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This week’s challenge: Add instability to your lifting exercises

April 30th, 2012 No Comments

There are several benefits to adding an element of instability to your workout.  You are:

  1. Forced to keep your core engaged, which you should be doing while lifting anyway.
  2. Strengthening your abs.
  3. Working on your balance.
  4. Improving your posture.

By implementing a ball, bosu, or disk, you are throwing off your center of gravity and therefore working on both stability and strength.  Women tend to have better balance, but men can be stronger in their core, as you’ll see below.


I find using disks more challenging than standing on a bosu ball.  Start off with two discs, placing your feet in the center.  When you find that becomes easy after several workouts, try balancing on one.  You will be able to lift more weight on two discs.  Your whole body will work harder with lighter weight and one disc.  Decide what your goal is and then implement the discs and weight.

Using a full ball is REALLY hard, in my opinion.  I can barely balance here!  You really have to squeeze with your knees and inner thigh, tighten your core, and pull your shoulders back.  Try it without weights first and see if you can hold it for 1 minute.  Marco saw me doing this and decided he needed to show me up.  Using the handles, he found his positioning on the ball and was able to stay up for a while.  Very impressive!

Instead of using a bench, you can also substitute a ball.  Place the ball under your shoulders, squeeze your glutes, and press through your heels to create a table top.  As you press, you’ll find your core engages more to keep you on top of the ball.

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