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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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2:1 Drill for Power

My friends over at the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA.com) asked me to help them out with some of their videos for their SCGA Tv and my friends over at Pelican Hill Golf Club allowed me to video on their driving range with Tim Mitchell (@TimMitchellPGA) to demonstrate one the first drills I might use with a golfer to develop lower body power in all three planes of movement.

roykhouryfitness


Roy Khoury of Roy Khoury Fitness taking Tim Mitchell through the 2:1 Drill

The drill we went over is called a 2:1 drill. The 2 refers to 2 quick continuous hops, followed by the 1 which refers to 1 controlled descent into a deeper squat. Why I like this drill is you are learning to load and unload the hips 2 times quickly followed by a controlled hold much like seen in the golf swing. While an argument can be made that other drills will ultimately produce more power- this drill is a great starting point to get into plyometrics that is relatively safe, and a great multi-planar warm up movement for a lower body day.

Now, that being said, I always suggest getting a movement evaluation from your local golf fitness instructor to help you refine your strengths and weaknesses because ultimately the goal is to get you where you need to go and for some this drill might be too easy, and others the drill might be too much. For an evaluation you can always contact me or find a local provider through the MyTPI website.

What I do like about the 2:1 drill is that we get to learn how coordinate ankles, knees, and hips in all three planes of motion which is what we do in our golf swing, and we get the hips to quickly load and unload which is something we need as golfers. To view the full video CLICK HERE and for more info check out my newly revamped website at www.roykhouryfitness.com.

@royfkhoury

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GOLF WRX ARTICLE

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My buddy Tim Mitchell is a golf instructor over at Pelican Hill Golf Resort in Newport Beach, CA and has on occasion contacts me to go see his students movement mechanics. Well a couple of months ago Tim emailed me some video a student that clearly understood what he wanted, but physically couldn’t execute – so Tim asked me to come out and evaluate. She continually would go into a reverse spine angle and that is not going to make for a good swing long term or healthy hip/spine mechaincs.

After seeing the video and knowing she is a pre-teen girl new to golf, I automatically thought of 2 things:

1) Does she have any previous injury history

2) Can her body handle the stability her swing is requiring of her

We went through a brief health history and previous injury intake with nothing to be concerned with and some formal testing in which we found poor stability in the side-to-side (lateral) and rotary movement planes, so I did some quick thinking and used a thera-band to trick her brain in to recognizing the need to brace (which you will see in the video below). After getting the feel of the band we had her hit a ball with the band on and her father commented that that was the first time he had ever seen her hit the ball straight!

Luckily, Tim was able to use that as a good teaching tool and I was able to see her for a few sessions to teach her some better movement mechanics and she is well on her way to a good swing and her goal of making the school team.
The link below will take you to Tim’s full article on Golf WRX and the video included below is a brief video description in which I tried to mimic her swing fault and the correction provided.

 

If you are a golfer and can’t figure out how to improve your swing- you need to look to your movement mechanics, take the time to find a TPI certified Trainer and get yourself checked out! Check back often for new articles!

 

Roy

 

The Value of a Team in Golf Instruction

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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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FUNDAMENTALS

I was fortunate enough to be apart of the 2013 Southern California section PGA Spring Teaching Summit this year along with Titleist and I learned a lot. This year Mark Blackburn (fellow TPI certified) presented on golf instruction and he brought up some great info on practice that I would like to share with you here.

I was impressed when Mark suggested the idea of practicing your swing without a ball. His reasoning was such that when we practice the golf swing we are practicing fundamentals (grip, alignment, posture, backswing pivot, and downswing pivot) . When we miss a shot its typically one of those factors that contribute to the miss hit. His goal as an instructor is to teach his students to understand where they went wrong so that the student can better self correct.

Fundamental drills such as grip, posture, backswing, etc are feel related therefore we should take the time to practice whatever cues we are given to better feel what we need to do. Mark’s suggestion is to practice these things without a ball to promote better focus on feeling what we need to. When we place a ball down on the range and hit it the distractions of ball flight, path, distance, etc over power our feel and we may or may not learn what we are trying to learn as a result. All that being said our practice sessions should include time for fundamental training (no ball practice), as well as ball striking practice. I have been using it and I am enjoying the outcome so far.

Try this the next time you go practice:

30 minutes session example

1) Fundamental Practice 1- Backswing NO Ball

2-3 min practicing backswing pivot. Feel your trail hip load every time you take your backswing.

Take a break for a couple of min to refocus, check your phone, etc

2) Fundamental Practice 2- Downswing NO Ball

2-3 min practicing downswing movement. Practice feeling a weight transfer from your trail leg into your lead leg through the downswing.

Take a break for a couple of min

3) Ball Striking- Random Shots

For the remainder of your time, pick a different club and different target for each swing.

Practicing this way is great because you take some time to develop feel with your fundamentals. Now remember what I listed above is just an example. I know my issues are in my backswing and downswing so I have been focusing on these drills. Your needs maybe different so add in what you are working on instead (grip, alignment, posture) and work with those with NO Ball to start your practice session and to develop a better feel. After your fundamental practice take random shots (varying clubs and target) rather than hitting the same shot over and over again. This is a great way to practice ball striking, after all you never take the same shot twice on the course.

**Edit** Mark just corrected me via twitter and said he does use the ball for some of his Fundamental Drills such as down swing and alignment, but at the summit did mention the using some drills without. I am waiting to hear back from him for some more clarification, but I do like the idea of no ball practice to develop feel.

***Edit*** Mark suggested using the ball in some fundamental drills particularly downswing and alignments

I would like to thank the Southern California section PGA for having RFK Training at the 2013 Spring Teaching Summit this year and I would also like to thank Mark Blackburn of Blackburn Golf for allowing me to assist you out there. I hope I am relaying your information out well!

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HIP HINGE (AKA SET UP POSTURE)

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I was working with a new client last week and we were discussing how to take a proper set up. Looking back over his movement evaluation, I found that his ability to touch his toes was poor and his ability to deep squat was very instable. His movement stratgey was to get into what we call a C-Posture and round his spine to address the ball rather than to bend forward from this hips.C-Posture really limits the ability to rotate in the golf swing by putting the hips and pelvis and upper spine into poor positions.

All that being said, I taught my client a better hip hinge strategy by teaching proper spine position and how to load and move from the hips and over the course of a session his set-up posture (and ability to rotate) was greatly improved!

Here is a great video by Lance and Greg from TPI discussing hip hinge a little more.  Enjoy and if you have any questions, or if you are interested in a golf fitness evaluation, feel free to contact me rkhoury@rfktraining.com

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WARMING UP FOR GOLF

Warming up for Golf

Roy Khoury shows Sean Lanyi how to warm up for the golf swing

My friend, Sean Lanyi of Sean Lanyi Golf got together for a short series of golf instruction and golf fitness.  We understand that without proper movement or proper swing education it will be difficult to get to where you need to be. In this video we go over warming up before you practice or play.

Check out the video and enjoy!

For more specific warm ups and routine to help improve your game check out my section on Golf Fitness Training.