Weight Loss Tips

Don’t Work Your Abs on a Swiss Ball! Here’s why…

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Exercise-Ball-440x472Instability training has been extremely popular with power athletes for more than 10 years.

The theory behind the method is that training on unstable surfaces such as Swiss balls and balance cushions forces muscles to stabilize the body to perform the exercise, which requires additional muscle activation.

Few studies support this.

A Norwegian study measured muscle activation in the upper body and core muscles during a 6-rep maximum bench press performed on stable and unstable surfaces.

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Muscle activation when training on unstable surfaces, as measured by electromyography, was lower for every muscle group.

In fact, activation of abdominal muscles was more than 30 percent less when training on the Swiss ball or balance cushion than on stable surface.

Instability training is less effective than traditional training for building strength in prime movers or trunk-stabilizing muscle groups.  (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 27. 1101-1107. 2013)

Source:  FitnessRx

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  1. Princess Blubee Transformation

    January 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    The exercise you actually complete is 100% more effective than not doing any exercise at all.

  2. Jene' Barker

    January 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Nothing beats a good plank!!

  3. Lynette KittysReveng Neptune-Harried

    January 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I kind of noticed this while working out myself. I haven’t done any ab work on a ball for a long time.

  4. Marie Francis

    January 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I still prefer sit ups on the ball…nicer for the back muscles and good for stretching out the ab. muscles after the sit ups.

  5. Victoria Kodak

    January 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    30% less effective, but 70% more fun!

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