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February 9 2012

3:09 PM

Fitness: A stretch to help your game

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness Flexibility is a “buzzword” in golf fitness these days and rightfully so. We invariably understand to make a full shoulder turn, initiate the downswing with the lower body, and maintain a balanced finish position muscular flexibility and joint mobility are needed. If the golfer is lacking flexibility, the ability to perform each phase of the swing with the greatest amount of efficiency possible will most likely be impeded, and unfortunately these impedances limit shoulder turns, reduce the opportunity to generate club head speed, and can easily lead to the development of swing faults. Knowing this information, it only makes sense for golfers to implement flexibility training into our golf swing improvement program. Such a program with a minimal amount of time on a consistent basis can go a long way in improving the golf swing. There are a couple of points we need to keep in mind as it pertains to flexibility training for golf. First, we need to know what muscles need to be flexible and which joints require mobility too execute the golf swing and second, what are the best types of flexibility training/exercises for golf. In the most basic of terms the muscles surrounding the ankle, hips, thoracic spine (middle of back between the shoulder blades), and shoulder must be flexible to allow their corresponding joints to move through the required ranges of motion during the execution of the golf swing. Flexibility training for golf requires the utilization of a number of different types of exercise modalities beyond static stretching. Static stretching where we hold a “stretch” for 30 seconds is important and should be included in such a program but we also need to perform dynamic flexibility training focused upon moving joints of the body through ranges of motion and myofascial release exercises to remove the “kinks” out of muscles. This type of program set up addresses all the requirements of flexibility as it pertains to the golf swing. The move To give you an example of a range of motion flexibility exercise beneficial to golf and focusing on hip mobility is Windshield Wipers ( pictured above). To perform this exercise place yourself on the floor, back flat, knees bent at 90 degrees, hands between both knees, feet together, and head resting on the floor. Slowly separate your feet keeping the knees in place and bent at 90 degrees. Create the separation of the feet through rotation at the hip joint. Separate the feet as far as possible apart while keeping the knees and hands in contact with one another. Return to the starting position and repeat for the 10-15 repetitions. To learn more about Sean Cochran and his golf fitness training exercises and programs go to http://www.seancochran.com.
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