Stability Before Strength: Optimized

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Stability Before Strength Training is knowing when and how to apply to build a complete health and fitness program. First, let’s start with understanding the definition for each.

Stability Training: The main focus of this form of training is to increase muscular endurance and stability while developing optimal communication between one’s nervous system and muscular system (neuromuscular efficiency). The goal is to increase the client’s ability to stabilize their joints and posture.

Strength Training: This type of training focuses on the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction that produces strength.

Knowing When To Use

The definitions above are clearly different. Knowing when to use them is essential to maintaining optimal health and fitness over your lifetime.

Typically, you want to use Stability Training before you start any Strength Training program. The idea simply is that you must have a stable base before you can have strength. I begin most, if not all my clients in a 4-6 week stability training routine before we embark on a strength training program. Completing the phase successfully gives me and the client confidence that he/she will be able to perform the strength exercises with good form and stability to prevent injury and maximize gains.

Examples of Stability Exercises:

  • Plank: The plank is a great way to add total body stability, especially the core muscles

.stability ball plank steve jordan stability vs. strength

  • Stability Ball Chest Presses: Stability ball chest presses are a great way to add total body stability while performing this classic movement.

stability-chest-press-steve jordan stability vs. strength

Examples of Strength Exercises:

  • Deadlift: Is one of my top 5 favorite exercises to promote strength throughout your whole body. See my Instagram on stevejordanfitness to learn about the 13 reasons why.

deadlift steve jordan stability vs. strength

  • Push Up: Another one of my top 5 favorite exercises that will promote total body strength that can be done anywhere.

push up steve jordan stability vs. strength


Being creative and patient during these phases of training is essential. There are countless ways to make exercises applicable for stability or strength training.  Here are a few examples for each that I use with my clients.

Ways to increase instability:

  • staggered stance
  • 1 leg
  • ball
  • balance board
  • eyes closed

Ways to increase strength:

  • resistance
  • tempo (speed)
  • increase sets
  • reduce or increase rest between sets

Have fun with this and just remember the simple rule of Stability before Strength and you will optimize your health and fitness for life.

Your health and fitness coach,

Steve Jordan


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