Health & FitnessMarch 3, 2011

Fitness Friday: A strong platform

*Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. He gives you an unbeatable health and fitness tip or an exercise or stretch to get your body warmed up for the weekend. This week he focuses on how to build a strong base for more consistent and solid shots. And remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.

Roger Schiffman**

Managing Editor

Golf Digest*

If you want to hit solid shots, one of the most important and least considered elements is your ability to control your body as you make a swing. This is especially true when using longer clubs such as the driver off the tee. If you can't keep your balance, the chance of hitting the ball in the center of the clubface is dramatically reduced.

Think about one of those carnival rides where a gondola swings back and forth while anchored to some poles. The gondola can really generate some power and speed going back and forth, ** but imagine what would happen if one of those poles slipped from its foundation. Can you spell lawsuit? Your body is no different. You can't make a good swing without having strong muscles to brace yourself.

All you have to do is try standing on one leg to understand what I mean. As soon as you pick up your right leg, a whole host of muscles spring into action and try to stabilize your platform. Not just in the legs, but your hips, core, etc. It's involuntary and is the genius of the human body. But if those muscles aren't strong, you're going to fall over.

So the next time you hit the gym, work on improving your stability by doing exercises that also challenge your ability to balance at the same time. "Doing exercises on one leg is a great way to train," says Greg Rose, golf fitness specialist and one of the founders of the Titleist Performance Institute (mytpi.com). "What we are referring to is 'narrowing your base of support.' It has a ton of merit and we use exercises like these all the time to train golfers."

For some examples of exercises that will improve your balance and ability to stabilize your swing, see me demonstrate them by clicking on the video below.

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--Ron Kaspriske, Fitness Editor

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