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Assessments Matter

Single Leg Toe Touch

Why do I need to go through an assessment? 

Single Leg Toe Touch Assessment

This is a assessment used in the Titleist Performance Institute level 1 testing protocol.

Every so often i’ll get a new client that comes in itching to get in a workout and wants to know why they can’t just start doing exercises they have seen me post up online.  The fact of the matter is, when you come into see a professional trainer, especially one that has a speciality and focus on a skill based sport like Golf, an assessment is going to the place to start. If someone’s goal is to start consistently driving the ball further off the tee, and lose body fat, you better have a baseline of request coordination, balance, and strength so you can have a focused program.

I generally will start a new client meeting by trying to get to know you and answer any specific questions you might have.  We are essentially building a relationship and the first step in a coaching relationship is TRUST. I need to know what your goals are, where you are at and ultimately I need to develop a way to get you there. Using a movement screen like the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) or the Titleist Performance Institute level 1 or level 2 screen helps me understand where your strong and weak points are so I can find the best route to your fitness.

Plain and simple this is how I view the movement continuum:

  1. Coordination
  2. Strength
  3. Power

Coordination = joint range of motion + your muscles ability to move that joint through a pattern with control.

*If your coordination sucks we have to work on either referring you out to medical, improving joint mobility to muscle tissue length

Strength= coordination + capacity for external load

  • If strength is your issue we have 2 places to look; coordination (see above for definition) and capacity for external load.

Power= Strength x Speed

*If power is an issue we need decide if its a “strength power” issue or a “speed power” issue

At the end of the day, I assess you in order to define your control, your strength, your power so we can best fit that to your sport and fitness goals.

If you are interested in coming in for a movement assessment to help program for your goals feel free to reach out!

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Why Should You Warm Up?

Stretch used to teach separation of upper and lower body

Why should we warm up?

You know the guy that gets out of his car, does a quick shoulder stretch, pops his neck and touches his toes before getting in a workout? If you know him, slap him, if you are him, smack yourself then read this article on how to get a proper warm up in:

There are a few different ways to warm up before a workout, but if your focus is on improving your fitness for golf, or to warm up before a practice session/round of golf and its important to understand that by doing a good warm up we can optimize our performance.  The types of warm ups we will talk about today are 1) General Warm up, 2) Specific Warm Up

The General Warm-up:

Hip Hinge Drill

Hip Hinge Drill with a dowel to promote better posture

The General Warm-Up will firstly help increase your body temperature. Why does that matter? Well a good general warm up will improve circulation by pumping blood out to your periphery via opening up smaller blood vessels which is a good thing. This increase in blood flow will help make our muscles a bit more pliable and ready for movement under load. Lastly, a good general warm up will help to lubricate our joints.

Specific Warm-up:

Specific Warm-Ups will help us focus on particular areas like feet and ankles, or we may decide to warm-up a certain pattern or position like a half kneeling position.  Our body knows where it is in space because of little sensors embedded in around our joints and through our muscle tissue.  If you have a particular area you want to work on or focus on, a specific warm up for that area will help with all the stuff we just listed under general warm-up and give the added benefit a specific area or pattern.

Based on your assessment, a good warm up can serve as an injury prevention tool as we are cuing up your bodies main sensory organisms (brain, joints, muscle, connective tissue), and a way to get our minds right for the task at hand.

How do we warm-up?

Check out this little video I posted up on YouTube for a proper ground based warm up. It hits everything we talked about in this article.

If have any questions feel free to reach out!

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Warming Up for Golf

Lumbar locked trunk rotation

Golfers! Looking for a great warm up to do before your workout, or even your round?

Check out this quick, yet simple yet challenging warm up routine for you core!

It’s a great way to warm up your core in all 3 planes of motion:

  1. Flexion
  2. Extension
  3. Rotation

Give these drills a shot and let me know how you like them!

If you are interested in getting a evaluation and finding drills that are specific to your needs, we can set up either an in person or online session.

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Trunk Rotation

All 4’s Trunk Rotations

One of the places people struggle moving from the most is the in the thoracic spine (aka t-spine or the rib cage). This is the area of your spine between your neck and lower back that attaches to your ribs. This area encases your vital organs like the lungs and heart, and stomach and if it doesn’t move well it can affect breathing, and digestion, but I digress.

Can you arch your spine backward, round it forward and rotate it in each direction? If you can’t then certain movements, like the golf swing can become less accurate. There is a big relationship between poor trunk motion and poor swing paths.  Check out this drill called All 4’s Trunk Rotation too help improve your thoracic spine and rib cage mobility!  Try 2 sets of 5 in each direction and let me know what you think!

 

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Remodel Time!!!

After 2.5 years we are remodeling the studio! Stay tuned for more information on new classes, workshops and training!

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How to Create Rotational Strength

Lumbar locked trunk rotation

Learning to rotate through the proper areas/joints is something we spend a good bit of time refining with our golfers.  Learning to access the core and stabilize lower body against upper body movement- and vise versa- is pretty important when it comes to functional strength (click here for an article on functional strength).

