What makes a hummingbird such a good flyer? It’s the fact that they can flap their wings faster than any other bird on Earth. Hummingbirds can flap their wings up to 80 times per second. Yes, 80 times per second, that was not a typo. 

It’s similar to how a stabilizer muscle works. Stabilizer muscles are like hummingbirds. In the sense that, what makes a good stabilizer muscle is how fast that muscle fires off repeatedly. Just like hummingbirds are great flyers because of how fast they flap their wings. So the faster your stabilizer muscles fire off, or the less time inbetween muscular contractions, the stronger and more effective that stabilizer muscle becomes. 

Also the effects of the speed of both the hummingbird and the stabilizer muscles are similar. Both result in the body remaining still, or at least under control while in motion. Hummingbirds wings flap so fast they can fly in place without moving anything besides their wings. Humans can balance perfectly still (there are other examples, because stabilizer muscles are all over the body) and motionless, except for the stabilizer muscles contracting at an extremely rapid rate underneath the skin, allowing the body to remain perfectly still to the naked eye. 

The biggest stabilizer muscle in the body is the Glute Medius, which is located on the sides of your butt cheeks. The way I see most trainers and physical therapists attempt to strengthen this muscle, is to do lifts with bands or weights. But there is one major problem with that……

That goes against how stabilizer muscles work! If I was to train a hummingbird to make its wings flap even faster and make it an even better flyer, the last thing I would want to do is add weight to its flapping motion and tell him to do 10-20 reps. Working out the hummingbird that way will actually make it a worse flyer! It will add bulk to his frame and, more importantly, teach his muscles to fire off at a slower pace, which would make the hummingbird a less effective flyer! And most likely take away its ability to fly in place. 

It’s the same with stabilizer muscles. Working out the glute medius and other stabilizer muscles with lifting exercises causes the muscle to fire off slower than it had before. This leads to the muscle being less effective in its main role, which is balancing and communicating with neighboring muscles in that area.

There are stabilizer muscles all over the body, especially around all of your joints. They need to be exercised with balance and stabilization training; which is yet another reason why working out with machines, ain’t where it’s at.

Do you want to feel better and move better? Add more balance and stabilization training to your practice. The more your body communicates, the less tension/knots you will have, and the better you will feel.