Humans have the ability to become and remain stable throughout any movement, from walking, to lunges, to power cleans. Increased stability typically correlates with increased performance.
There are countless methods, tools, and tricks of the trade to find and keep stability, and one that I think provides so many benefits at any level of fitness is the marching pattern. No, that is not a typo; marching is exactly what I mean. You know, that movement you see members of the band doing at halftime. Marching, at its core (I meant to do that), creates stability just when you get into the marching position. Then you can increase the results by changing your body position and adding load to make it a hugely effective exercise for increasing stability.
There are many reasons why you should try marching:
- It’s a fundamental movement that can be done at any age.
- Marching can serve as a lead-up to so many more advanced movements.
- It creates stability on both sides of the body (hip flexors and glutes).
- Marching develops balance while increasing core stability.
- The exercise helps the aging athlete avoid shuffling when walking, which can lead to falls.
- It helps increase performance in single-leg movements.
Videos of Exercises
Here are videos of some marching-based exercises you can do:
- Bridge marching
- Resisted bridge marching
- Sandbag bridge marching
- Airex pad marching
- KB Standing marching suitcase, racked, overhead
- Miniband resisted marching
- Sandbag rotation marching
Stability equals strength, and we can all stand to be stronger in the movement patterns that are huge parts of our lives outside of the gym. Add marching to your program to be "life strong,” and enjoy moving for a lifetime.
This blog was written by Tony Maloney, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.