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February 16 2012

5:47 PM

Fitness: How balance can help swing

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness

Balance is a quality associated with the execution of a proficient golf swing. It is a word often referred to during instruction on the golf swing and “maintaining ones balance” is a key phrase often communicated during the observation of skilled golf swing.

That being said, we are also aware of common swing faults such as a sway in the backswing, a slide in the downswing, or a loss of posture as potentially being connected to poor balance. As a result of all of this information we recognize the importance balance plays in the execution of the golf swing.

To understand how the golfer can improve one’s balance capacities we must first recognize the definition of this component of the golf swing. Balance is the ability of the neuromuscular system (nervous and muscular systems) to maintain the proper alignment, center of gravity, and coordinate the body during movement. (Michael Clark, Integrated Training for the New Millennium, 123)

Throughout the entire golf swing, it is necessary for the golfer to maintain the proper spine angle, create a weight transfer, and coordinate muscular movements. To perform this properly, the golfer must be able to maintain balance of the body as a unit and control the extremities (i.e. arm and legs).

The golfer must also recognize balance within the swing is a responsibility of both the body and the mechanics of your swing. Improvement within your balance capacities of the “physical side of this equation” will allow your body the ability to maintain the anatomical positions, coordinate movement, and create a weight transfer within the golf swing more efficiently and effectively.

The process by which we can improve the golfer’s balance capacities is via specialized exercises which challenge both the nervous and muscular systems. These types of exercises over time improve the efficiency by which the nervous system operates, increases the stabilization capacities of the muscular system, and the proficiency by which these two systems (nervous & muscular) coordinate movement.

The exercise

An example of such an exercise that is very cross specific to the golf swing is Single Leg Address Position Rotations. To perform this golf-specific balance exercise place the body in a proper address position, knees slightly bent, fixed spine angle, and arms crossed over your chest.

Raise the right foot slightly off the floor while maintaining your address position and fixed spine angle. Begin to slowly rotate your shoulders to the right to the point of a complete shoulder turn. Return to the starting position of the exercise and repeat for 10-15 repetitions maintaining balance on the left foot. Repeat the exercise by balancing on the right foot.

To learn more about Sean Cochran and his golf fitness training exercises and programs go to http://www.seancochran.com.
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