joint. The more mobile the ankle, the better an athlete is able to absorb impact from a jump and reduce the shock on the knees. Performing exercises that increase ankle mobility, flexibility and range of motion is also key for squat patterns, so the athlete can load the body properly with sound technique, thus developing better leg strength without risk for injury or pain.

The more mobile the ankle, the better an athlete is able to absorb impact from a jump and reduce the shock on the knees.

Moving up the chain in the body, the knee joint is trained for stability, so single-leg balance work becomes a key element to a training program. Figure skaters, for example, spend a lot of time jumping, landing, skating and spinning on one leg, so balance training is essential. Single-leg exercises help strengthen and stabilize the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the knee joint, reducing any chance of musculoskeletal injury.

The knee joint is trained for stability, so single-leg balance work becomes a key element to a training program.

At Athlete Training and Health, both Forever Athletes and Amateur Athletes receive similar balance, mobility and stability work in their daily training. Not only is it important for developing better squat patterns and improving balance, but it also reduces risk of injury or pain both in the gym and in our daily movements. Whether you realize it or not, many aspects of your training are quite similar to those of the Olympians you see at the Winter Games!

Our performance coaches at Athlete Training and Health have the knowledge and experience to help you reach your potential. Stop by and tour any of our three world-class training centers and talk to one of our performance consultants about a free evaluation, so you can start improving your core strength!