Have you ever seen one of those rather odd-looking boards with a ball in the middle at the gym? You wonder if they actually work and for what exactly. These instability devices are supposed to be very effective at working our core muscles. Core workouts strengthen the spine, shoulders and pelvis areas. Strong core muscles help everything from posture to bad backs. Supposedly by using a device that keeps you off-balance, you engage the core muscles more frequently. So what’s the real deal? A recent study found that instability exercises that work your core are very good workouts for amateur athletes and those recovering from injuries, but traditional stability exercises are probably still the most effective for professional athletes, building more power and strength.
There are many different ways to build your core using instability such as use of an exercise ball, an instability board or just using your body, for example a side plank position. Other ways to build core strength are through Pilates, yoga and dance. But remember though these exercises are good for flexibility and strength and building muscle they are not all cardio workouts (with the exception of dance), which your body needs as well.
Instability training is a valid way to strengthen your core muscles, especially if you are recuperating or just starting to get into exercising.
If this unique twist on strength training keeps things interesting, then by all means, go off balance!