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Get Ready, Get Set, Play Golf

Get Ready, Get Set, Play Golf

One of my close friends just gave me a set of golf clubs that she did not need because her husband bought her a brand new set (Thank-You).  Wow, now I have no excuses, I will have to start playing a little golf with my husband, who has wanted me to do that for years.  I just could not find the time when raising three daughters, who were all involved in sports on the weekends and most evenings during the week. Actually, Mike did not play much either, but he sure enjoyed it when he did. But now, I have no good excuse. I typically like sports that move a little faster because I like to hurry up and finish, but I have the highest respect for the game of golf because it requires tremendous power and strength, not to mention laser focused mental clarity.  It is such an awesome lifetime sport to enjoy with family and friends. Seriously, I may have trouble on the mental part, my attention span could use some help!

In the game of golf, as with many other sports, power and force must be generated from the core to protect the back, shoulders, knees, hips, and arms. Golf also requires a lot of ankle and foot mobility and flexibility. Think of the body as one long kinetic chain, if one part of the chain is compromised then it will affect the rest of the chain. Other joints and soft tissue sustain a load that they were not meant to bear if the chain is compromised. Over time this can cause an unwanted injury and sabotage your game.  The body is a marvelous work of art and is designed to work as one integrated unit. If the hips are inflexible and have a compromised range of motion then it is likely that the rotation needed for the golf swing, will come from either the lower back or shoulders. This could result in a flawed swing (and injury over time). The ball may hook or slice off the course.  To prevent this scenario functional training is required.

I have really come to appreciate functional movement training.  In the simplest form, functional training is fitness training that uses moves that are used in everyday life. In respect to a sport, it means training the muscles in the same way they will be used in the sport. The game of golf requires tremendous core strength and flexibility. It also requires a lot of rotation in the torso so fitness training in one plane such as pushing or pulling movements leaves out some of the major players in the golf swing movement.  Training with rotational compound moves is essential.  Most individuals that play golf or even watch it on television, know that to effectively start the back swing and complete the follow through, an individual must have the ability to rotate the upper body independently of the lower body.

If you desire to improve your golf game, stay injury free, or just enjoy the game as a means of staying in shape, here are a few tips:

 

  • Always warm up-Here is one example of a good place to start with your dynamic warm (dynamic warm up is s a series of movements to get your body ready for more challenging moves) Starting Position: Stand holding a golf club on the handle with the club head sticking up straight in the air, with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the club relatively close to your body slightly below chest height. Position your hands at the midline your body. Engage your abdominal/core muscles to brace your torso

 Movement: Exhale and slowly rotate your torso in one direction, keeping your upper arms at your sides, elbows bent and hands positioned at the midline of your body. Your head, chest, and torso should all move together. Avoid leaning your torso in the direction of your movement. Hold this end position briefly before turning to rotate in the opposite direction (back to starting position). Rotate to one side 8-10 times then pause and repeat on the other side.

  • Train the body functionally- incorporate exercises that will complement and strengthen the muscles and soft tissue, in the same way, they will be used on the course
  • Stretching/flexibility exercises to improve range of motion during your golf swing

 

See you on the golf course.  FORE!

Linda Stollings is the owner of a corporate wellness company specializing in health coaching and personal training. Email Linda Stollings at lstollings@fitprescriptions.com

 

 

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