The Local Knowlege

Health & Fitness

The best golf-fitness items from the PGA Merchandise Show

By Stephen Hennessey

ORLANDO -- Amid the hundreds of booths at the PGA Merchandise Show, selling everything you can think of to golfers, are legitimate fitness items that could help your game.

We walked the floor at the Orange County Convention Center this week to find the three best golf-fitness items at the show this year for our weekly Fitness Friday feature. Here they are:

1. Perform Better's VibraRoll: You've likely seen a foam roller before, but the VibraRoll (above) comes with a vibrating capability designed to improve blood circulation, range of motion and flexibility. The vibrations aim to break up trigger points in target areas to help soft-tissue release and recovery. At 18 inches long and six inches around, the VibraRoll ($84.95) is easily portable on the road. Perform Better has a number of new, lightweight products designed for the traveling golfer.

fitness-friday-activ8r-roll.jpgSome other Perform Better products worth looking at: The Activ8r (left)--a small, contoured product that you can freeze for a cold-compress treatment. It's designed to help release stiffness in hard to reach places and increase range of motion. And the Tiger Tail--a rolling self-massage bar that helps sore muscles recover quicker. For more:

fitness-friday-serola-belt .jpg

2. Serola Biomechanical Belt: For 24 years, physical therapists, sports-medicine trainers and chiropractors have been using the Serola Sacroiliac Belt in their treatments. This is the first year Serola Biomechanics is making a push in golf. The belt is built to help alleviate back pain by providing relief to the sacroiliac joint, located in the lower back below your hip bone but above where your leg starts. If you have lower-back pain, your SI joint might be the cause. This belt helps stabilize the joint and the muscles surrounding it, allowing better circulation and normal functionality of the muscles. I wore one of the belts all day on Wednesday at the Show. As someone with nagging back pain, it helped provide some relief to the lower back. You attach it below your belt underneath your clothes so it's not visible. For more:

fitness-friday-activmotionbar.jpg3. ActivMotion Bar: With movable weights inside a fitness bar, ActivMotion (left) is unlike other fitness items at the PGA Show. Invented by a recent exercise-science graduate from Central Michigan, Derek Mikulski, the bar comes in weights ranging from six to 18 pounds, starting at $120. Mikulski discovered that an internal, unstable load of movable weights do more to work an athlete's core while doing exercises with the ActivMotion Bar. He says your core muscles are forced to activate to control the momentum of the weights. Mikulski and his partner, Dave Davis, a TPI-certified golf coach from Michigan, have developed a five-minute workout designed to be an easy, pre-round warmup. A great way to prep the muscles essential to the golf swing so you're ready for the first tee. For more: