Stability vs. Mobility

26 Aug

This is going to be a relatively short post. I got this from Mike Robertson‘s webinar on assessments in the “boot camp” environment. It’s a quick little comparison that helps you understand where you need to be mobile vs. stable as you move up and down the kinetic chain.

Let’s give a few definitions:

Kinetic Chain:

Kinetic means force or forces. A chain is a series or system of things linked together. The Kinetic Chain in regards to human movement refers to the Nervous System, Muscular System and Skeletal System. These three systems of the human body control movement. The nervous system controls the movement of skeletal muscle which in turn moves your bones. As with all chains, you’re limited by your weakest link. If one system is affected it affects the other two and in turn affects how you move.


1. the quality, state, or degree of being stable: as

a : the strength to stand or endureĀ 

b : the property of a body that causes it when disturbed from a condition of equilibrium or steady motion to develop forces or moments that restore the original condition

I think it’s important to look at the formal definition when trying to understand how it applies to the human body, especially the case here (i.e. “b”)

Mobile (Mobility):

1a. capable of moving or being moved.

When we look at the kinetic chain in terms of mobility and stability here is what we find:

Joint : Need

Ankle: Mobility

Knee: Stability

Hip: Mobility

Lower Spine: Stability

Thoracic Spine : Mobility

Scapula: Mobility / Stability

Gleno – Humeral (Shoulder Joint) : Mobility

It’s pretty neat how the need for mobility or stability flip flops through the chain.

Take this into consideration when you plan your training and program / assess your clients.

For a great product on doing just that, check out Mike’s “Assess and Correct” DVD that he has put together with Eric Cressey and Bill Hartman. It’s worth every penny and can be found here:

Assess and Correct

Happy and Smarter Training!


2 Responses to “Stability vs. Mobility”

  1. Hanna Golom August 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi Greg. You’re articles on here are outstanding. I’m currently studying to get my personal trainers certifications, and I was wondering if you knew any good websites that help out? I’m having trouble with calorie count for an individual, such as how do you figure out how many calories one should be taking in each day. I’d really appreciate your help. I’ve always been involved in fitness and i’m so eager to get my career going!!

    Hanna Golom

    • gregtrainer August 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

      Hi Hanna,

      Thanks for reading. I will post up the answer for that in the coming week for you to use.


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