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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010 Feb;35(1):109-12. doi: 10.1139/H09-128.

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

Author information

1
School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1C 5S7, Canada. dbehm@mun.ca

Abstract

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.

PMID:
20130673
DOI:
10.1139/H09-128
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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