Seasoned Golfers YES YOU CAN Regain Your Flexibility!
Seasoned Golfers YES YOU CAN Regain Your Flexibility
YES YOU CAN
Regain Your Flexibility
By Chris Ownbey
Copyright 2012 Chris Ownbey
All Rights Reserved
1 – About Chris Ownbey – TPI Certified Golf Fitness Expert
2 – Golf Fitness Instructor is a New Approach To Your Golf Improvement
3 – The Cutting Edge of Golf” Mechanics + Biomechanics = Better Golf
4 – Oh My Aching Back!!!!
5 – Use the Winter to Get Fit for Spring
6 – Get The Most Out Of Your (Pre-Round) Stretching
7 – Body Flexibility and your Golf Game
8 – The Expensive Driver Can’t Cure Your Slice, Improve Your Range Of Motion Could
9 – How To Get started on Your own Golf Fitness Program
About Chris Ownbey – TPI Certified Golf Fitness Expert.
I’ve seen golfers of all ages dramatically transform their game. And it didn’t’ take years to accomplish, or hitting thousands of golf balls. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you get. If you’re tired of the frustration and want to finally capitalize on your potential, then a golf training program could be your answer.
May name is Chris Ownbey, and over the past twelve years I have had the honor to help thousands of golfers, at all different skill levels; reach their peak performance through physical conditioning and nutritional support. My unique form of functional training combined with golf-specific motor learning drills has made me one of the top golf specific trainers in the Dallas Texas area.
Founder / President of the Institute for Golf Fitness. My certifications include Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 & Level 2. The National Strength and Conditioning Association, National Exercise & Sports Trainer Association. My use 3-D biomechanics, strength and conditioning, manual therapy, rehabilitation, and therapeutic exercises as they relate to golf improvement. I have been seen on Golf Fitness Special Edition ABC Good Morning Texas. Golf Fitness contributor to Avid Golfer, Texas Golfer, and the Titleist Performance Institute.
Golf Fitness Instructor is a New Approach To Your Golf Improvement
Golf fitness instructor may be a term you’ve never heard before, but it’s one that is becoming very popular thanks to all the touring pros using them and even the golf channel having an entire segment on the golf fitness. I’m sure by now you’ve heard most of the professional players; both men and women who actively participate in golf workouts. Tiger took golf to another level, Vijay Singh, does his golf workouts all the way through Sunday of each tournament. Take a look at Annika Sorenstam, She hired a Golf specific trainer and got serious about her fitness. And look what happened? She hasn’t looked back since. Now more LPGA players are working out to try and catch her, just like the guys did with Tiger.
Today club pro’s, tournament golfers, seniors and even juniors are catching on. They are now realizing now, that hitting more balls alone will not improve their golf swing mechanics. If you have physical or bio mechanical limitations that don’t allow your body to perform the movements required, reaching your full golf potential is limited.
How is the Golf Specific program different
from just working out at the Gym?
When we go to the gym and develop our workout program, A program is developed where you isolate and train individual body parts with the goal of producing that muscle to become larger, there is nothing wrong with this type of training the only problem is, it does not help us become any more flexible, you might gain strength, but you don’t build any power. Power is the key to a great golf swing the ability to generate force behind your movements.
With golf specific program there is a focus on structural elements, from joint function to flexibility that contributes to your posture. With a golf specific program we work on flexibility, balance, stability, strength and power. The goal is not to look good although it will transform your body, increase your energy level, slow down the ageing process, and condition yourself for power.
Therefore golf training program should incorporate strength, flexibility and even endurance training. Doing a flexibility program without incorporating a strength program won’t get you the results you’re looking for. A combination of the two is best.
The golf swing is a rotational movement, with your body in golf posture. Slight flex of the knees and a bending forward at the hips. Since the golf swing is primarily rotational, wouldn’t it make sense to focus on rotational strength and flexibility? That is improving your turning ability related to range of motion and speed.
“It would be absurd to think a football player, basketball player or baseball player wouldn’t do the physical work needed to play their sport, why wouldn’t a golfer do the same for his or her sport.”
When you finally come to the realization and partake in a golf fitness routine, you’ll see a golf game you have possibly never seen before. Now you will reach the full benefits of your golf lessons. This is not hype, it’s a fact. Gets your body moving better, and your swing will improve.
The Cutting Edge of Golf
Mechanics + Biomechanics = Better Golf
Perhaps one of the biggest changes in the golf world today is the increased emphasis on fitness for golf. Tour professionals and amateurs alike are practicing regular fitness routines specifically targeted for golf. The results are more powerful and stable golf swings. And lower scores.
