Friday, October 30, 2009

Resistance to Change

For nearly two years we have been hearing the word “change” being used over and over as it related to political campaigns. Change is good if it means you are improving or changing your circumstances to have a better life, better marriage or even a better golf swing.

There are some people who resist change because it might be too scary or too challenging. Whatever the reason, change may be necessary in order to move to a better place or circumstance in life.

In my opinion, neither your body nor your golf swing will change without resistance, resistance training, that is. Simply stated, resistance training is that which causes your muscles to work harder than normal in order to, over time, get stronger to perform better.

Body builders realize the benefit of resistance training when they use barbells or free weights do develop a stronger, more muscular body.

Golfers need to develop more muscle strength if they want to ward off injury and perform better overall. Although, heavy duty weight training, like body builders is not the answer. Using lighter weights or best of all, resistance cords or bands, is the best way for golfers to get the benefit of the resistance along with the smooth consistent motion or action the bands promote.

PGA Tour Coach Joey D has been using resistance cords with his touring professionals for over 10 years. Just recently, he and GolfGym® created his Signature Series of PowerBandz that are designed for, and used in, the PGA Tour Vans. The great part is that they are portable and come with a DVD that includes the exact same exercises and techniques that he uses to train his players on the Tour.

Because rotation and club head speed go hand in hand, here are some specific exercises to help you train those muscles to perform at their best. Another benefit to using the bands is that you can maintain a good golf posture throughout the entire range of the exercises. Free weights or machines are not set up to allow you to stay in good golf posture while performing the exercises.The consistent resistance of the bands helps to achieve noticeable results.

This exercise can really help with the “slingshot” effect. Start your takeaway and feel the resistance as you go back. The bands want to pull you back into the slot. As they pull you, be aware of the negative resistance and the position of your hips as they rotate along with your hands to just past impact. As you get better with this, you can work with the resistance to “slingshot” your hands and hips through impact, thereby increasing club head speed.

This movement pattern opens up the chest area to help with flexibility while strengthening the chest, shoulders and back. Perform this movement to the left and right, it will help you to develop greater rotation and strength while maintaining a good golf posture.

Here, Joey D is performing another rotational exercise designed to help with the association of the hips and the torso. It is also great for strengthening the shoulders and back.

Finally, Joey D is working with the GolfGym® PowerSwing Trainer on the takeaway drill. This helps to ingrain the feeling of the one piece takeaway. This is a perfect warm up exercise just before stepping up to the first tee. Visit to learn more about Joey D and the GolfGym line of products.

So, if you are resistant to change….that may be a bad thing.

But, if you use resistance to change…. that is a good thing, a very good thing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Strength, Flexibility and Balance – Developing a “Strong Swing”

Is there such a thing as a Strong Swing? I say yes, and here’s why. Think about it. If you strengthen the muscles in your legs you walk easier and for longer distances, and you would say you have strong legs. If you strengthen the muscles in your arms you pick up and carry things more easily, and you would say you have strong arms.

I think the same holds true for your golf swing. If you strengthen the exact muscles you use in the golf swing, odds are that your swing will become stronger, smoother and more consistent. Your swing should then be able to withstand the rigors of 18 holes with 70 – 100+ golf swings, some of which have to be dug out of the deep rough or sand.

The following exercise will help you develop a strong consistent golf swing while working on your balance, posture and flexibility. I am using the GolfGym® PowerSwing Trainer. It is a latex resistance tube based unit attached to a golf training grip.

Place the foam pad under your left foot (for right handed golfers). You can put it under your right foot, but for this exercise go with your left foot in order to feel more resistance on your back swing.

Get yourself in a really good set up position (golf posture) with the end of the grip pointing to an imaginary ball. Feel your weight over the inside center of your feet and in balance. This will create a very solid foundation.

Start to take the grip back to a full back swing position. You will feel the resistance. As you take it back to the top, try to use your big turning muscles, not just your arms. Concentrate on doing the exercise correctly and slowly. Feel yourself “loading” over your right foot. Hold that position for the count of 2. Take a quick peek at your arms hands and shoulder position and make corrections if need be.

Golf Fitness, GolfGym PowerSwing Trainer, Strong Golf Swing

Start your downswing slowly (with your hip turn), resisting the pull of the tubing, but allowing the tubing to pull you into the slot. That sounds contradictory, but you will feel what I mean when you do it. Keep that good wrist cock until you get to the impact position. The tubing actually helps to keep your hands in the correct position.

Continue through impact to a finished position somewhere between your belt and your shoulders. Hold that fully extended position for the count of 2. You will feel the muscles in your core, legs and arms firing to hold that position. Come back to the start position and do 8 - 10 repetitions. When 8 - 10 repetitions become easy, simply pick up the pace and do 15 - 20 repetitions without stopping to set up or holding at the top.

