Stability training

Well, it looks like Ian King weighed in this week on the controversy of stability/balance training. See this week’s Heavy Metal column at T-mag. I think he summed it up very well: not useless, but perhaps overrated and overhyped by those selling the devices. Comments?


He’s right! :slight_smile:

Very good article.

Hmm, I guess I was expecting all those guys posting pictures of themselves squatting on Swiss balls and using balance boards to speak up. Maybe King just shut’em down so well they’re not saying anything?

either way that should put this issue to rest. I was even thinking about putting a comment about the Ian King Q&A on that swiss ball squat pic thread.

R.I.P. Stability/Balance training

Seriously, when I read this article I could see the Swiss-ball enthusiasts deflating like their precious toys.

Yes, Ian certainly pissed on their campfires:)

Actually I posted a rather lengthy reply with regard to this article, which I read. Unfortunately, like many of my posts, it has wound up MIA. I will try to retype it tomorrow.

Sorry about that, jp. It would have made an interesting read.

Here’s my score so far on this issue. Those who think balance training is overrated, overhyped or downright absurb: Ian King, Chad Waterbury, Charles Staley, and Tudor Bompa. See the article here for info from Bompa: Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION. (Scroll down to his pic for his opinion.)

On the other side is Coach Davies and Paul Chek, both of whom sell these balance devices. Hmmmm. I don’t mean to imply that as a negative. They believe in that type of training so they sell the equipment. Fair enough.

Overall I say it’s novelty training, which isn’t bad but shouldn’t be taken too far or overdone in place of more effective work in the gym. I do own a Swiss ball by the way, although I don’t squat on it!

Hey Guys,
You’re probably not going to get many “renegades” to respond. Why? Not worth it. We’re content going our own way.
I think grouping “those that sell” the devices with those that post the pics, and state what they can do on them, might be extreme. Why? I’m not very far into one of Coaches programs( I have not seen anything by Paul Chek), but the exercises list is all he has (duration is different), in fact I don’t think he has as many exercises listed. Also when I have dialogued with some proponents of balance training and gave a list of “things” I’d like to get, the balance equipment was recommended last!!! They too see it as a tool, and feel other “stuff” offers broader application. Rather odd isn’t it if they are overhyping it.
When it comes to athletic training though, you can train attributes every day to only have the benefit shine 1 time a year! Does that mean you should not train it? Paul Kariya juggles to improve eye hand coordination. And in a year that saw many swins and misses at puck in the air and many swings above the crossbar, you can see Paul waiting for the puck to fall below the crossbar. He knows he can already hit so now he can focus on the right release of his swing. He scores and ignites a demoralizing 3 goal 2nd period against the wild. Who knows if it was the juggling, but he seems to think so. Sometimes it’s the little less common things that separates the good from the great.
As far as it being more beneficial in the rehab setting, tell me of an athlete that hasn’t experienced an injury and I’ll show you someone who’s not giving it their all. So, if you don’t need to pay someone for rehab or go some place, you’re likely to recover faster and get back to more appropriate training more quickly.
Did Ian king “piss” on the benefit and those that support balance training? Not really. He just thinks the focus should be elsewhere. Try the exercises and see how easy they are and try to do them for five to ten minutes while doing something else and see how much mental focus it takes.

I for one saw no urine.

There was however a funny smell coming from CGB’s gym bag but that was it.

As for Ian King, it would be terribly easy to jump all over his methods and techniques if I were, oh maybe a Tennis player and say “your shrug technique is stupid and does not meet my goals, therefore ALL shrugs are stupid and by the way, this makes all weights a dumb idea too.”

I don’t believe that is what HE meant so we should not read that into it…

No Pee.


“It’s very little trouble for me to accomodate [my fans], unless I’m actually taking a pee at the time”

~ Harrison Ford

Ian brought up an interesting point, though. I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like “the surface that you’re competing on is stable, so the transference of stability training to the field is kind of limiting.” That got me to thinking. Yes, the surface we play on may be stable, but don’t we, through various movements, put purselves in unstable positions? Wouldn’t that be were the usefulness of these types of exercises come in? Just a thought.

Assuming that training on an unstable surface is similar to being off-balance on a stable surface is the fundamental flaw in the logic of those who espouse these training methods.

