You may know that balancing poses are good for TVA strengthening. This is true because we are required to use our deep core muscles to maintain balance. I was wondering if that also meant that standing on uneven surfaces, such as a balance cushion would be a good exercise.
After some research I was surprised to learn that the opposite is true. When the body senses an unstable surface, it is concentrating on keeping its balance and is not able to exert maximum force. Therefore, the body can only produce maximum force when it is stable. It is more effective to do balancing poses to activate the core on a flat and stable ground, than it is on a balance cushion. All muscle groups involved in instability training show at least 30% lower activation than when the same exercises are done on a stable surface. The muscles are simply unable to output force, because they are focusing on balancing, and that requires a certain amount of relaxation on an unstable surface.
I am sure that walking or standing on unstable surfaces is a good practice for other reasons, such as maintaining balance and gross motor control skills. However, if your goal is strengthening your TVA muscles I suggest that you do those exercises separately and on a stable surface.
I hope that you found this nugget of information as fascinating as I did. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know of other benefits of balancing on unstable surfaces that you know of. To health, fitness, and learning new things! Sincerely, Rachel Sacks