bosu

Unstable surface training has seen an uptick in popularity over the last 5 years or so, and has been touted as an effective way to develop athleticism. But is unstable surface training really a smart way to train? Maybe not.

What is Unstable Surface Training?

Unstable Surface Training (UST) consists of traditional strength exercises performed on a surface that is not hard or flat. Instead, UST utilizes implements like BOSU Balls, Airex pads, and Swiss balls. The reason why some trainers include UST in their clients’ programs is that it’s supposed to add a core stabilization component to traditional lifts like the bench press and squat. Basically, the body has to work harder to stabilize itself if the ground doesn’t provide stability.

"Unstable Training - It Makes Sense on Paper"

“Unstable Training – It Makes Sense on Paper”

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The Problem

There’s really no way to sugarcoat this, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it:  many strength and conditioning programs for girls aren’t very good. And this is a shame because it prevents many young women from fully realizing their athletic potential, potentially costing them college scholarships. For whatever reason, the majority of training programs for young women seems to be more oriented towards traditional “speed and agility” work, with less of an emphasis placed on overall strength and power training. So basically, lots of cones and ladders and TRX, and not a lot of squats and deadlifts. This is a mistake.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

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Check out my newest article published on Stack.com:

Best Exercises For Baseball Speed

Baseball Speed

As Mark Rippetoe points out in this T-Nation article, there is a big difference between Training and Exercising.  In a nutshell,  Training is the process of following a progressive program that is designed to increase an aspect of fitness over time. The aspect of fitness most often associated with training is strength, but people can train to improve power, speed, and endurance as well. In contrast, Exercising is what happens if your workouts don’t progress over time, or if you do randomized workouts with no attention paid to progression of key exercises, If your program isn’t planned with an emphasis on progression, you’re not Training. You’re Exercising. And you need to stop, because Exercising is bullshit.

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Check out my new article on T-Nation published on 9/17/2013.

In Defense of Deficit Deadlifts

tnation dead

 

And while you’re at it, check out my other articles on deadlifting:

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/5_deadlifting_mistakes_and_how_to_fix_them;jsessionid=6E85D629CC58D5AE8EB8878ECC8F11C3-mcd02.hydra

https://andrewsacksperformance.com/2013/07/04/2-assistance-exercises-to-improve-your-deadlift/

https://andrewsacksperformance.com/2013/05/25/deadlift-case-study-eliminating-the-butt-wink/

 

Although the sports world has largely accepted strength training as an effective way to improve sports performance, there are still a few hard headed old-schoolers who refuse to believe that increasing strength will improve athletic ability. This is a ridiculous notion. Baseball coaches seem to be the most reluctant group to acknowledge the benefits of strength training. Often, this is due to the incorrect beliefs that lifting weights will make you inflexible (it won’t), or hurt you (it won’t if you do it right). But some coaches simply don’t believe that weight lifting will improve any aspect of sporting performance, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask Bo Jackson.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask this weakling named Bo Jackson.

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 The Basics Of GPP

Many lifters and athletes make the mistake of only training the movements or lifts that specifically impact the unique demands of their sport. For instance, some powerlifters only perform deads, squats, and bench press, with assistance exercises designed to increase only those three lifts. And some athletes only perform exercises that are designed to increase their running speed, swing power, or whatever else their sport demands. This constant over-specialization is a mistake, and such lifters would do well to integrate GPP training into their programs.

General Physical Preparedness (or GPP) refers to the body’s ability to react and adapt to unfamiliar physical stimuli in any situation. By training to increase GPP, we improve our base level of strength and body control, which in turn can lead to improved performance on the field and in the weight room.

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