The weather is cooling down in Arizona, which means golf season is upon us! Follow along with this article to give yourself the upper hand and prepare to hit the course in optimal shape with the fundamentals of golf training. Fitness has exploded in the world of golf and people are seeing the bountiful benefits working out has in their game. From the pros to the average joes, everyone playing golf needs to continually work on their bodies in order to keep playing the amazing, frustrating, simple yet complex sport–golf.
Golf is a summation of mobility, stability, coordination, power and strength produced one swing at a time. If one of these is off, your swing suffers and your score card increases! We need mobility in our ankles, hips and shoulders, stability in our knees, back and core, strength in our legs and power throughout our whole-body system. This mobility allows us to put our body in the proper positions throughout the swing. Stability allows us to stay lined up, on track and on time. Strength allows our body to produce force and finally power is our ability to transfer that force from the ground through the body and out of the club connecting it to the ball.
As you can see, each piece of our fitness is important and has a responsibility to serve a purpose for us. Therefore, we need to treat and train each of these fundamentals, mobility, stability, coordination, strength and power. Now onto the exercise that help break down the fundamentals of golf training.
- Lay on your side with your top knee making a 90 degree angle in front of your hips
- Reach behind you, bending your bottom knee to grab the foot
- Pull your foot towards your glutes with your top arm, twisting your shoulders to the ground
- Look at the ceiling and continue to actively pull your bottom foot towards the glutes and top shoulder to the ground
Stability: Wall T-Hip Rotations
- Grab a wall or box slightly above hip height
- Rotate your hips, opening your body to look like a “T”
- Then tuck your hips, rotating your pockets under each other
- Laying flat on your back, tighten your abdominals, pushing your lower back into the ground
- Have your hands above your shoulders, knees bent above your hips
- Moving your opposite hand and opposite leg away from each other, extending them outward
- Return to the start position and repeat on other side
Strength: Bulgarian Goblet Squat
- Holding a weight near the center of your chest, put your foot behind you on a bench/couch
- Have your shoe laces on top of the bench and the other foot few feet in front of you
- Balancing on the front leg, lower your hips straight down, maintaining a nearly vertical front shin
Power: MB Golf Groove Swings
- Set up into your normal golf stance, head down and knees bent about shoulder width apart
- With nice tempo, bring the ball into the back swing, then the forward swing NOT RELEASING it
- Now the movement Is grooved, repeat, bringing the ball back with nice tempo and this time releasing the ball like you do with your club
Implement these exercises into your current fitness routine or seek a FAST trainer to complete your fundamentals of golf training! These exercises will help prime your body for golf but are encouraged to see a golf professional for specific instruction! Golf uses your entire body so make sure you train your entire body.
While many define yoga as connecting with your inner self and being one with the Earth, it is actually a long-standing tradition of practicing to further your body, soul and mind. A yogi — someone who practices yoga — uses stretching, balancing, and breathing techniques to improve flexibility, reduce stress, and challenge the body. Here at FAST we believe adding yoga — along with proper eating, sleeping, and hydrating — to your training program is a great way to take a holistic approach to your health.
Rolling out of bed to make that 4:30 a.m. sunrise yoga class can be difficult, so we rounded up some yoga-inspired moves you can easily do at home. Add these moves to a warm-up before training, on off-days to stretch and enhance recovery, or post workout to help the body cool down.
Pigeon Pose with Reach Through
The classic pigeon pose but with a twist (literally). Start on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees under your hips (table position). Extend your right knee towards your right hand, resting the bent leg on the ground in front of you at a two o’clock position, with the top of your thigh parallel to the right edge of your mat.
Next, slide your left leg back, ending with the leg straight and the top of the foot resting on the floor. Sit into your front hip, feeling the stretch in your glutes, and place both hands in front of you, sitting next to your hips. Stay in this position for a couple deep breaths.
To get the “twist,” take your left hand and slide it under your right arm, allowing your torso to follow and “stack” your shoulders with your left shoulder resting on the ground. Hold the position for a few breaths. Come back up, still sitting into your hips, and repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This yoga pose is great for your glutes and spine. It stretches out the muscles deep inside your hips and helps loosen up your lower back.
Downward-Facing Dog with Straight Leg Raises
Begin in a plank position and press your hips back and up, while keeping your feet and hands rooted to the ground. Stretch your butt to the ceiling and push your chest through your arms, essentially making a triangle with your body. Your heels will want to raise up, but make sure you’re actively pushing them down toward the floor. You will feel a stretch in your hamstrings. If the stretch is uncomfortable, bend at the knee and focus on pressing your heels down so you can progress to straight legs with further practice. From here, raise one of your legs to the ceiling, keeping it straight as possible and hold for a few breaths. Bring the leg back down and switch sides.