Key points to remember while doing this exercise:
  1. Maintain a good foundation and posture in your stance(a mirror really helps).
  2. Concentrate on turning around your spine. Not swaying side to side.
  3. Turn as far as you can on the back swing. That will help with your flexibility.
  4. Stay in balance as you swing. Think of your weight centered over the inside of your feet.

This exercise can be done every day, and is especially good to do about 10 minutes before you step up to the first tee when playing. When you use it to warm up before playing, swing as smoothly as possible and stay in a good golf posture. Be sure to pick up your driver and take 10 – 12 smooth swings to adjust to the weight. You are now ready to play the best round of your life....or at least this month.

You can visit to see more uses of the PowerSwing Trainer.

Good Luck and Good Golfing.

Ken Pierce
The GolfGym Guy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flexibility, Strength & Balance –The Turn

As we age, we struggle with flexibility, strength and balance. If you have been active and exercise on a regular basis, you are most likely in fairly good golf shape. If you haven’t continued a regular exercise program, especially past 50 years of age, you are probably experiencing a loss of flexibility, strength and balance. This shows up as fewer yards on your drives and inconsistent shots which lead to lack of confidence. You can do something about it with some easy and fun exercises.

The following exercise involves the big muscles in your core, legs, hips, shoulders and buttocks. It will help with flexibility and make you more aware of your limitations, if any. We use the GolfGym Balance/Fitness Ball in order to isolate and identify the muscles you use when turning in the golf swing. We use the big ball because it will help all golfers, especially those golfers who have a tendency to swing with their arms and not with their core and hips. If you were to ask an arm swinger, he or she would probably say they feel as if they are turning the big muscles, when in reality, they are just swinging their arms and not turning their shoulders.

When you hug the ball, you are unable to turn without using your core and shoulders. This is a “feel” exercise, and once you do it you will see exactly what I mean. This exercise will challenge your balance and flexibility as well. The key is to hold the extended positions and to move slowly, and in balance.

Start by hugging the ball close to your chest with your arms wrapped completely around the ball.
Recommended equipment for this exercise:
The GolfGym Balance/Fitness Ball

Backswing Turn with Ball
While completely hugging the ball, turn as far as you can to your backswing side. Notice how my weight is “loaded” onto my right leg down through the inside of my right foot. My back is facing the target. It works best if you can perform this exercise in front of a mirror to monitor your turn. Now, hold that position for the count of five while taking in one deep breath and exhaling. When you exhale, try turning a little more. Hold that position for two more counts. Then start your downswing turning slowly. Be sure to turn slowly while learning the correct “feel”. Stay in balance.
Follow Through with Ball
As you swing through the impact position, keep turning to the full follow through position. Your weight should have shifted to your left leg and foot. Turn the big muscles in the hips and core to complete the swing. Avoid swaying into your left side. You want to turn around your spine. Hold the finished position for the count of five. In the picture you can see that my left foot has rotated slightly to the outside and off of a firm position. The ideal position of the left foot should be flat….or as close to flat as possible. This is one more thing you can “monitor” as you work through the exercise. Now, go back to your address position and repeat the exercise. Start with 2 or 3 complete turns. Build up to 12 to 15. Remember to breathe and relax during the exercise. If you are doing it correctly, you will feel more strength, flexibility and balance every time you do it.

Practice this everyday and you will experience increased core stability and begin feeling more solid in your swing.

This is the first of a series of four exercises we will bring you to to help develop Flexibility, Strength & Balance.

Ken Pierce
The GolfGym Guy

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Las Vegas In My Rear View Mirror

GolfGym Fitness, Coach Joey D, PGA Tour, Chez Reavie

I am in Scottsdale, Arizona for the Open, but wanted to share some info about my trip to Las Vegas last week.

The prez of GolfGym, Ken Pierce along with Jeff Killian and Terry Boatwright from Ocean Motion Productions, and Mike Hansen from Hansen Fitness in Irvine, California shuffled over from Orange County to shoot some video clips and golf fitness tips with me.

Pictured above are Ken Pierce, my guy PGA Pro Chez Reavie, yours truly, Mike Hansen and Kent Biggerstaff who runs the PGA Tour trailer. Kent was with pro baseball for 35 years and now brings his golf fitness expertise to the PGA Tour Players.

PGA Tour, Tom Pernice Jr., Coach Joey DAt the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open I was working with Chez Reavie, Ryuji Imada and Tom Pernice, Jr.. Chez worked really hard and played well, but everybody was chalking really low numbers and he ended up missing the cut by one stroke. Ryuji and Tom made the cut and Tom put up great numbers to finish the tournament at T8.

