The purpose of this article is to inform fighters and coaches in the mixed martial arts about the nature of instability training, and to provide guidance for those who wish to engage in it.The term ‘instability training’ was chosen over other commonly used terms, like ‘core stability training’, because it emphasises the training goal, which is to create instability in each exercise, not stability. In this article, the term ‘core’ refers to the musculature that supports the trunk (i.e. rib cage and spine), upper extremity (shoulder girdle) and lower extremity (pelvic girdle). All of these muscles work together as an integrated whole to maintain balance, rather than in isolation4 and core stability (or balance) is controlled through complex neuronal communication between peripheral sensors within the core musculature and central brain structures.6

Most would agree that the field of strength and conditioning (S&C) is perhaps more accessible to the layperson than physics, biology or chemistry. This is not to imply the field is any less scientific, but it probably means that the field of S&C must work harder than other disciplines to differentiate itself from pseudoscience. So, a role of science in the field of S&C, and on this website, is to separate the good from the bad. The case of the Power Balance Bracelet is an example of this.

The fundamental principles of science appear to have been adopted in the domain of strength and conditioning (S&C). For example, when you put the following search terms in PubMed and search by decade, (strength OR resistance OR weight) AND (training OR exercise), it becomes apparent that an overwhelming amount of scientific progress has been made in the last 10 years.