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Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
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Fitness ball exercises: Good for my abs?
Can I use a fitness ball to tone my abs?
from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
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|Abdominal crunch with fitness ball|
A fitness ball can be a great tool for toning your abdominal muscles (abs), as well as other core muscles.
Fitness balls — also known as stability balls — come in various sizes. Choose a fitness ball that allows your knees to be at a right angle when you sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor.
To tone your abdominal muscles using a fitness ball, try the abdominal crunch:
- Sit on the fitness ball with your feet resting on the floor, about hip-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight, cross your arms on your chest and tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Lean back until you feel your abdominal muscles further tighten.
- Hold for three deep breaths.
- Return to the start position and repeat.
Start with up to five repetitions, as long as you're able to maintain good form. Over time, as you strengthen your abs and core muscles, gradually increase to 10 to 15 repetitions on the fitness ball. Remember to breathe freely and deeply while using the fitness ball.Next question
Ankle weights for fitness walkers: Good idea?
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 12, 2013.
- Selecting and effectively using a stability ball. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-a-stability-ball.pdf. Accessed March 18, 2013.
- Jakubek MD. Stability balls: Reviewing the literature regarding their use and effectiveness. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 2007;29:58.
- Willardson JM. Core stability training: Applications to sports conditioning programs. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2007;21:979.
- Sekendiz B, et al. Effects of Swiss-ball core strength training on strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance in sedentary women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010;24:3032.