Fitness Friday: A quick refresher on 'stability' training

July 29, 2016
Dustin Johnson standing on stability ball

Photo by Nathaniel Welch

Whenever I poke my head into a commercial or hotel gym, I'm still amazed at the number of people who didn't get the message that performing standing exercises on an unstable surface is NOT a smart idea. I guess we're partly to blame for this. We put Dustin Johnson on the cover of our magazine a few years back standing on a stability ball while making a backswing. It was eye-catching, but not meant to be duplicated. Apologies if you went out and tried the same thing and ended up with a bruise or two.

So if you're confused about what you should be doing in the gym, particularly golfers who often perform exercises that mimic an actual swing, here are three things to remember:

1.) Never stand or kneel on an unstable surface while holding dumbbells, stretch bands, medicine balls, etc. Any exercise involving an external load should be done on a stable surface.

2.) If you want to challenge your lower-body stability, leave those squishy gel pads in the corner and instead work out on one leg or in a split stance (one leg forward, one leg back). You can do a variety of exercises and you'll be in a much safer position to recover should you lose your balance.

3.) Instability training with things such as Bosu balls and physio balls are fine if you're training your upper body. With that in mind, click on the video below to see me demonstrate an exercise that will work several upper-body muscle groups at once using a Bosu ball.