Training on Unstable Surfaces

Posted by Annee on 12:31 pm and is Filed under Athlete Development, Coach Training, Education, Fitness Training, News, Publications, Research.

Norwood, J., G.S. Anderson, M. Gaetz, and P. Twist. Electromyographic activity of trunk stabilizers during stable and unstable bench press. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 21(2): 343-347, 2007.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of instability training in the recruitment of core stabilizing muscles during dynamic multijoint movement. Surface electromyography (EMG) was measured from 6 muscles (latissimus dorsi, rectus abdominus, internal obliques, erector spinae, and soleus) while subjects performed a 9.1-kg bench press on stable and unstable surfaces. There were 4 exercises in total: (a) stable surfaces for shoulders and feet, (b) upper-body instability, (c) lower-body instability, and (d) dual instability. Five seconds of EMG were recorded during each bench press and were subsequently smoothed with root mean squares calculated for the entire time-series. A repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test overall differences between exercise conditions for each muscle. Paired equal variance t-tests with a stepwise Bonferroni correction for multiple contrasts were performed for muscles with significant repeated-measures ANOVA results. The results show significant increases in EMG with increasing instability. Specifically, the dual instability bench press resulted in the greatest mean muscle activation of the 3 stability conditions, with single instability conditions being significantly greater than the stable condition. This pattern of results is consistent with the position that performing the bench press in a progressively unstable environment may be an effective method to increase activation of the core stabilizing musculature, while the upper- and lower-body stabilizers can be activated differentially depending on the mode of instability.

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