Are push-ups on unstable surfaces more beneficial?

Push-ups are one of the best strength training exercises. You can do them almost anywhere and they require no special equipment. While they target the chest(pectoral) muscles, they also exercise the shoulder(deltoid), arm, and ab muscles.

There are many variants of the push-up. In particular, a recent trend is doing push-ups on unstable surfaces using BOSU balls or T-Bows. According to the companies that sell these products and some of their devoted users, this improves the push-up so that it is more beneficial. But is there any validity to this?

Fortunately for us, a study posted in the International Journal of Sports Therapy, Comparison of the effects of an eight-week push-up program using stable versus unstable surfaces found that:


The addition of unstable surfaces in push-up training does not provide greater improvement in muscular strength and endurance than push up training performed on a stable surface in young men.

In other words, don’t waste your money on this fancy equipment. The unstable surface provided no extra benefit.

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