Gray Cook: Motor Control and Stability and Prime Mover Training

In this clip, Gray Cook makes a clear statement: View stability with a strength mentality and you’ll miss the nuances of motor control, coordination and stability and go right into prime mover training.


Excerpted from: Gray Cook, Lee Burton & Alwyn Cosgrove – The Future of Exercise Program Design

Stability is instantaneous integrity in the presence of full range of motion.

A stiff shoulder isn’t stable. It may have never had a stability problem, but a stiff shoulder isn’t stable. A fully mobile shoulder that passes a stability test is stable.

One of the things we’ve started doing is pulling away from the word stability, because people treat stability problems like strength. Three sets of 10 won’t get your rotator cuff back and it won’t make your core fire better.

That’s what we do for strength; treating a stabilizer muscle like a muscle that needs to be stronger is an inappropriate way to consider this model.

Most of the stability that makes you do what you do, aligns your joints, creates dynamic posture and the perfect axis of rotation so your prime movers can fire occurs at about 20% of the maximal voluntary contraction. If you go into stability training with a boot camp mentality, you’re going to cover right over the nuance of motor control, coordination, synergy and stability, and you’re going to go right into prime mover training.

You’re going to bypass the alignment phase.
You’re going to bypass the centralization of the joint, the axis of rotation.
You’re going to bypass all of that, and with somewhat faulty mechanics . . .
You’re going to help people get stronger pecs, thighs, lats and glutes.

This will make that muscle stronger, but it may not have the effect on movement you were looking for.

For more clips from this OTP video:

The Future of Exercise Program Design

Gray Cook, Lee Burton & Alwyn Cosgrove – The Future of Exercise Program Design

For more on stability from Gray Cook:

Gray Cook

Expanding on the Joint-by-Joint Approach



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