The impact of instability resistance training on balance and stability

Sports Med. 2005;35(1):43-53. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200535010-00004.


The most predominant literature regarding balance has emphasised the physiological mechanisms controlling stability. Topics range from extrinsic factors (environment) to intrinsic factors (i.e. muscle coordination, vestibular response). Balance is achieved through an interaction of central anticipatory and reflexive actions as well as the active and passive restraints imposed by the muscular system. However, less research has attempted to document the effects of balance on performance measures (i.e. force, power). Furthermore, short- and long-term adaptations to unstable environments need more substantial research. While force and other performance measures can be adversely affected by a lack of balance, the transferability of instability training to activities of daily living and sport is not precisely known. The applicability of instability and resistance training using unstable platforms or implements may have strong relevance in a rehabilitative or athletic setting. Therefore, a comprehensive review of the literature in this area may possibly be of benefit to practitioners who deal with the general population, athletes or persons debilitated by balance and/or stability disabilities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*