Stability or Instability?

Posted 07/2015 by Fitness Professor in BLOG

Stability (or instability) training has been around since the 1960’s (if not long before).  However, it is not until the late 90’s and earlier 2000’s that it began to increase in popularity amongst the fitness mainstream with the introduction of air-filled exercise balls and similar products.

As with any exercise, users of stability equipment must consider the overall benefit to risk ratio.  That is, unless you’re goal is to become a circus performer, there is a point where certain instability exercises and equipment may offer little difference to your health and fitness beyond a higher likelihood of injury.  For the average individual, the question they should ask themselves is; does this exercise offer a direct benefit or carry-over into their every day lives.  If the answer is no, we would suggest focusing your energy on a more practical exercise.

This is not to say that all stability equipment is bad.  Not at all.  However, over time our opinion and method of judging stability products has evolved to include three key factors;
1) how much movement is allowed ? (as more is not better)
2) is the amount of movement variable?
3) does the unit offer have a solid contact point or surface?

If the equipment offers too much movement (i.e.: bouncy / excessive rebound), does not allow for adjustment of said movement, and or the surface your body, foot or hand is in contact with is not a solid surface, FITPROF will simply will no longer recommend it.  Beyond the multiple studies that indicate these style of products may offer little to no tangible benefit (to improved performance), we simply cannot find a common sense application in ‘the real world’ where their use applies (outside of bouncy castles).

With that said, we have recently come across a product which is very close to our ‘ideal’ stability design; the StrongBoard.  The StrongBoard allows for variable movement, from minimal to maximal (depending on your position on the board) and offers a solid contact surface / platform.

As our blog posts are typically overviews (and not full product reviews), stay tuned for our full StrongBoard review this fall.  In the meantime, definitely give a StrongBoard a try!

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