To start with mastering your core for golf, get comfortable with controlling your upper body and its strength. Do this without moving your hips and vice versa. Being able to create hip and torso dissociation is key to having a great swing. There are a few ways we can hone this skill. First, we want to practice the movement, then move onto controlling that movement with strength and intention. Lastly, add a dynamic piece like the golf swing or something similar to put it all together.
Controlling the movement of your core will take the most time because it is the base to the swing. It is also re-teaching us how to move the way we want. One way we can do this is by using a band and strapping it around our hips while in the golf ready position (fig. 1). After getting the band set up we are going to rotate the hip left and right without moving our torso. This will help to create dissociation and take control of the trunk/hips.
Adding strength to the movement that we have just mastered is our next step. I like to use the ½ kneeling position because it’s a nice stability component on top of the band we will use for resistance (fig. 2). Get into a ½ kneeling position with the band perpendicular to yourself. While using what we gained from controlling the movement, press the band in and out while not moving the hips at all for this step.
Our dynamic component should simulate our golf swing as close as possible. I love the medicine ball scoop toss for this one. It will allow us to produce some power and strength in the torso, hips and core. This involvement of the body mimics features of our golf swing. It is good to use a light ball around 6 pounds so that we can throw it hard and fast, reinforcing swing speed (fig. 3).
Looking for a personal trainer to improve your golf game with golf specific workouts? Contact FAST for a free fitness assessment today.
Enjoying a smoothie after a great workout is one way to fuel the body and start the recovery process. Sometimes knowing what should go in that smoothie can be challenging. Just like a balanced meal is what we may be striving for in our day to day eating a balanced smoothie is just the same. We want a good balance of protein, carbs, fats, fruits, and vegetables.
With building a balanced smoothie we need to have an easy to follow step by step process to ensure we use quality ingredients that are health conscious.
Choose a liquid and preferably one not loaded with sugar like fat-free cow’s milk, unsweetened almond/coconut milk, water or green tea would all be great options.
Choose a protein powder such as whey, casein, egg or a plant source such as rice or peas.
Choose a vegetable that is either super green in color or one that mixes easily. One that we recommend would be spinach, pumpkin or celery.
Choose a healthy fat such as pecans, walnuts, all-natural peanut butter, and chia or flax seeds.
Choose a healthy fruit such as frozen berries, frozen cherries, apples or bananas.
Choose a topper for some added flavor such as shredded unsweetened coconut, cinnamon or plain yogurt.
Using these step by step processes can ensure you a healthy and balanced shake! For more information on healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle contact our FAST trainers today for a free fitness assessment!
Most personal training clients think a core workout consists of crunches and sit ups—but there’s so much more. Today, I’m sharing with you 5 core moves that you’re probably not doing. These challenging moves will help you build a strong core and foundation. And if you haven’t read this core-free workout article, head here to check out why expanding your core moves can get you the results you want.
It may look like a normal plank but it certainly is not. Get yourself into a strong plank position meaning straight as a board with no sagging hips. Then squeeze everything you can for 10 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.
Here is where you may feel like a child again. Starting on your back you want to place your right hand with an open palm on your left bent knee cap and squish a bug. Now roll on to your left side and then back to supine without letting the bug fall. You don’t want to be flopping around on the ground, instead try to be as controlled as you can during each rep.
Plank with Row
Using a bench as elevation, you will have one arm planking on it while the other is free to move. While maintaining natural spine and “quiet hips” you will use the free hand to row either a dumbbell or kettlebell as you plank. Nothing too fancy about this exercise other than it not easy!
Side Plank with Punch
A traditional side plank with a small twist to it. Starting in a side plank with the top leg stacked in front of the bottom leg. I like to stack the legs this way to drive more internal hip rotation with the top leg, just an added bonus. While maintaining a serious arrow like structure the top arm of the plank will punch out and in. You can add a small weight between 5 and 10 pounds dumbbells for more of a challenge.
Copenhagen Side Plank
Want to challenge your adductors and overall resiliency of your legs? This side plank will do just that. Start on the ground in a traditional side plank position then put your top leg on the bench and raise your body up using your hand and core to get into a strong arrow like position. Your opposite legs isn’t just hanging around it should be actively try to stay directly underneath the bench or your top leg.
Ready to give these a try or need a little extra motivation or guidance? Our team of certified strength and conditioning specialists are here to help you push through your road blocks and get the results you want. Schedule a free fitness assessment today at any of our 8 valleywide FAST locations.
Arizona serves as a Mecca for golfers and golf enthusiasts. With the sport being very repetitious, a golf swing has the potential to cause pain or injury, specifically to the lower and upper back. With proper mobility training focusing on the hips, lumbar, and thoracic spine you’ll lower your risk to any swing-related injury and improve your stroke dramatically. These mobility drills will serve as a great tool to prime your body the next time you hit the links.
