Unstable Enviorments for Training & Rehab

As a training surface a gymnastic floor or resilite wrestling mat is ideal. The athlete can work barefoot on these surfaces. This serves to significantly increase proprioceptive demand because of being barefoot and the compliant nature of the surface. If available sand that is well groomed into a consistent surface can also be a very good tool. All three of those surfaces significantly increase ground contact time and slow things down. This demands a tradeoff. But remember using unstable surfaces is a double edged sword. The goal is not to keep increasing the instability until it becomes a circus act. There is a tipping point where there are diminishing returns and you are creating ‘artificial instability.” Remember the goal is not to make them proficient on the unstable surface, but to make them comfortable in their training and competitive environment. If not where do you stop. This is a coaching call, there is no hard science to determine this point. Rather than more instability, move toward the competitive surface. The body will adapt quickly so move them along in the return to normal surface.


At 2/14/06, 2:20 PM, Blogger Joe P. said...

I like using the upper extremity or opposite leg to create instability. Balance & Reach exercises are a good example. The eyes are also powerful drivers. Closing them or rapidly moving the head creates functional instability.


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