Golf has been traditionally thought of as a GAME you take up when you get ‘old’. I believe people think this to be the case because there’s no running around in golf. But, golf is actually a SPORT that puts tremendous demands on the body.
The level of exertion and muscle activation in the golf downswing is equivalent to that needed for a slap shot in hockey, a serve in tennis, or a boxers punch.
(Most people don’t take up those sports later in life because they recognize the high demands they put on the body)
Let me explain. Golf requires that every joint that is designed to be mobile -be mobile. Those joints are the ankles, hips, thoracic spine, glenohumeral joint, and wrists. (See those parts of the body highlighted in PINK below).
However, as we age we tend to lose mobility (or the ability to move with freedom). Let’s face it. If you’re over 50 you’ve been sitting in a chair for most of your life. The only difference is the chairs got bigger and softer and so did you!
“We are not designed to be in chairs.”
The more time spent in chairs the less flexible and mobile we become. Adequate flexibility and mobility are needed to get into position for the proper golf swing. The less flexibility and mobility your body possesses, the more likely you will manifest swing faults, lose power, and develop an injury.
“Until you can get into a position until you can move the joints the way that they need to move, it will be very difficult to enhance your power and hit the ball with consistency. If we look at most people that struggle with golf, it’s because they lack mobility.” _ Mike Boyle, World Renowned Strength Coach
Optimal Posture = Optimal Opportunity for Optimal Movement
Sitting in chairs alters the length/tension relationship of the muscles in the front and back of the body. The muscles on the front tend to get short and tight, and the muscles on the back tend to become long and weak. This alters the position of your joints and spine and causes you to adopt poor posture.
Paul Chek, the author of The GOLF Biomechanic’s Manual, says: “Improving posture should be the foundation of every rehabilitation and conditioning specialist’s approach to exercise and improving function.”
We talk about posture as it relates to the golf swing all the time. In order to be an effective golfer you need to possess good ‘static’ posture at set-up and maintain posture through all portions of the golf swing.
“The golf swing is all about rotation. The worse your static posture the worse your rotation will be. Golfers with restricted rotation will develop compensation patterns that lead to loss of power and injury”–Brett Cohen
Dr. Greg Rose, board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic and one of the founders of the Titleist Performance Institute states: “Flexibility and mobility should be 10% of your exercise program for every decade you are alive.”
So that means if you’re a 60-year-old golfer, 60% of your exercise time should be dedicated to improving flexibility and mobility.
My Success Formula
After measuring someone’s static posture and observing movement through various screens the first step in improving a golfer’s performance is as follows:
- Improve tissue quality
- Improve tissue length
- Improve joint mobility
- Improve segmental stability
- Improve static and dynamic posture
Incorporate all of the above into relative movement patterns such as; squatting, bending, lunging, pushing, pulling, and twisting (or rotation)
Until that foundation is in place it doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
“Move better before you move more.”
“At age 78 I wanted to reach my fitness limits so I could bring my golf game back to where it was 10 years ago. After 3 months of training, I have already begun to shoot my age. I shot 75, 77, and 78 twice. This has been my goal going back 2 years!”__Hank Cohen
To learn more about my approach to golf conditioning and to request a copy of my FREE e-book: My Top 9 Strategies To Achieve Longer Drives, Lower Scores, and Fewer Injuries! CALL (917) 596-8485