Below is an example of what a basic mini program for Rotational Strengthtrunk rotation drill

Above is the start position for lumbar locked thoracic rotation.

Lumbar locked trunk rotation

Trunk rotation from a short kneeling position

The first drill focuses on mobility of the trunk (thoracic spine) which tends to be sticky for most people. It’s called a lumbar locked trunk rotation. The idea is to work for more rotation from the thoracic spine and rob cage while protecting the lower back.

 

 

In the finished position, you should push through the down arm to create extension as well as rotation. Remember the spine likes to straighten out or extend and rotate.

 

 

Oblique loading drill

This is a core drill to promote rotation through the lower body and core

 

The next drill is called a mountain climber with cross body rotation.  This is great drill to teach proper loading and unloading of the obliques.

 

Push Up Position (elevated)

This is starting point for this drill

 

 

I like this as a rotational drill for training upper body and arm stability with core driven lower body rotation.

 

 

 

These are 2 of the drills expanded upon, if you watch the video above you will see a couple more that require lower body stability and upper body driven movement.  This is a very short and basic routine but is pretty effective on checking off a lot of boxes for a golfer’s common needs for creating rotational strength. Feel free to reach out for an evaluation or a session specific to you.

 

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TPI Level 1 Movement Screen

Golf Fitness Training

I really enjoy everything I have learned and will continue to learn from Titleist Performance Institute (www.mytpi.com). All the information they have been able to compile on the body-swing relationship has really helped me to communicate to my clients and their golf instructors about potential issues and more importantly about how the body can be improved to help with swing efficiency.  As a Level 3 Golf Fitness Instructor, I have been educated and taken the time to work with my fellow Southern California section PGA golf instructors  to create a team atmosphere for my clients and their body related needs, couple that with over 15 years of experience in the industry and in my area, I am confident that I can help you identify and improve your movement ability. Schedule yourself an appointment for your evaluation!

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Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

In Line Lunge Test (FMS)

Check out this quick little video on the Functional Movement Screen, also known as the FMS. I like to use the FMS as a first place, or a starting point for anyone that is about to start a new workout routine as it quickly provides me with a lot of information in a fairly safe environment.  It’s appropriate for pretty much anyone whether you are just getting back into fitness, or coming back from a previous injury. Here’s a little bit about what I like about the test:

  1. It’s relatively safe as a starting point for a first session
  2. It provides a lot of valuable information for me to begin creating a program for a new client
  3. It’s valid and repeatable so we can retest and compare
  4. It gives me snapshot idea of how well you as a client can coordinate
  5. It gives me a snapshot idea of how well you as a client can comprehend instruction
  6. It’s a self limiting test meaning if you can’t do it, you generally will limit yourself and stop

Check out the video below to see what the test looks like, and let me know if you have any questions!

Contact us for your evaluation and lets see how well you move!

 

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FOOT ACTION IN BACKSWING

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Last night I was working with a golf fitness client and we were talking about hip strategies (click here for a video example of a hip hinge with rotation) and how it relates to setup and backswing mechanics. After coaching his movement, we noticed his feet were not very stable and he was relying on his toes too much causing him to lose balance the same way he would in his downswing. That reminded of an article from Golf Digest titled “Jack Nicklaus: My Lifetime Principles For Great Golf”.

In the article Jack discussed his 6 principles that helped him through his golf career, and his 4th principle was on footwork.

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Jack quoted Jim Flick as saying holding the instep of your backfoot down keeps your right hip in check and I completely agree with that. Engaging the instep of the foot helps the hip stabilize in internal rotation (or in non-jibberish terms, working from your instep helps you pivot through the hip with sliding). In the same article Jack says ¦impact is a result of rolling your ankles back and forth which I also agree with. One drill I like using to teach this in is called Single Leg Hip Hinge with Rotation (seen below). What you will find in this drill is that as you hinge forward (first part of the drill) you need good balance throughout your foot, and as you rotation the hips open and closed (second part of the drill) you need to subtly roll your ankle very much in the same way you do in the golf swing to maintain control. If you have trouble with foot work, or sway/slide in your swing, I would suggest trying 5 repetitions on each side to build awareness of how the foot and hip relate to each other in rotation. Enjoy!

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(Click here for the video link)

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REFLEXIVE STABILITY

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Gray Cook (creator of the Functional Movement Screen and advisory board member of the Titleist Performance Institute) is a well recognized leader in the area of rehab, post rehab and performance training. I recently came across a great video clip that he put out regarding Stabilization Training. Its a quick video but its packed with a lot of great info. I use reflexive stability to help my golfers out all the time.  At the end of the day, golfers need to be in good alignment and a good position to have your brain reflexively fire to give you integrity. If you are out of position and your primary movers (aka mirror muscles) are firing to stabilize you, they cant do their job of moving leading to poor balance and mobility and ultimately compensation.

Check out the video below for some more info on it!

Enjoy!

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