The golf swing is one of the most demanding movements in sport.
This may seem counterintuitive at first glance. When compared to the acrobatic moves and physical demands of gymnasts, wrestlers, football players, marathoners, boxers and others, it seems that golf just doesn't compare.
Well, okay I would never want to try to 'one-up' a world-class athlete. It just isn't healthy to do that. Yet take a moment to consider how difficult it is for world-class athletes in one sphere to transfer those skills effectively into the golf swing. Sometimes they do quite well, but often the kind of motion required is too consistent and too frustrating.
This is not written for world-class athletes. This is written for regular people like myself who love the game, want to improve at the game but we soon find that we run into a wall and just can't seem to improve our swing or lower our scores.
I'm a physical therapist and a TPI certified golf fitness instructor. So, I work with people everyday that have to learn to do things differently in order to return to work, sport and everyday life.
One of the biggest barriers that people need to overcome is not a lack of strength. It is usually a lack of flexibility and a lack of body awareness. Now, if you were to visit me or another TPI certified practitioner, you would be asked to perform a series of 12 movements so that your limitations could be identified.
Once these are identified, a program could be set up to target those limitations. You could begin seeing some improvements in your golf swing relatively quickly if you consistently applied the exercises prescribed for you.
However, since I am not able to work with you, I can share with you three very basic exercises that, at first, you will think that they can't possibly have any benefit to you. My brother always told me "Keep it simple, stupid" so here is your KISS for the day. (Did that gross you out?... Sorry!)
Now, I am going to type something in caps, not because I'm trying to be rude but because you need to take note of this: DO NOT DO THESE IF IT HURTS!! Also, if you have had any spinal or hip surgeries, DO NOT DO THESE UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN EVALUATED BY A DOCTOR OR PHYSICAL THERAPIST!
I will not be able to describe these fully in this in this article, but I will in later articles. The three exercises are: "Pelvic tilts"; "Torso/Pelvic hinge"; and lastly "Open Book". Why these three? (Well, why not these three?)
These exercises are foundational to developing body awareness and pelvic stability. When you have body awareness and you can control where your body is going, your golf swing will start to break through the barriers that keep you from hitting your 'sweet spot'.
Have a Great Game!
Steve McMurray MPT, CGFI
aka Mr Stiv