Not that long ago many people commonly assumed that strong muscles were slow muscles, and anyone who worked out with weights ran the risk of becoming a muscle incapable of swinging a golf club or having the touch for short chips, pitches, and putts. Big, strong muscles were bad in golf, or so said the conventional wisdom. We all know how Tiger Woods is when it comes to his physical preparation. Annika Sorenstam is 14% leaner and drives 25 yards longer.
The truth is, professionals like Tiger Woods, Annika, VJ, David Duval, and Ernie Els make the game look easy because they’re strong and fit enough to make the golf swing look simple. Very few amateurs can devote that amount of time, energy, and money to their golf games, but that shouldn’t stop those amateurs from making positive changes in their games and personal life, by improving their strength and conditioning.
It comes down to this idea: the mechanics of a golf swing require specific levels of flexibility, balance, stability, strength, endurance and power to perform it efficiently. Regardless of how much time you work on your swing mechanics, if your body doesn’t have the golf strength to support your swing, you are limiting your potential.
We see it every day on the range, people practicing at the range who struggle, not because of trying to get better, but because their bodies are limiting what they can do with their swing with limited flexibility, poor balance capabilities and low levels of strength and power. The bottom line is that your mechanics won’t get better until you fix the body that swings the club. The pros are all aware of the importance of golf strength, so you should be, too.
Oh my aching Back!!!!
Are you an individual who is suffering from lower back injury? Is your lower back stiff and sore when you get out of bed in the morning? Probably everyone reading this article has experienced a lower back problem at some time or another in their lives. Speaking from experience they are not fun, and when it comes to golf, they certainly won’t help lower your handicap or drive the ball 300 yards.
Lower back problems are arguably the single biggest problem for both the pro and the amateur. The repetitive nature of the golf swing puts an enormous amount of stress on the muscles of the lower back. While there are many muscles to mention I always promise to give you usable information without the exercise physiology lesson and all the big words. Suffice it to say the muscles we work in these exercises are called the erector spinea group.
Trunk rotation – at least the lack of it – is the most common problem for golfers who are prone to back pain. The more skilled and flexible you are, the more you can rely on your hips and trunk to rotate when you swing. A great golf shot requires hip and trunk rotation because that’s what gives power to your shots. If you don’t rotate well, your arms – and especially your back – will have to do a lot of extra work.
Most back pain is preventable and often is caused by too little exercise, over exertion, overuse, poor form, lack of flexibility, and poor posture. Smoking and obesity are also implicated.
When golfer’s think of the golf stance they don’t realize how difficult it is to maintain the proper posture over 18 holes. A poor posture puts tremendous stress and strain on the lower back. Bending at the hips, not bending forward at the lower back is the key to preventing lower back pain. Strengthening the core muscles (abdominals, obliques, lower back, gluteal muscles and hamstrings) should be part of your golf fitness program. If you don’t have a strong core you are in for big problems as well as poor performance. Flexing the knees requires strong quadriceps or front thigh muscles. If your quadriceps are weak you will fatigue more easily resulting in miss shits and shorter distance. If your calves are too tight you will find it difficult to stay down at the ball.
How can regular exercise help?
A well-constructed exercise program will help to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles that will help to stabilize your trunk during movement. Most people don’t realize that strong abdominal muscles are just as important as strong back muscles in the prevention of back pain and the avoidance of injury.
Unfortunately, most people don’t give a second thought about their back until it’s too late.
A professionally designed exercise program will also focus on improving your flexibility to further decrease the chance of injuring your back. If required, your program should also help you to lose excess weight so that your spine is not under increased stress. It is imperative that you undergo an assessment protocol to determine your needs, strengths and weaknesses prior to the design of your program. The great thing about an organized golf power fitness program is that it can take less than 15 minutes a day to see dramatic improvements in your game. You don’t have to spend countless hours in the gym pumping iron.
Discover proven stretches for your lower back. Click here
Use the Winter to Get Fit for Spring
How many times have you started a new golf season with very high scores, short drives and aches and pains? Am I talking to you? Let’s be honest: It happens more times than you’d like.
So why not do it different this time? Instead of going into deep depression that the season is over, keep golf at the top of your mind by starting a golf-specific fitness program.
Don’t let your clubs get dusty and forget about your game during the winter or off-season. Prepare your body in anticipation for next spring.
It’s no fun to come off the course feeling spent when you could have energy to spare. You may have between 4-6 months to greatly improve your strength, flexibility and stamina. It would be the wisest thing to do to improve your golf for next season.
When you begin the season with a “broken” body, you’re taking two steps back. Take a leap forward and prepare your body by getting your fitness program for golf in motion. Think about winter this way: What a great opportunity to get the edge on your playing partners and win all the money. Wouldn’t that get their goat?
