My photo
An Ohio licensed Physical Therapist, TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and K-vest Level one certified instructor providing simple exercises for golfers that empower them to train without pain.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Getting a Grip...

More About Your Core

In the past posts, information about muscles, fascia and core strength is presented as it relates to the golf swing. In this post, we will continue to look at 'Core issues' and the impact that a stable core can have on the enjoyment of your game.

The other day, I was speaking to my brother-in-law, He loves the game of golf, but is like many who find that now that he is retired, he has time for golf every day if he so chooses, but pain in his feet and back prevents him from doing so.
It is likely the experience of many who love the game and this is the reason that this blog exists.

What I hope that you will be encouraged to do is consider what a simplified, progressive golf-conditioning program can do for you. As always, if you have issues of back pain and immobility let your doctor know during your regular checkups and get medical advice before starting a conditioning program.

Obviously, in spite of all effort, few will ever swing like Tiger Woods. Genetics and a commitment to sport specific training have made him what he is. By his success, he has opened the eyes of many to the importance of fitness and golf conditioning. He and a growing number of pros add testament to the benefit of golf specific training to improve endurance, strength, balance and power off of the tee.

Get a grip, Get in line, Straighten up!!

Three key elements of the golf swing are: The grip, alignment and posture. If you are working with a pro, he or she will address all of these issues in various ways. A well structured conditioning program will allow you reach the proper posture and maintain it throughout your golf swing for 18 holes.

A simple 15-minute conditioning program will add distance, accuracy and consistency to your game. It can also decrease the pain that comes from a round of golf. In these posts, we start at the core and not only explain the how, but the why of conditioning as it relates to golf-specific movements.

As explained in previous posts, all movement involved in the golf swing, including everyday activity revolves around our core. The 'core' is where our center of balance is held steady by muscles and ligaments of the low back, pelvis, and abdomen.

There are several simple exercises that, if they are done pain free throughout the day, are a starting point for all core stability. They are: the pelvic tilt, the Gluteal set and pelvic floor sets or 'cutters'.

The Pelvic Tilt is a simple exercise that can be performed anywhere throughout your day. In the book, Complete Conditioning for Golf (Book & DVD) this is referred to as "tightest jeans". In other words, you tighten your belly muscles if buttoning a pair of tight jeans.

The Gluteal Set is simply squeezing your butt cheeks together as tight as you can without pain and holding for five seconds.

"Cutters" are the pelvic floor muscles that are used when 'cutting off the flow'  during urination and defecation. (pee and poop for those with small children). These work best at about 20% of their available strength.

As you get used to training with these muscles "setting your core' will become more automatic even for everyday activities such as lifting, pushing or pulling.

Why is the core strength so important? Ask yourself this; "Is it easier to balance a water balloon or a golf ball on a golf tee?" In the same way, it is much easier to maintain balance during motion with a sold core than with a floppy one.

Balance requires equal opposing forces. Your pelvis is balanced when the muscles controlling it are of equal tightness or tone, equal flexibility and equal strength. If your abdominal and gluteal muscles are weak, your hip flexors and paraspinal muscles will b tight. This means that your pelvis will roll forward and restrict your ability to hold your pelvis level.

Without this ability to freely roll and control your pelvis, you are losing power off of the tee and setting yourself up for injury. Now, who wants that?

Next, we see about golf posture. Until then...

Have a Great Game! 

Mr Stiv

No comments: