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


Blogger OLHS VP 74 said...

Can you help ?

I recently had keyhole surgery on my left knee. After several months of rehab exercises my knee is still swollen. How can I get this fluid to move & so I can return to the fairways ?

Many Thnaks


6:36 AM  

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