Finally, you’ll get the chance to redeem yourself from a previous season that found you paying out more than receiving and being the brunt of all jokes in the clubhouse after every round. We’ve all been there – but no longer, right? This is the winter to make the commitment and do it! No excuses. No more reasons to put it off. You may realize it’s not easy – but nothing worth getting is easy. Golf fitness is a very popular topic these days among all the pros, teachers and even amateurs.
It’s no secret that if you get your body fitter, stronger and more flexible, you will swing better and hit longer drives that produce lower scores.
That’s what we all want. What a feeling to be the longest (and straightest) hitter in your group. Always hitting your approach shot last because you were the farthest down the fairway. Those are the kinds of thoughts you should have this winter while you’re working out.
So don’t let this winter (off-season) go by without improving your body. All it takes is 2-3 times a week for 30-40 minutes to dramatically improve your game. Not much of a sacrifice to play better golf is it?
What golfer in their right mind wouldn’t want to improve his game? As a matter of fact, golfers, more than any other sport, are fanatical. Many will pay thousands of dollars to belong to some prestigious country clubs. Many more will spend hundreds of dollars during the golf season on balls that they will eventually lose. But the average golfer won’t spend a dime or the time on the biggest asset to his game: his body. I could not imagine spending $2500 on a set of clubs and not doing anything to ensure I could use them to their fullest capacity.
To be a successful player at the golf game, you need functional strength, endurance, coordination, finesse and timing. You can’t find these aspects of the game in a pro shop. I don’t care how much you paid the equipment that claims to go 20 to 40 yards farther than the ordinary; if you lack the above, you’re going to be another frustrated player.
The Most Out Of Your (Pre-Round) Stretching
Do you know of any sport where the athletes do not warm up before playing? Baseball players stretch and then take batting and infield practice. Basketball players stretch, then do lay ups followed by a shoot around. Ski racers stretch, then ski a few runs, then walk the course and then stretch again before the race. What do all these sports have in common? Stretching! Golf is a sport, and we are athletes too, but most golfers do the opposite, they hit balls to warm up, when we all know we should warm up before hit balls….
Golf stretching exercises, performed consistently and properly will increase your range of motion, your power and lubricate your joints, activate your CNS and sharpen your senses, ultimately… it will improve your game!
However there are different types of golf stretching exercises and which one you perform, and when, makes a significant difference…
By now most people have heard of the two types of stretching: Static stretching and Dynamic stretching. But the question is which is which one is the best to do before we play around of golf? And why?
Static stretching – (where you hold the stretch, breath and release) is great for increasing your flexibility. But more and more research is showing that static stretching before a sport that involves powerful movements (such as the golf swing) can negatively affect performance.
When we perform static stretching the muscles are lengthened, the brain is not able to understand this change, so when we try to hit the golf ball after static stretching the brain will not notice the stored information as a trunk rotational, golf swing.
Simply put, this type of stretching reduces how powerfully you can contract your muscles and so potentially, how far you can hit the ball.
The second type of stretching is called dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is when you stretch the targeted muscles without stopping, moving in and out of the stretch position until you loosen up getting your body ready for movement. This continuous movement allows the brain to monitor the changing length of the muscles to recognize arms, shoulders, turn follow through. .
Follow these easy to do dynamic stretches and see your first drive, go straight down the middle..
Stand Shoulder width apart.
Using your 5 iron:
1. Holding club, extend arms with palms down gripping the club out in front with hands 3 inches apart. (Picture yourself turning the car wheel)
Rotate your left hand over your right (clockwise), until right palm is facing towards the ceiling.
- Then rotate your right hand over your left until right palm is facing ceiling. Repeat 10 x
Benefit: Stretch in the wrists, arms, and forearms, and front shoulders.
- Hands out 5 inches past shoulder width.
Benefit: Stretch in shoulders, and upper back.
Repeat 5-times to each side.
Time your routine so that at its completion, you can stroll to the first tee just in time for your group’s assigned time. You never want to stand around for more than a few minutes after warm-up. If there is a delay, stand to the side of the tee and make slow swings and stretch to stay loose. Remember, your warm-up routine sets the tempo for the day, so move slowly, breath and relax. I recommend that you arrive at the course a minimum of one hour before your tee time.
This portion of your warm-up should take approximately 15 minutes.
Remember: If you fail to warm up properly you are setting yourself up to fail when you play. Use the mentality of a professional: make and take the time to warm up for peak performance and better scores.
Body Flexibility and your Golf Game
Tight muscles restrict and slow down the motion needed to effectively swing the golf club and as we age, muscles aren’t as naturally flexible and as they were in earlier years. That means golfers must work harder just to maintain the same level of flexibility they had in their younger days.
