Stability, Strength, then Power

By Vince Catteruccia, MSc, FAAPM, NASM-PES, NMT


What you should know about your training

with or without a trainer.

The following is a progressive list that your should expect to follow with your training. You cannot have strength before your joints are stabile and you cannot have power (ability to walk up stairs with your groceries without being open to injury) without strength and stability.

Stability before Strength, Stability and Strength before Power

Building the ultimate stabilization system follows a five-stage process that ensures a foundation for eventual strength, speed and power training. It is emphasized that these are only a few examples that may or may not be suitable for an individual. Generally, rehabilitation approaches focus on Stages 1 to 3. Performance objectives include Stages 4 and 5.

McGill SM. Childs A. Liebenson C. Endurance times for stabilization exercise: Clinical targets for testing and training from a normal database. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1999: 80:941-944

Stage 1. Groove motion patterns, motor patterns

1. Basic movement patterns through to complex activity specific patterns

2. Basic balance challenges through to complex balance specific environments

Stage 2. Build whole body and joint stability

1. Build stability while sparing the joints

2. Ensure sufficient stability commensurate for the demands of the task

Stage 3. Increase endurance

1. Basic endurance training to build the foundation for eventual strength

2. Activity specific endurance (duration, intensity)

Stage 4. Build strength

1. Spare the joints while maximizing neuromuscular compartment challenge

2. Speed strength and multi-joint functional strength

3. Optimal timing and “steering” of strength

Stage 5. Develop speed, power, and agility

1. Develop ultimate performance with the foundation laid in Stages 1 to 4

2. Incorporate the concepts of stiffness or total muscle tone as described by Simons & Mense.

3. Simons DG, Mense S: Understanding and Measurement of Muscle Tone as Related to Clinical

Muscle Pain. Pain. 75(1): 1-17, 1998


For questions contact Vince with Integrated Rehabilitation Consulting Services LLC @