Benefits: This active yoga pose is great for elongating the hamstrings, which are notorious for shortening or tightening up during long periods of sitting. It is also good to challenge your body with a mild “inverted” position.
Standing Quad Stretch with Forward Lean
Start standing up tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart.. Bend your right knee and reach back with your right hand you to grab your ankle and pull your right heel towards your butt. While keeping a soft bend in your standing left knee, lean forward as far as you feel comfortable, extending your left arm in front of you, palm down, and parallel to the ground for balance. The lower you go and the longer you pause while leaning forward, the harder it will be. Return to start position and switch legs.
Benefits: This dynamic movement will stretch out your quads and hip flexors while simultaneously working on your single leg stability. Being able to stabilize parts of your body while other parts are moving is important for balance and everyday life.
This pose is nice to finish with because you start by lying down flat on your stomach. Put your hands under your shoulders and push your torso upward while keeping your hip bones glued to the ground. Your back will curve, similar to a snake before it strikes, hence the name. Make sure to press your shoulders down to avoid squeezing your shoulders up towards your ears. You should feel your arms and shoulders actively working to hold your torso up. Breathe a few deep breaths and return to the original position. Repeat this 10 to 20 times.
Benefits: Often our habits of looking down at our phones or computers leave us really “rounded” with bad posture. This negatively affects our back health, so it’s good to restore space in our spine and undo rounding with an extension-based stretch.
Try these four yoga-inspired moves throughout your training program: before a workout, on an off day, or once you finish a workout to cool down. Let us know what you think and find a FAST facility near you for further instructions or training. Make sure to workout hard, but also recover hard!
FAST has a long history of improving athletic function, ability and sports performance. A measure that athletes, coaches, and trainers alike examine to gauge an individual’s athletic ability is the vertical jump. The vertical jump requires that you start with both feet on the ground, descend into a squatting position and push yourself to a maximum height off the ground. This motion demonstrates the lower body explosiveness crucial to any sports performance, gathering power from the ground, through the legs, and releasing it through the body. In order to improve your vertical jump, follow the four steps in this article and you’ll be reaching new heights in no time!
1. A Strong Foundation
You can’t build a house on an uneven foundation; the same rule applies to your body. You have to be strong and stable from your feet to your head. This starts from the center of all movement, your core. Develop a strong core that is capable of creating force and also resisting it.
2. Work on Force Absorption
The human body not only needs to generate force, but also absorb, or stop, the force it produces. This is the unsung hero of jumping, the lowering portion of the squat. We often focus so much on the upward portion of the movement that we forget to spend time developing our ability to load and prepare for an explosive activity. Force absorption can be trained through jumping and landing safely or correctly and then pausing to hold the position for a few seconds.
3. Single Leg Strength and Squats
Studies have shown that increasing the amount of force one leg can produce on its own, can have an impact on the amount of force two legs are able to produce when working, leading to an improved vertical jump. Spend time training your squats, deadlifts, step-ups and lunges on one leg, focusing on the single leg doing the exercise and increasing the weight over time.
One of the most fundamental exercises to sports performance, the “Barbell Squat,” has a direct correlation to increasing your vertical. The barbell squat looks just like the vertical jump, however, without the jumping portion or arm movement. Increasing your 1 repetition max on Barbell Squats has been shown to increase the height of your vertical jump.
4. Bi-lateral Power
Bi-lateral power is the meat and potatoes of improving the vertical jump. We want to increase our ability to produce force and produce it quickly. At FAST, we implement counter-movement and non-counter movement based jumping. Counter movement is like stretching a rubber band and letting it go instantly. The vertical jump is a counter movement jump, so we want to improve those mechanisms by quickening the ability to fire our muscles. Whereas a non-counter movement would be more like stretching a rubber band and pausing before letting it go. This helps improve the force on the upward part of the jump, creating a higher power output. So, try squatting down and pausing a few seconds to let momentum stop – then explode upward.
Carefully follow these four steps and you can significantly increase your vertical jump: Build a solid base through a strong core, train force absorption and landing mechanics, improve your single leg strength and 1 repetition max back squat, and increase bi-lateral power through counter movement and non-counter movement based jumps.
Contact one of your 10 local FAST locations if you’d like one of our Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists to program a specific vertical jump improving program for you!
The average client works out two to three times a week. During these workouts, we split the body in order to avoid overuse injuries or overall fatigue from doing the same exercise, or working the same muscles, over and over again. Workout splits are extremely important in order to maximize the results of weekly exercise. Splitting your workout regimen ensures a balanced program and allows certain muscles to recover while others work.
