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Ideas for Athletes & Coaches Preparing for Real Competition


Exercises using swiss balls and other gym training tools like dura discs and wobble boards are frequently prescribed to help train the core muscles. This instability training is often viewed as a great way to enhance core strength.

However, a recent review of the research by Behm et al. 2010 (Appl. Physiol. Metab. Nutr. 35(1): 91-108) identified that while instability training can increase core muscle activation, it may not be the best choice in all situations. Unstable training can reduce overall muscular power output, which may have important implications if the goal of a given training program is to maximize the output or physiological stress on a given muscle, as is the case in certain types of athletic training.

The authors are not against unstable training, saying that "Training programs must prepare athletes for a wide variety of postures and external forces, and should include exercises with a destabilizing component."

"While unstable devices have been shown to be effective in decreasing the incidence of low back pain and increasing the sensory efficiency of soft tissues, they are not recommended as the primary exercises for hypertrophy, absolute strength, or power, especially in trained athletes."

"For athletes, ground-based free-weight exercises with moderate levels of instability should form the foundation of exercises to train the core musculature. Instability resistance exercises can play an important role in periodization and rehabilitation."

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Category : Sport-General / Sports Injury / Training Programs / Weight Training


Susan Schmidt December 3, 2010

I am a Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis instructor . I have seen a huge improvement in stability, flexibility, balance and strength using these modalities for teens to people in their 90’s. I worked with a physical therapy group rehabbing injuries and body deformities. I would be interested if you have used any of these.
I just moved from Tucson to Kentucky and have not completed my new web site

Glenn April 29, 2011

Great post. I used many of these items during my own rehabilitation. Well timed, too, as I have to keep reminding myself to work this area lately when time is short. Whether it’s your body or sports team, you can always point to a strong core when the goal is achieved.

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