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Tag Archives: core training

Muscle activation levels for advanced exercises using the Exercise Ball

Several EMG studies have been performed in the past decade to quantify and validate claims of “core stability” exercises. Despite few controlled, clinical outcome studies on using an exercise ball, its use in clinics and gyms remains steady. Because the Thera-Band® exercise ball can be used for both rehabilitation and fitness, different exercises and levels […]

Exercise on unstable surfaces increases trunk muscle activation

Unstable surfaces have become more popular for balance and stabilization training. Thera-Band® Exercise Balls and Stability Discs offer multiple options for unstable surface training. These unstable surfaces are thought to increase muscle activation and co-contraction, particularly for core stabilization training. Japanese researchers investigated the effect of unstable surface training on trunk muscle activity during common […]

Is resistance training on unstable surfaces effective?

Instability training, or exercising while on unstable surfaces, has become both popular and controversial. Performing resistance training on unstable surfaces such as exercise balls, balance boards, stability disks, and foam pads has been shown to reduce force output, but increase activation of “core” muscles of the trunk (Behm and Anderson 2006). No studies, however, have […]

Stable vs. Unstable: Using Exercise Balls with the Overhead Press Exercise

“Functional Training” has become increasingly popular in both rehabilitation and fitness. “Core training” has often been considered a component of functional training because of the transfer of force through the trunk to the extremities. Unstable surfaces such as Thera-Band® Exercise Balls and Stability Trainers are often used with traditional exercise movements to integrate training of […]

Exercise ball more effective at activating abdominal muscles

The exercise ball is a popular device for core training, and is often used to increase muscle activation, particularly of the abdominals. Most studies have concluded that the exercise ball increases electromyographic (EMG) activity of the abdominal muscles. In England, Dr. Michael Duncan investigated the muscle activation in 2 different parts of the rectus abdominus […]

Training program improves throwing accuracy in baseball players

Core training is thought to be important to improve functional sport activities, particularly those involving force transfer through the abdominals and back, into the extremities. For example, much of the strength and power required to throw a baseball comes from the force transmitted through the core from the legs. This is an example of the […]

Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention & Performance Enhancement Screening for Professional Tennis Players

by Todd S. Ellenbecker, DPT, MS, SCS, OCS, CSCS For the last three years, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has provided musculoskeletal screenings to its players at the Italian Open in Rome Italy.  Led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gary Windler of Charleston, South Carolina, and physical therapist Todd Ellenbecker of Scottsdale, Arizona, these screenings […]