The notion that doing crunches and arm curls while positioned on a stability ball (or another unstable object) will develop balance and core stability that transfers well to the real world is ludicrous. Last time we checked, the surfaces we stand on are typically solid and stable. The objects we hold onto while moving through space, however, are more likely to have some form of unstablility to them.

In our minds, functional balance and core stability is best developed by acting as a solid bridge between an object supported by our body and the ground beneath us. A camping trip or cleaning out the garage provides numerous real-world examples of moving unstable objects while traveling over solid surfaces. Think about carrying a canoe overhead or moving a box full of antifreeze bottles.

In the gym, one of the means of both challenging and developing functional balance and core stability is the overhead squat. No amout of moderate weight dumbbell presses performed while standing on an overgrown beach ball can ever compare to performing a deep squat while supporting half of our bodyweight overhead. Indeed, some of our athletes are able to perform overhead squat with more than their bodyweight overhead. We challenge any stability ball advocate to make the same claim.

View original post by CrossFit Toronto


Dawson said...

I totally agree with this article. When I first started training at the gym I had a trainer (which was good to get the basics) but he swore on doing exercises on a stability ball. My balalnce never really changed and I felt that my form was being compromised in order to compensate for trying to stay on the ball.

After doing crossfit for 16 months I have noticed that my balance has improved. It was most noticeable when I was snowboarding this past winter. I was more comfortable and strong with my core. Doing the overhead squat was quite intimidating at first because I was afraid of dropping the weight on my head. And, as a paramedic, thinking of all the nasty consequences of such an inury. But the days following my first OHS WOD, I really felt it in the muscles of my core (and legs too). Now OHS is a part of my warm-up. It's a great way to get a number of muscles firing at the same time.

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