Stability and Weightlifting—Mechanics of Stabilization—Part 1

by Richard A. Ulm, DC, MS, CSCS,*D
NSCA Coach January 2016
Vol 4, Issue 3


This article covers the anatomy and mechanics of spinal stabilization and how to properly brace for both maximal and sub-maximal lifts. Because of the forces that are generated by, and transmitted through, the body during resistance training, having a sound understanding of stabilization is paramount for safe and effective training.

Trunk stabilization or “core” stability is a topic discussed by virtually everyone in strength and conditioning, and yet much confusion still exists about the pervasive topic. Spinal stability is important, but the exact mechanics and anatomy of stabilization are more often glossed over and referenced in obscurity than discussed in detail. Given the importance and pervasiveness of spinal stability in sports and training, a sound understanding of the detailed mechanics and anatomy of stability are paramount to effective training. In this article, part one of a four-part series, the focus will be on providing a detailed analysis of the mechanics and anatomy of stabilization. In the subsequent three articles, the focus will shift to clarifying aspects of spinal stability as they pertain to function, training, and weightlifting.

This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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Richard A. Ulm, DC, MS, CSCS

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Dr. Ulm is a former national level athlete and collegiate strength coach who, for the last decade, has been working in the medical field as a chiropra ...

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