Top Stability Exercise for Athletes = Stir the Pot

This core exercise is perfect for all athlete types.

It’s going to engage your mid section and really fire the deep abdominal muscles to help you stay in that plank position.

The reason this exercise is better than the traditional plank is because as you “stir the pot” and you arms move away from your body, you’ll have to call upon more muscle fibers to engage and help you keep the flat back and neutral spine.

The Set Up

Setting up for Stir the Pot is pretty simple.

You’ll want to use a yoga ball that’s about 55 to 65cm in diameter. This is the perfect size for most athletes and will allow you to really concentrate on “stirring the pot”.

So to begin, you’ll want to lay your forearms on the yoga ball just like if you were about to do a plank.

If you’ve never performed this exercise, start with your feet shoulder width apart or a bit wider.

The closer you bring your feet in, the harder this exercise will become. So start with your feet wide and slowly progress to bringing them in closer to each other.

Once you’re in the correct position (plank position), with your whole body being aligned; from the top of your head, down to your butt.

You’ll want to make sure you keep that neutral spine. You don’t want to pike your butt up or sag it down. This takes out ALL the core stability we’re trying to develop.

Once you’re in the plank position on the yoga ball, you’re going to want to start actually “stirring the pot”

A cue that helps every athlete picture this is, to draw your knuckles underneath your chin and around the top of your head.

So you’re making a complete circle around your face every single rep.

If you want to make this exercise harder, all you’d have to do is create bigger circles. The further you get away from your center of mass, the harder and more challenging this stability exercise becomes.

Sets and Rep Scheme

Keeping the parameters (sets and reps) of this exercise in the low rep range is of most importance.

You don’t want to fatigue your core, but rather fire and engage each and every motor unit within your abdominal section.

Strengthening it with every rep.

Sticking to 20 total reps per set is the way to go.

10 reps stirring the pot towards the left and 10 reps stirring the pot towards the right will do the trick.

Perform this for 3-4 sets and you’re good to go.

Progression

When it comes to making “Stir the Pot” harder for yourself, there’s 2 different ways you can go about doing this.

The first one, I mentioned above.

Bringing your feet closer together will decrease how much surface area you’re spread out over. This will cause you to have to engage your core more in order to keep balance.

The second progression is putting your feet on a chair.

By completely taking your feet off the ground, you’re losing proprioception, which makes¬† balancing a lot harder; plus adding the fact that you’re more horizontal, increases the amount of gravity weighing you down.

Hope you guys were able to get a better understanding of one of the top core stability exercises any athlete can do.

If you’re an athlete looking to build full body stability and balance give this exercise a shot and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Holler,


Chris Barnard
Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard is a strength and conditioning coach at Strength Camp, a hardcore athlete training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as author of multiple performance programs. He has worked with athletes at all levels and from many different sports to produce the highest level of performance in each. He currently resides in St Petersburg, Florida and continues to pursuit breakthroughs in athletic performance.