T Nation

Functional Swiss Ball Training


whats with these people performing squats,bicep curls,shoulder press on bosu and swiss balls??where did this idea start from? 'hmmm....i think if i balance on a swiss ball and perform bicep curls using 5 kg dumbbells i think i will be a much more functional athlete!!"...even performing plyo pushups with feet on a swiss ball...ok ok i know that swiss ball push ups are ok as a core exercise but why mix it with power training??


the s&c industry is full of shit, that's why.


I'm not kidding when I say i read this thread as "Fictional Swiss Ball Training"


Here's the ironic thing. At my rec cen, I've been reprimanded for doing T-bar rows, because it's a "misuse" of equipment and for doing deadlifts without the fuckin' sleeves on the end to keep the plates from sliding around. Yet I NEVER see them saying anything to the guys who pull this shit on unstable surface...often hovering over a bunch of people doing abs. I can't wrap my mind around it.


One time at a gym here in Taiwan I got on the treadmill to run and one of the employees came over and she seemed very sad and apologetic and asked me to please attach the emergency stop string to my shirt. I refused, but she did a little bow and asked again. So I got off all pissy and walked away.


that would be a bitch of a time taking the collars off and putting them on each set on the deadlifts


come on! everyone knows the best trainer is the one who gives their clients the most complicated and creative exercises. And if the trainee doesn't get results its clearly their fault because they didnt train with them 3 times a week like they suggested...


when i was unemployed and toyed with the idea of foraying into the world of personal training, i downloaded and read through the NASM (national association of sports medicine) training manual, just to see what their take on everything was.

their main argument for instability training is that it increases proprioception and makes the body more "functional".

i think the real reason is that it helps trainers possess a greater wealth of special expertise (i.e. knowledge of 'exercises') without having to learn the biomechanics of the more basic compound movements. also, while the compound movements may have a stigma of making you 'bulky' or a 'meathead', all that instability bullshit plays into the 'high reps for toning' misconception.

in a first session, a trainer can come up with some ridiculous 'core and stability' exercises, which will be difficult for the client, even with a light weight. then the trainer, who at a commercial gym is generally a beginner in their own training, can demonstrate flawless 'form' in the kneeling swiss ball curl, or any other balancing act.

the most unstable i'll get is bulgarian split squats or db bench on a ball, otherwise, i'll get my proprioception from squats, deads, olympic lifts and pressing


it probably helps create what the majority would see as a 'non-threatening' environment of people struggling to maintain balance with light weights rather than grunting their way through sets with heavier weights, too.