The use of instability to train the core musculature

Behm, David G., Drinkwater, Eric J., Willardson, Jeffrey M. and Cowley, Patrick M. 2010, The use of instability to train the core musculature, Applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 91-108, doi: 10.1139/H09-127.

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Title The use of instability to train the core musculature
Author(s) Behm, David G.
Drinkwater, Eric J.ORCID iD for Drinkwater, Eric J.
Willardson, Jeffrey M.
Cowley, Patrick M.
Journal name Applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism
Volume number 35
Issue number 1
Start page 91
End page 108
Total pages 18
Publisher NRC Research Press
Place of publication Ottawa, Ont.
Publication date 2010-02
ISSN 1715-5312
Keyword(s) trunk muscles
resistance training
strength training
Summary Training of the trunk or core muscles for enhanced health, rehabilitation, and athletic performance has received renewed emphasis. Instability resistance exercises have become a popular means of training the core and improving balance. Whether instability resistance training is as, more, or less effective than traditional ground-based resistance training is not fully resolved. The purpose of this review is to address the effectiveness of instability resistance training for athletic, nonathletic, and rehabilitation conditioning. The anatomical core is defined as the axial skeleton and all soft tissues with a proximal attachment on the axial skeleton. Spinal stability is an interaction of passive and active muscle and neural subsystems. 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, and as alternative exercises for the recreationally active individual with less interest or access to ground-based free-weight exercises. Based on the relatively high proportion of type I fibers, the core musculature might respond well to multiple sets with high repetitions (e.g., >15 per set); however, a particular sport may necessitate fewer repetitions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1139/H09-127
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, NRC Research Press
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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