T Nation

Prime Mvrs & Instability Exercises

I was reading an interview between a T-Nation author and Joe DeFranco.

DeFranco stated that doing too much instability work, such as dumb bell presses of a swiss ball, will actually make the prime movers weaker…

I like to do weighted pushups and dips on my rings, but I always do military press and other prime mover exercises…the rings are the only instable exercises.

Will I still make strength gains doing this? I haven’t really been at it long enough…Ive been adjusting my home made rings, and now they are at their most unstable…so it is difficult to tell.

I could do dips between my washer and dryer and test…but I would like to know what you guys think.

I agree with DeFranco but I think the key word is “too much”. It sounds like your personal program does not have an overload of unstable stuff in it, and just an opinion but I think the rings function a little differently than a physio ball. For example I have a hard time believing that doing dips on the rings could hurt my dip or bench strength, but I definitely believe that too much stuff on a ball (or with cables or other “functional” stuff) could decrease my bench.

In my opinion people get confused and don’t realize that in general you want to make yourself as stable as possible and lift as much weight as possible to really target the muscle, particularly the prime mover, not the other way around. So as long as you have one or two key movements that fit the bill in your program for the agonist, which it sounds like you do, then you should be good to go.