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The Role of Instability Rehabilitative Resistance Training for the Core Musculature

Behm, David G PhD1; Drinkwater, Eric J PhD2; Willardson, Jeffrey M PhD3; Cowley, Patrick M PhD4

Strength & Conditioning Journal: June 2011 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - pp 72-81
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e318213af91
Article

NEUROMUSCULAR TRAINING OF THE SPINAL STABILIZING MUSCULATURE IS RELEVANT FOR LOWER BACK PAIN PREVENTION AND TREATMENT. INSTABILITY RESISTANCE EXERCISES PROMOTE COCONTRACTIONS, INCREASING JOINT STABILITY. OF GREATEST IMPORTANCE TO JOINT STABILITY IS NOT NECESSARILY STRENGTH OR ENDURANCE BUT MOTOR CONTROL. DYNAMIC PROVOCATIVE CALISTHENIC EXERCISES MAY IMPROVE CORE STABILIZING FUNCTIONS. HIGHER CORE MUSCLE ACTIVATION IS POSSIBLE WITH STABLE GROUND-BASED EXERCISES. PERFORMING RESISTANCE EXERCISES ON UNSTABLE SURFACES MAY HAVE BENEFITS IN JOINT INJURY PREVENTION AND IMPROVING BALANCE; HOWEVER, STRENGTH GAINS COULD BE COMPROMISED. HIGHER LEVELS OF DYNAMIC STABILIZATION MAY BE RECOMMENDED WITH REHABILITATION BUT SHOULD ONLY BE ONE COMPONENT OF A PERIODIZED PLAN.

1School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada; 2School of Human Movement Studies, Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia; 3Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois; and 4Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

David G. Behm is an associate director of the Graduate Studies and Research with the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Eric J. Drinkwater is a lecturer at the Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia.

Jeffrey M. Willardson is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies at the Eastern Illinois University.

Patrick M. Cowley is a doctoral student in the Department of Exercise Science at the Syracuse University.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association