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"Myth: Unstable-surface training works for everybody.&q

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:38 am
by Kenny Croxdale
Here some more information on on INEFFECTIVE stability training is for health individuals.

Kenny Croxdale

Myth: Unstable-surface training works for everybody.
Mythbuster: Eric Cressey ... ters_vol_1

While UST works for people in the rehab setting, a lot of trainers assume they can apply the same techniques to healthy athletes and prevent ankle sprains, improve balance, and enhance performance.

This makes perfect sense. We talk about "prehab" all the time when it comes to back and shoulder joints, so why wouldn't preemptive ankle training help you avoid sprains?

But then I dug into the research for my master's thesis, and what I found there surprised me: There's no evidence that UST reduces injury risk or improves performance in healthy, trained athletes.

When I conducted a study of my own, I had the good fortune to use one of the country's best Division I men's soccer teams as my subjects. Our results were published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in August 2007.

My study showed that replacing 2 to 3 percent of overall training volume with UST didn't improve performance. But I also discovered something even more important: UST minimized improvements in jumping, sprinting, and agility tests. Put another way, the subjects who WERE NOT doing UST made bigger gains in power, speed, and agility.

So just because something works in rehab doesn't mean it's useful for healthy athletes. In fact, if it takes the place of something else in their training, the opportunity cost seems to make things worse.