In many fitness circles, including CrossFit, HIIT, and Yoga, instability training is popular. As the name implies, this is an instability of your exercise, usually with external devices. For example, you could use an unstable surface such as a Swiss ball or a Bosu ball, or notice your instability elsewhere using equipment such as suspension trainer. The training is used to enhance performance, rehabilitation, and overall musculoskeletal health. The idea is to strengthen the core and core muscles. In certain cases, it can also be used for sports-specific training to prepare athletes who compete on unstable surfaces such as sand. Instability exercises can be of a bodyweight nature ̵
But what does science say? One study found that exercises performed under unstable conditions increased core muscle activation by an average of 47.3 percent. A stronger core will help you with long-term exercises such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses.
That is, you should not combine instability training with strength training. With these movements, an unstable base will rob the legs and chest of their full potential, which will adversely affect the increase in strength. And if you're not careful, this unstable basis can lead to injury – from literally falling down a wobbly platform to tightening your muscles while trying to keep your balance.
Extensions on a Physioball resulted in a force drop of 70.5 percent compared to performing the same exercise on a stable bench, and quadriceps activation decreased by 40.3 percent. So it's a give and take scenario. If performance is your goal, a stable ground is still king – no one wins a powerlifting competition standing on a ball.
Where instability training really shines is prevention and rehabilitation. David Behm, Ph.D., of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, writes: "The prevention of back pain and, in some cases, injuries to the limbs and joints may be due to the ability of the core muscles to anticipate and respond to movements that stabilize the vertebral system , "Thus, training on an unstable surface that has been shown to improve nuclear performance can help prevent joint and lower back injuries. And not only your core can benefit from such training.
A study by Stanford Health Care and Columbia University looked at how balance training affects the frequency of ankle sprains in athletes. Instability was achieved by standing on one leg instead of two or by balancing on an unstable surface. Athletes performing balance training suffered less ankle sprains and reduced their risk by 46 percent over the control group during the study period.
So should you expand your current regime to include instability training? It depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to strengthen your core – and why not? -, then try it. However, stick to a stable ground to increase strength and power.