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Work those hips to get in the swing

August 11, 2003

The key to playing great tennis, according to tennis coach Jack Broudy, isn't just in the swing. The hips have a lot to do with a player's ability -- specifically, rotating those hips in a figure-8 motion. That movement, Broudy said, adds to a player's range of motion and helps maintain balance.

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The 8-Board:

Broudy's business partner Paul Mayberry invented the 8-Board to help people become comfortable with making a figure-8 motion before they engage in sports such as tennis and golf. Users step on the connected rotating discs and swivel, feet parallel, maintaining balance. A few minutes serves as a good warmup, says Broudy.

"If it teaches people balance, that's not bad," says Carl Foster, a professor in the department of exercise and sports science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. "It's another gadget to do the same thing [as devices such as stability balls]. But some people need gadgets to help focus them."

Price: The 8-Board, carry bag and video cost $119.95; available at www.grailsports.com or by calling (888) 472-4577.

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-- Jeannine Stein

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