Home Articles Unstable Surface Training: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Unstable Surface Training: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Written on June 24, 2014 at 5:41 am, by Eric Cressey

In my latest article at T-Nation, I take a close look at training on unstable surfaces and how it impacts performance and health. Check it out:

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While this is a lengthy article, it's still just a quick glance at a very complex topic. If you're interested in learning more, I'd encourage you to check out my e-book, The Truth About Unstable Surface Training.


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8 Responses to “Unstable Surface Training: The Good, Bad, and Ugly”

  1. max eder Says:

    Great article! Apparently tnation had the urgent feeling they must do something about the title:)

  2. Ryan Varner Says:

    Hey Eric, great article as i have always had reservations about UST myself, i was a hs and college sprinter and we started incorporating UST exercises into our regimen and i lost that feeling of rocketship explosiveness. I grew up in Texas and recently made the move to the Lake Tahoe area, which naturally begs the question: In a short answer, what are your initial thoughts on UST training for skiers?

  3. Eric Cressey Says:


    There may be some merit for them; it’s difficult to say. I think you can say that it’s important for them to “master” stable surfaces first. So, it’d be “out” for recreational, untrained skiers, but potentially more appropriate for those with considerable training experience.

  4. jan Says:

    Eric Cressey: It would be interesting to see your take on treatment modalities like Graston, FAT- Tools, and ART.

    I’m a physio from Scandinavia, and it’s difficult to find any information at all about most of this. It’s not like there are courses in any of it up here either. Most Research seems to be published in databases I don’t have access to, and the stuff I can find is either of poor quality, biased or mixed with a million other simultaneous treatments.

  5. Eric Cressey Says:

    I’m a huge fan of soft tissue work, and definitely think that different modalities serve different purposes for different people. I like the idea of clinicians having multiple options in their skill sets.

  6. Ctd Says:

    Eric, a bit late to this, but one of my sports (surfing) is on an unstable platform. Do you think UST will be of any benefit in those circumstances?

  7. Eric Cressey Says:


    That’s the million-dollar question! It’s a different kind of sport, so there may be some merit. Really hard to say because the outcomes are so hard to quantify, and it’s difficult to get a study together.

  8. David Says:

    Great article Eric! The calcaneus does not evert in most ankles in stable surfaces not to mind unstable!

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