Health & Fitness
April 14, 2011

Fitness Friday: Have a ball when you work out

*Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. He gives you a great health and fitness tip or an exercise or stretch to get your body warmed up for the weekend. This week he offers his thoughts on strengthening your core by using the physio ball. Remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.

Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest

*You've probably seen them in the gym -- those big, bright inflatable balls that look like children's toys. They're called physio/exercise/Swiss balls and if you really want to amp up your exercise routine, you'd be smart to start using one.

"As far as the physio ball, it's a great and diverse piece of equipment," says Jeff Banaszak, founder of Back9Fitness and one of the top trainers on the PGA Tour. "The benefits are that it is very safe for everyone to use (close to the floor when you sit or lie on it) and we can use it for just about everything--from core strengthening, dynamic stabilization and all kinds of mobility training."

Adds Golf Digest fitness expert and PGA Tour trainer Randy Myers, "It's really good for golfers because, in order to stabilize the ball, you really have to engage your core no matter what exercise you're doing. And I can't stress enough how important a strong core is to the golf swing. Doing exercises on the ball also helps improve your balance, plus you get the benefit of the exercise you started with."

There are literally dozens of exercises that can be done on the ball, from planks to bench presses to push-ups. For a demonstration of three golf-specific exercises on the physio ball, click on the video below.

--*Ron Kaspriske, Fitness editor, Golf Digest