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The Academie > Medical Information > Exercise > Stabilizer Muscles

Stabilizer Muscles

Stabilizer muscles keep your body steady so that the bigger mobilizer muscles can lift, pull or help you do things like walking or climbing. When the stabilizer muscles are weak, the bigger muscles try to do this job, resulting in back, shoulder or hip pain. Exercises to strengthen these muscles are isometric (that is, nothing looks like its moving to anyone watching you.)

Midsection Stablizers

The tranversus over your abdomen and multifidus across the back stabilize the individual spinal segments. When these are weak, back pain is likely. The transversus abdominus muscles of the lower tummy and the multifidus muscles of the lumbar spine act together to form a kind of 'corset'. The Quadratus Lumborum is a rectangular muscle which attaches to the lowest rib, the sides of the vertebrae in the lower back, and the top of the pelvis. lts job is to raise the hip, but it also coordinates movements between the upper and lower halves of the body making sure that the movements of one do not interfere with the movements of the other.

Tranversus Abdominis
is the deepest layer of the abdominal wall. It supports and protects the abdomen while coughing, sneezing, singing, heavy lifting. The transversus also acts as a girdle to compress and flatten the abdominal wall. See Strengthening Exercise
Spans the length of your back, connecting neck, ribs, midsection and sacrum (lowest part of back). It stabilizes each vertabrae in your spine.
Quadratus Lumborum
is a deep spinal muscle. Although this is the primary muscle you use when doing side bends - the side bend is NOT the exercise to strengthen this muscle as a stablizer - in fact you are more likely to hurt yourself doing side bends when this muscle is weak.

Transversus abdominis
Quadratus Lumborum

All muscles individually

Hip Stabilizers

Both hips need to be balanced and stable for walking, running or climbing. The gluteus medius muscle is the stabilizer of the hip joint. When weak it causes knee pain.potential power of quadriceps.
Gluteus medius
Steadies pelvis so it does not sag when opposite side is not supported with leg. This muscle is critical when you carry weight, such as in a backpack.
Gluteus Medius

Shoulder Stabilizers

There are a series of muscle groups that help support the shoulders, arms and neck.
Lower trapezius muscle
The Lower Trapezius muscle controls the position of the shoulder blade, protecting the rotator cuff. When this muscle is used, it can also reduce the tension in the upper trapizius - which often causes neck pain and tension.

Trapezius Muscle Group

Specific exercises

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Last edited October 24, 2009 (history)

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