Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fore Your Golf Game

Want to get on the green?  Improving your game can be as simple as looking at your posture when you swing.  Some of the most common problems during your game are caused by physical limitations in your body.  These same limitations can cause pain in different areas as well.    

Here are some examples of common swing faults that can be helped with proper exercises specific to your swing:

Loss of Posture or C-Posture (think hunched over)
This will cause a limitation in your backswing and lack of rotation resulting in limited distance and lower back pain.  Work on torso rotation and back exercises along with stretching the chest muscles.

Early Extension (your butt comes away from the back line)
Your hips are coming closer to the ball during the downswing which causes the upper body to lift up and results in inconsistencies with ball striking.  Work on balance and stability in the hips.

Simple at home exercises
  • Lift up into a bridge and hold one leg out hip height for up to 20 seconds each side.  This will improve hamstring strength.
  • Balance is key when it comes to golf.  You should be able to balance standing on one leg at a time for at least 30 seconds each.  Now challenge yourself and repeat by doing it with your eyes closed!    
  • Lift your body up into a bridge.  Activate your glutes by holding up there while you lift the toes than heels, alternating a few times.  
  • Improve hip mobility by doing side lying leg series such as clam, lower/lift, circles, and side lifts with both legs together.
  • Torso rotation is necessary when it comes to being able to take a full swing.  Lay on one side of the body to allow your head to rest on the ground with bent knees and elbows (fetal position).  Open your top arm to the opposite wall with a bent elbow and gaze at the ceiling. Ideally you want to be able to touch the ground with the arm while keeping your hips stacked.  Make sure you repeat on the other side!
  • Lat mobility helps you swing better.  Sit back over your heels in a child's pose and flip you hands to face the ceiling.  Try lifting one arm off the ground at a time than both together.  Too difficult?  Place one fist under your forehead to give you more leverage doing one side at a time. (Hint: do the torso rotation exercise from above then repeat this lat one to see improvement)
Click here for other golf specific Pilates exercises.

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