By now, I’m sure that everyone has finished up a rigorous off-season training program, preparing themselves for the physical demands of their favorite spring activities. The repetitive motions that both golf and tennis require put a lot of stress on the body. Understanding the movements in your sport will allow you to prepare and function better when playing. For whatever activity we choose, we want to bring a body that is ready and able to perform.
Anyone that plays golf knows how demanding a sport it really is. It requires the body to produce the same torque anywhere from 60 to 120 times (depending on how good you are) over the course of a few hours. Your setup, or approach to the ball will dictate how you swing. In order to allow a free backswing, you must be able to maintain an active, athletic stance with a proper tilt of the pelvis. Next, you must be able to stabilize your hips as you coil into your backswing before transferring your weight and rotating through contact with the ball.
The bottom line is you better bring a body ready to do all of those things. If you don’t want your back to hurt, you better have stable hips that can setup, rotate, and follow through. The lower back muscles are involved with every movement the body makes. Their job is to support movement of the larger muscle groups, not do the work for them. A golf swing is the result of many different chain reactions in your system working together to produce movement. You must train those chain reactions!
Get your hips strong. Squat, lunge, reach, and rotate. There is a starting point for everyone. A lunge can start as a simple step forward. By driving your arms out in front of you, your hip muscles will engage and decelerate your momentum. If you feel comfortable, you can progress the lunge to a more complex movement and reach all the way to the ground. The same goes for your squat; there is a strategy that works for everyone.
Teach your body how to rotate and follow through. Every golf player has to feel comfortable during rotation. Training these muscles during the week will provide a strong foundation for your weekend match. At the very least, learn a proper and efficient warm-up that will target these areas before you play.
Our staff routinely teaches how to establish a functional body that is ready to participate in any sport. If you need help on how to get started, call us for a consultation. Next, we’ll go over tennis.
Sean Fitzpatrick is owner of One2One Bodyscapes in Mamaroneck