First, we screen for injuries to ensure you are able to workout safely. We then determine your goals and reasons for beginning a workout regimen. Our well-structured, individualized programs are based off of these, and several other, markers. One of the most often overlooked markers is often the most important in determining how to split your workouts: how often can you exercise?
Below are three splits we recommend for working out two days a week.
All six options are examples of effective training regimens. When starting out, a trainer will typically keep you on one option for three to four weeks, and then will either switch you to another training split or continue with the routine you’ve established. The option right for you is typically based off of what days of the week you are able to come in, in combination with other factors that your FAST trainer can help determine. For example, Option 1 would be optimal for a client only available twice a week, with multiple days in between their workouts, completing “A” workouts on Mondays and “B” workouts on Thursdays.
If you, or someone you know, are interested in starting out a training regimen or switching up your current routine, Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training is a great place to start. Seek out one of our many Foothills Sports Medicine or FAST Valley-wide locations and have us help you improve on your fitness journey!
At Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training, we help our clients improve their athletic performance, and one of the best methods to achieve this is through Olympic weightlifting. However, since Olympic weightlifting is not always an option for certain clients, we will delve into alternative options at your disposal to allow you to gain benefits similar to those from Olympic lifting.
Firstly, let’s establish a definition for Olympic weightlifting. The Olympic weightlifting movements are the Clean and Jerk, and the Snatch. The Clean and Jerk and its variations are often used in high school sports, and the Snatch is often used in higher-level athletics and Crossfit-style workouts. Your body can benefit in a number of ways from these exercises, including the following:
- Improved power output
- Increased vertical jump
- Hypertrophy (increased muscle size)
- Better mobility and flexibility
While Olympic weightlifting can lead to great results, it takes a lot of time and hard work to learn these highly technical movements. If you want to master these lifts, we would strongly advise seeking out a professional USA Weightlifting Coach to ensure you learn to perform the exercises correctly and do not injure yourself.
If you don’t want to take on Olympic Weightlifting quite yet, here are some alternative exercises you can substitute to attain the previously mentioned benefits:
- Medicine Ball Hang Clean (any level)
- Begin by holding a medicine ball at hip level, with your feet firmly planted on the ground at hip-width apart. Raise up onto your toes, making yourself as tall as possible, while shrugging your shoulders up to your ears. This is known as the triple extension phase and is a crucial step in both the Clean and Jerk and Snatch movements.
- Let go of the ball (your hands should just barely leave its surface).
- Split your feet outward and drop underneath the ball into a full squat as quickly as possible. Rotate your hands under the ball so you can catch it.
- After catching the ball, stand up with the ball in your hands at chest level. Reset feet back to hip width and return ball to hip level to set yourself up to repeat another repetition.
- Explosive Tire Flips (Intermediate Level)
- This exercise requires a medium sized tire (Your nearest FAST location can help you with any kind of tire training!).
- Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart and toes slightly pointed out, so you can get very close to the tire. Lower your body into a full squat and grab the tire with straight arms and an underhand grip. Your arms should be inside the gap between your legs.
- Keeping a flat back, drive your feet into the ground and lift the tire explosively.
- You will finish in a slightly forward angle with your heels off the ground and your hips, knees, and ankles in extension, again in the tripe extension stance. When performing this exercise, you should think of it as if you are jumping off the ground with a tire in hand. Be sure not to bend your arms!
- Lower the tire to the ground and repeat.
- Barbell Power Jumps (Advanced level)
- This exercise is for higher-level individuals with no injuries. Do not attempt it unless you know your body is ready.
- Begin the exercise by placing an empty barbell on your upper back, unlock knees and hips at the same time to descend into a quarter squat position.
- Explode upward, jumping off the ground!
- Upon contact with the ground when coming back down, absorb shock by catching oneself and returning to the quarter squat position. Try to achieve a smooth landing by thinking about not making any noise or loud thuds when you land.
- Reset to an upright, tall position and prepare to repeat.
These alternatives can be used by athletes of all levels for a number of reasons, including:
- Beginning to learn Olympic weightlifting without touching a barbell
- If you have minor injury and want to still incorporate Olympic variations in training
- You are scared/hesitant to begin Olympic lifting
- You have limited mobility or flexibility
- You want to improve your Olympic lifts through other techniques
- They are fun and athletic exercises!
There are many certified professional USA Weightlifting specialists at our FAST Phoenix personal training facilities who can help you master different techniques and achieve peak athletic performance. If you are worried about pre-existing injuries, visit our therapy branch Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy to ensure that you are fully ready to begin these exercises.
Post Attributed to Greg Stein, BS, CSCS, CPT, USAW, TRX (North Scottsdale Facility Manager).