Do You Feel Stiff? Part 1: TPI Trainer, SouthPark

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Hell, I know I do! Certainly in comparison to my 52-year-old body, and my 42-year-old body. At 62 and counting, it takes more time and better strategies to NOT feel stiff. That’s what I’m about to share with you in this article series.

Flexibility, or more accurately, tissue elasticity diminishes with age, just like every other physical prerequisite important to life and sport.

There are 2 questions I have on my Health History Questionnaire that are almost always checked off (YES)

  1. Do you feel stiff?
  2. Are your movements restricted?

 

If you answered yes to either one of those questions or both you’re not alone! Not by a long shot.

Lack of flexibility is the #1 self-diagnosed ‘problem’ my golfers tell me they need help with – “I need more flexibility for golf”.

And they’re always right! They are stiff and they do need more flexibility. If this sounds like you, well, welcome to the club. Golf club that is….

Did you ever try to shoot an old, dried-up rubber band across the room with your thumb>>it’s not going to go far! Take a fresh rubber band out of the bag and try the same thing. Different result, right? Well, your body is the same as an old rubber band. Most of you who start a golf-specific training program want more club head speed which then can be translated into more distance. But you cannot create speed without adequate tissue elasticity.

Let’s turn you into a fresh rubber band.

You are the Tin Man!

You might remember the movie The Wizard of Oz. Of course, you do. We’ve all seen it dozens of times. And one of Dorothy’s companions along the yellow brick road is the Tin Man. Imagine if the Tin Man traded in his ax for a golf club. Yep, that’s what we’re working with. You need OIL!

 

Efficient vs. Non-Efficient Movers

When you think about great athletes, whether it be in basketball, martial arts, soccer, etc. you don’t think of the biggest and bulkiest, of course not, you think of the ones that move with fluidity and grace.

               

The same is true for the best golfers in the world. The best golfers in the world move with fluidity and grace.

 

FACT:

“The average amateur golfer is not physically capable of performing the required body movements that are required of a mechanically correct golf swing.”_Brett Cohen

So How Do We Change That? 

Most of us were taught that the word flexibility refers to the length of our muscles. And when we stretch, we create more length in a muscle. But that isn’t true. It’s another one of those fitness myths that lives on for perpetuity. The reason we can’t stretch a muscle is that it has a starting and an ending point, or an origin and insertion point.

 

What we are stretching is something called fascia. What the heck is fascia you ask?

Let’s Get Familiar With Fascia

  • Fascia is the unifying factor of the body’s movement system. It’s a continuous web of connective tissue that connects and shapes every muscle, organ, blood vessel, and nerve. It intertwines with the fibers of muscles and therefore plays an important role in determining the range of motion of each joint. It is the largest and most sensitive sensory tissue in the body containing the largest number of small nerves. Often referred to as the Neuromyfascial Web.“Fascia is the 3D cobweb that holds everything together”Thomas Myers

  • Fascia is composed mostly of water and two kinds of protein called collagen and elastin.
  • Efficient movers have healthy, elastic fascia.
  • Non-efficient movers don’t move using their fascia and therefore rely on their muscles for movement. That’s why they look stiff and blocky as opposed to fluid and graceful.
  • According to Thomas Myers, Author of Anatomy Trains, “Muscles are the engine of movement, fascia is the medium of movement.”

 

“Brett has done a phenomenal job improving my ‘pliability’…that is the intersection of flexibility and mobility.” __ Jim Forbes

A flexible body is more efficient, is more easily trained to strength and endurance, enjoys more range of motion, stays balanced more easily, is less prone to injury, recovers from workouts more quickly, and feels better.” — Jim Wharton

END OF PART 1