Keeping your flexibility requires a more than simply warming up with a few stretches at the first tee before a round. Golfers who want to improve their games need to take flexibility training as seriously as hitting practice balls or working on the putting green.
Here are some reasons why:
Stiff muscles and tendons in the trunk and lower body inhibit proper setup and cause golfers to slouch. You can’t make a proper golf swing from a poor setup, and you can’t set yourself in the proper position at address without some degree of flexibility.
Making a proper shoulder turn is impossible if your the shoulder muscles, the chest muscles, oblique’s the stomach muscles , and the upper back muscles are stiff.. The backswing is a turn of the upper body around the relatively stable lower body. Upper body flexibility makes that turn possible.
The biceps, triceps, wrist and elbow flexors must also be flexible in order for the arms to work properly in the swing. You may have heard the phrase “releasing the golf club”. This term refers to the point in the swing when the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and hands work together to generate the greatest club-head speed at the exact moment the club makes contact with the ball. In order for those body parts to work in this fashion, each muscle group in the arms and shoulders must be flexible.
The hip flexors and adductor muscles must also remain flexible if you want to swing the club efficiently. Because the lower body initiates the downswing and provides the stable base on which the entire swing is structured, having a full range of motion with these muscles is critical.
Making a good golf swing also depends on a flexible back and abdominal muscles. These opposing muscle groups are stretched to their limit in golf and players must go to great lengths to stretch these muscles properly. If you don’t, poor golf is the least of your worries.
Flexibility may be your single biggest issue or just a small portion of the weaknesses you face today. Maybe stamina is a small issue, yet strength loss is a major factor. It could be just one thing or any combination of things that work together and against your game.
The Expensive Driver Can’t Cure Your Slice,
Improve Your Range Of Motion Could
How can you develop more power in your golf swing? That’s probably a question that almost all of us want an answer to.
Most of us will go to great lengths to do whatever it takes to get that power into our drives off the tee. I think we probably all have some ideas of where 280-yard drives come from.
You see it may not be the new expensive driver but your body that is keeping you from achieving the proper golf swing and playing your best golf! If your body is physically declining, and has limited golf-specific strength and flexibility you will have a minimal chance at ever achieving a full shoulder turn.
We all have certain physical capabilities. Golf requires flexibility in all parts of the body. Tight muscles restrict and slow down the motion needed to effectively swing the golf club and as we age, muscles aren’t as naturally flexible as they were in earlier years. That means golfers must work harder just to maintain the same level of flexibility they had in their younger days.
If your pro tells you to make a 90 degree shoulder turn and you can’t… what does he tell you next? I can tell you it’s to make some kind of “compensation” in your swing to make that shoulder turn. The result is less power, more miss-hits.
That’s the relationship between the Mechanical (your golf pro)+ Biomechanical (your golf specific trainer) working together = you the better player.
Making a proper shoulder turn is impossible if your shoulder muscles, the chest muscles, the stomach muscles, and the upper back muscles are stiff and unresponsive. The backswing is a turn of the upper body around the relatively stable lower body. Upper body flexibility makes that turn possible.
Keeping flexible requires a great deal more than simply warming up with a few stretches at the first tee before a round. Golfers who want to improve their games need to take flexibility training as seriously as hitting practice balls or working on the putting green.
Try these and improve your shoulder turn and your game.
Stretch: Two weights:
Flexibility is the single most important physical characteristic likely to influence your golf swing. A tight body creates restricted motion in the swing and later produces injuries as a form of Flexibility, stability and power are all improved by exercising for golf. As you begin to develop a regular golf exercise regimen, be sure to concentrate on functional exercise for golf. These exercises include a combination of movements designed to both strengthen the muscles as well as improve neuromuscular coordination. Therefore, when you take your golf swing, the body’s already been conditioned to perform in a similar manner. Strength training and stretching exercises will go the distance to improve your game and your personal life.
How do you find a golf fitness program?
Flexibility, stability and power are all improved by exercising for golf. As you begin to develop a regular golf exercise regimen, be sure to concentrate on functional exercise for golf. These exercises include a combination of movements designed to both strengthen the muscles as well as improve neuromuscular coordination. Therefore, when you take your golf swing, the body’s already been conditioned to perform in a similar manner. Strength training and stretching exercises will go the distance to improve your game.
Pursue a fitness professional who works with golfers and really understands the mechanics of the swing. Visit www.mytpi.com to find an expert in your area.
Or you can order my Golf fitness Tool Guide to the Pros
I know we all desire to play a little better and get more enjoyment out of this great sport. No more excuses. It’s time to make a new commitment to improve your golf game, your general health, and your life. No matter your age, gender, body type, strength level, or workout history, you can get in better Golf Shape. Doing so will lower your scores.
Healthy Body = Better Game!
Keep me updated on your progress!
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