Two weeks earlier I attended Tom's 50th birthday party. He went on to play in and win his debut tournament on the Champions Tour, The SAS Championship. Tom works very hard on his fitness and is a huge proponent of working on his balance. Tom gave us a testimonial that is posted on the golfgym website.

Today is the first day of the Open and I need to get to the trailer because Charlie Wi and Chez Reavie will be headed back for their post game session with me.

I will check in later in the weekend.

Joey D.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Las Vegas - What Happens There...Is Posted Here

I took some time off during the past 2 weeks to get back home, take care of some things and get rejuvenated for the next two tournaments. I also took some time to work at my D1 Athletic Academy with some golfers on their golf fitness and some young LaCrosse players on rotation, flexibility and balance. I will post more about that over the next couple weeks.

I traveled to Las Vegas this week for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. This PGA Tournament is being played at TPC Summerlin. I worked with three of my players on Tuesday and Wednesday getting them ready for the first day of competition on Thursday. Tom Pernice, Jr., who won his debut Champions Tour event a week ago is playing along with Ryuji Imada and Chez Reavie, both winners on the PGA Tour.

GolfGym's Ken Pierce and a video crew traveled to Las Vegas from Orange County, California to shoot some great new golf fitness tips and footage that will soon be showing up on our website We arrived on Tuesday morning and the weather was really crummy. We were not expecting to be welcomed by high winds and very cool temperatures in the Nevada desert. Some mist was also on tap for Tuesday while the players prepared for the Thursday start. The weather got a little better on Wednesday, but the winds were still high. You will probably hear the winds howling in some of the video tips we shot there. It was unavoidable.

On Thurdsday, Tom Pernice, Jr. shot a near record 62 to give him the lead after 18 holes. The cut ended up being -4 and Chez Reavie missed by one stroke. Ryuji is playing well and is in the hunt.

We shot some testimonials from the players and they are posted on the website. I am very proud that the guys I work with gave of their time to help us promote the PowerSwing Trainer and PowerBandz. These tools are an essential part of my teaching and training. My guys are also highlighted in my new book coming out in January of next year, "Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing".

I will be headed to Scottsdale, Arizona next week for the 2009 Open to be played at Grayhawk Golf Club. I will post some news from there.

Remember, if you have a question about golf fitness, conditioning, biomechanics or anything else about my coaching on the PGA Tour, just click on this link Ask Joey D or go to and click on Ask Joey D.

Stay Flexible and Strong.
Joey D.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Turning Stone Cold and Wet - Warming Up is Critical

I am always telling my players and golfers in general that warming up is vitally important to your performance on the course and for your overall golf fitness....but I didn't mean having to warm up before every shot.

Turning Stone this week has been very cold and very wet. Many of the players are not in the top 125 on the money list and their Tour Cards are in jeopardy. That means they are having to play strictly for the money.

You take that pressure and add in the weather, having to wear rain gear, playing on soggy fairways and wet greens and it is a grind. Playing in these conditions is brutal enough. The pressure is compounded when the money becomes the driving force in how you must play. This is when preparedness, golf fitness and mental toughness is so important.

I am headed home on Saturday to attend to some personal matters, but am wishing that my guy Jason Gore have a good weekend and fatten his wallet a bit.

I will be heading to Las Vegas in a week for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. A film crew is coming to shoot new video and photos for the website, the blog, and for Golf Fitness Magazine.

Be sure to visit the newly designed GolfGym website for some great video clips with exercises and warm up techniques.

I'll keep you posted.
Joey D.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Our PowerSwing Trainer Masters Edition Received 2nd Place Product Award At GOLF EUROPE 2009

We are proud to announce that our GolfGym PowerSwing Trainer – Masters Edition received second place in the training aids category from the GOLF EUROPE Product Award committee at GOLF EUROPE 2009 in Munich, Germany.

We were the only golf fitness product included as a top three finalist in the training aids category which helps validate the growing impact golf fitness is having on the game of golf. Tour professionals worldwide have been using the GolfGym PowerSwing Trainer daily as part of their golf fitness programs and we hope the recognition gained by this award will help more golfers realize the benefits of using our products to improve their games.

The GOLF EUROPE Product Awards are given for the most innovative products for the upcoming golf season and have become one of the established elements of the leading European trade show for golf. The best products are selected from the categories of clubs, apparel, footwear, and accessories, as well as caddies and training equipment. A high-caliber jury consisting of independent industry and retail experts as well as leading media representatives selects the winners from the entered products according to functional aspects, design, degree of innovation, and ease of use.

“The product awards offer the individual winners an opportunity to present themselves and their products to retail and to jump ahead of the competition,” explains Armin Wittmann, Exhibition Director GOLF EUROPE. “The selection was made by examining the functional aspect, design, degree of innovation, and ease of use of each product entry.”

Joey D.