The effects of stability ball training on spinal stability in sedentary individuals

J Strength Cond Res. 2006 May;20(2):429-35. doi: 10.1519/R-18125.1.


Stability ball training (SBT) is believed to improve spinal stability (SS) and could reduce the risk of back pain in sedentary individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of SBT on SS. Twenty sedentary individuals were randomly assigned to either an experimental group that performed SBT twice per week for 10 weeks or to a control group. Differences between groups were assessed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures. The experimental group improved significantly (p < 0.05) on the static back-endurance test from pretest (149.3 +/- 72.3 seconds) to posttest (194.6 +/- 56.7 seconds) and the side bridge test from pretest (45.4 +/- 39.4 seconds) to posttest (71.3 +/- 59.7 seconds). Back endurance for the control group did not change from pretest (123.4 +/- 64.9 seconds) to posttest (87.5 +/- 40.2 seconds), nor did the results of the side bridge test change for this group from pretest (41.8 +/- 26.4 seconds) to posttest (51.6 +/- 35.9 seconds). These findings illustrate that SBT may provide improvements in SS within this population. Practitioners might use SBT exercises where the position of the spine is maintained during the early phases of back-pain prevention programs. This type of programming might be beneficial to individuals who spend a good deal of time sitting (i.e., in corporate fitness programs) or for individuals who are prone to back pain and have been cleared to exercise. Also, the side bridge and static back endurance assessments may be good choices for measuring SS in field settings.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Back Pain / prevention & control
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Spine / physiology*