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Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology position stand : the use of instability to train the core in athletic and nonathletic conditioning

journal contribution
posted on 2010-02-01, 00:00 authored by D G Behm, Eric DrinkwaterEric Drinkwater, J M Willardson, P M Cowley
The use of instability devices and exercises to train the core musculature is an essential feature of many training centres and programs. It was the intent of this position stand to provide recommendations regarding the role of instability in resistance training programs designed to train the core musculature. The core is defined as the axial skeleton and all soft tissues with a proximal attachment originating on the axial skeleton, regardless of whether the soft tissue terminates on the axial or appendicular skeleton. Core stability can be achieved with a combination of muscle activation and intra-abdominal pressure. Abdominal bracing has been shown to be more effective than abdominal hollowing in optimizing spinal stability. When similar exercises are performed, core and limb muscle activation are reported to be higher under unstable conditions than under stable conditions. However, core muscle activation that is similar to or higher than that achieved in unstable conditions can also be achieved with ground-based free-weight exercises, such as Olympic lifts, squats, and dead lifts. Since the addition of unstable bases to resistance exercises can decrease force, power, velocity, and range of motion, they are not recommended as the primary training mode for athletic conditioning. However, the high muscle activation with the use of lower loads associated with instability resistance training suggests they can play an important role within a periodized training schedule, in rehabilitation programs, and for nonathletic individuals who prefer not to use ground-based free weights to achieve musculoskeletal health benefits.

History

Journal

Applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism

Volume

35

Issue

1

Pagination

109 - 112

Publisher

NRC Research Press

Location

Ottawa, Ont.

ISSN

1715-5312

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, NRC Research Press