Health & FitnessOctober 24, 2014

Fitness Friday: Two easy core exercises you can do at home

Many people think of the core as solely the abdomen muscles. But there are literally dozens of muscles that help stabilize the body and allow it to move powerfully and athletically. It's better to think of the core as a belt of muscles that wraps around the body from the hips to the chest. To play golf effectively and safely, you need to train more than just your abs.

Two exercises that work other parts of your core come from former PGA Tour trainer Ralph Simpson (@mostpt). The beauty of these moves is that you can do them in front of the TV or just about anywhere with a comfortable floor. All you need is about five to 10 minutes.


__1. Side planks (three reps, each side, hold for 15 to 60 seconds): __These strengthen the obliques, abdomen and hips. They also help prevent lower-back pain and increase your ability to rotate your trunk powerfully when you swing. To avoid injury, make sure your propped arm is stacked directly under your shoulder.


2. Bird dogs (four reps, each side, hold for 15 to 60 seconds): These strengthen the muscles that support your vertebrae including the erector spinae and the smaller muscles that allow your back to bend and rotate. They also help stabilize the lower back reducing the stress placed on it when you swing a club.

__WORLD GOLF FITNESS SUMMIT__The Titleist Performance Institute (@mytpi) is playing host to the fifth World Golf Fitness Summit starting on Sunday in Carlsbad, Calif. The three-day event features lectures from dozens of experts in golf and fitness. Among those speaking this year include former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil, major league baseball pitching coach Tom House, PGA Tour veteran Brad Faxon, strength coach and fitness expert Dr. Charlie Weingroff, and one of my favorite fitness experts, Mike Boyle (@bodybyboyle). Look for a summary of the event next Wednesday and more detailed information over the next few months.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest. Follow @ronkaspriske

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