Assuming that training on an unstable surface is similar to being off-balance on a stable surface is the fundamental flaw in the logic of those who espouse these training methods

Assuming that there is NO corelation when the instablity is reversed is the fundamental flaw in the logic of those who contend there is no use for these methods…:wink:

I include here a clip from a previous post on the very topic. The posters name slips my mind right now but he was a Handsome Devil, Witty, Charming, yes he had it all…a true T-Man in Spirit and Action…and he was RIGHT!

Or at least he thought he was…

The Intelligent Response: (also know as the “Balanced Response”) " Although I am sure that balance training has it’s place in “some” athletes training programs, I believe that when, where and how much is highly variable and to make any blanket statements on such a diverse subject would be foolish and ill-informed. The argument of “You don’t play sports on an unstable surface” is just as superfluous as saying that “you don’t play running back on your back so bench presses don’t transfer” This obviously is a question of Degree and as such the diminishing returns on the effort placed on balance training need to be carefully monitored.

“It is right to give every man his due”

~ Plato

I thought it was awfully interesting that the Ian King Q&A came up this week. Of course, I’m assuming that the article was chosen because of all the controversy in the forums.

If that’s the case, I’d think that T-mag might also provide the space for a rebuttal by Coach Davies or even JP.

Most importantly, I never read anything by JP that gave me any reason to think that JP recommends swiss ball squats for every soccer mom in his gym who wants to drop 20 pounds. In fact, JP has repeatedly stated just the opposite…that this exercise is NOT for everybody. He has also clearly stated that this work does not comprise the bulk of his training regimen.

Furthermore, JP goes on to describe the game he plays with a training partner that involves throwing and catching a medicine ball from a standing position on a swiss ball. Maybe I’d better slow down the next time I read Ian King’s article, but I’d swear that he even lists balancing on a wobble board on both feet while throwing and catching a ball as a drill to perform.

I really don’t see why everybody has such a problem with that picture. Do I squat on a ball? Hell no! Do I care how JP trains his athletes? Hell NO! That is no more my business than what other people do in their bedrooms with girlfriends, boyfriends, or blow up dolls.

I tend to disagree with you Ike.  I have trained on the indo board for about a month now.  I have seen alot of improvement with my balance and I believe it will transfer over to the feild just because I have been able to see the transfer in all the agility  drills I use.  Plus how is being off balance in a game type situation any different than on a balance board.  In both cases a transfer of weight needs to be made.  Before debating this, I suggest the people who think it is a gimmick try it out.  I just do not understand how people try to argue about something they haven't even tried using it.   
Secondly,  I agree with Ian about the fact that JUST doing balance training is wrong.  (Wheel of Conditioning)  But avoiding it is just as bad.  One needs to strengthen all his/her spokes to become an all around athlete.  

Holy moly have you all missed the point!! Jeez … think. Look deeper into what lays in front of you. First of all … using “stability” devices like the Indo Board and Swiss balls are awesome. Will they help with balance? Sure! But there’s more to the picture. I like to kneel on my Duraball and do military presses with 15-lb dumbbells. Yeah, heavy load, right? Oh, how does that hit the shoulders then? It doesn’t!!! But if fucking works the back like you’ve never felt before. It demands you to focus and stay focused or else you fail. Using these tools work you in new ways, help recovery, get your muslces firing, and yes, we’ve heard feedback that they’ve upped the squat of more than a few of our clients. To quote Neo, “Whoa.” So when you see me kneeling on a wobbling object, or rocking back and forth, my “balance training” is there, yes, but I’m doing so much other shit and you don’t see the real deal of what we’re trying to tell you. But who cares? I don’t care if you want to get one, use one … go do some leg extensions. Seek out the Smith machine. Just stick to what you know is right. As for us promoting it because we sell it? LOL … we sell it because we like it! We wrote articles on the Indo and Duraball way before they became inventory in our store. Believe me, we could be making a shitload of money on a lot of bullshit devices, but we don’t. So there … a Renegade has responded. I’m bored to death with this debate. Try it or don’t try it. But don’t comment unless you’ve tried it; otherwise you’re just spewing hearsay – ideas told to you by someone else. Whoopti do.

I posted a new thread on my views on this entitled “paradigm shift – sorta”, if any of you are interested in my rebuttle on the who Ian King article. Took me a while because of these BUGGY FORUMS that like to lose posts! Anyway, click on over if you are interested in my comments on it.