- Side-Lying Thoracic Windmill
This drill is a great to improve not only your lumbar and thoracic mobility, but also movement through your shoulders. Begin by lying on your right side, and bending your left knee, the top leg, into a 90 -degree angle and your bottom right leg extended straight. An item, like a small platform, is recommended to rest the bent left knee on. Place both arms out straight in front of you. Using your top arm, the left arm, rotate your arm in a circular motion backward, allowing your torso to naturally follow, eventually lying on your back with your arms in a “t” formation. Keep your lower body still during this process. Repeat the opposite direction, returning to the original position. Repeat 10 times on each side.
- Yoga Plex
This move is similar in style to the well-known “World’s Greatest Stretch.” This drill will help improve hip, thoracic, and shoulder mobility. Using a bench or box to stabilize yourself by placing your hands on top, bring your right foot forward into a lunge, making a 90-degree angle with your knee, while pushing your hips down and forward. Take your left arm and rotate backward in a giant circular pattern while twisting your torso as your shoulder rotates. Complete a full circle, returning to the original lunge position. Repeat 5 times on each side.
- A-Frame Stretch
This move will help incorporate a hinging pattern while also improving your thoracic spine mobility. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back slightly while sitting into a quarter-squat. Position your right forearm in the crook of your knees by placing the elbow on the inside of your right knee and your clenched fist at the inside of your left knee. Place your left arm down straight in front of you, with your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Extend the left arm, counter clockwise, up. Follow your left hand with your head, until your hand is pointed up towards the ceiling. Return the arm to the ground. Repeat 8 times on each side.
- Adductor Rockback with Thoracic Rotation
This move will help loosen your hips while simultaneously improving your thoracic rotation. Begin in a quadruped position. Extend your right leg out, to the side, keeping the leg straight and resting the inside of your foot on the ground. Take your hips and push them back towards your left foot. You’ll begin to feel the stretch on the inside of your thigh. Bend your right arm, placing your palm on the back of your head. Start with your bent right arm parallel to your left arm, and extend the right arm, while still bent and placed on the back of your head, out and up towards the ceiling. Follow this motion with your head and torso, while leaving your left side still. Once your elbow is facing up, towards the ceiling, return to the start of the motion, where the bent right arm is parallel to the left arm. Repeat 10 times to each side.
Try these moves before you go on your next golfing trip and see how much more free your body feels even before you take your first swing. If you want to try mobility training with a certified athletic trainer, call us to schedule an appointment at your local FAST location.
Stretching is not given as much credit as it deserves, after all, it is just as important as exercise is for your body—and your mind. Stretching plays a vital role in the strength, flexibility and health of each of your muscles. Take care of your body with these five stretches that are geared toward improving your overall health and well being.
If you are someone who has tight hips, quads, or lack flexibility in your back, this is one you’re going to want to try. Start in a full lunge position with your hands supported on a box or bench. Once in the lunge position, raise the hand opposite the extended leg and make a controlled articular rotation in the shape of a circle. Step back and repeat with the other side. If this is too hard, you can decrease the difficulty by not doing a full lunge, or you can heighten the support box. Five on each side is a good start for your first set.
Praying always feels good, and this is a way to incorporate the motion of praying with exercise. This stretch really opens you up, and all you need is a foam roller and a clear mind. To do the prayer stretch, first lie down on the foam roller long ways and ensure your neck is supported. Then put your hands together, reach above your head and make a snow angel motion until you return to the starting position. After ten reps, your shoulders and chest should feel the benefit.
The Frog Stretch
The frog stretch is one for the books. It helps make squatting easier, and sitting more comfortable position. To get into the frog stretch, first kneel on the ground supporting yourself with your arms, then spread your knees as wide as possible. Align your knees with your ankles and point your feet away from your body keeping them flush on the ground. Finally, while keeping your legs stationary, move your body backwards until you feel a deep stretch. Hold for two seconds and rock forward. For full effect, perform 10 reps.
Figure 4 Stretch
Now let’s attack those glutes, specifically with the figure 4 stretch (not to be confused with the fantastic 4 stretch, which is just as good). Start by lying on your back with both knees bent. Place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Reach forward, grab your right leg under the thigh pulling towards you as needed to acquire a deeper stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then switch sides.
The Lovable Lat Stretch
If you’ve got tight shoulders, then you’re going to want to try this. While standing, grab ahold of the side of the rack or machine. Then sit back into your hips while holding on with one arm. Take five big breaths. The kind of breath that would blow down a house made of bricks! I call this hard breathing and it will help you feel a deeper stretch.
For more guidance on how to stretch properly, please contact your local Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training facility today.
Endurance runners are prone to injury due to overuse of the same muscles and the repetitive motion that comes with running. It can often lead to one giving up running since the pain is too great, or because being injured all the time just isn’t worth it.
With a well-developed training program that addresses strength, endurance, flexibility, and stability these injuries can be maintained or avoided. Strength training is the most overlooked program by endurance athletes. These athletes train 5-7 days a week for their event while battling IT band strains and tight muscles. This dedication leaves little time for strength training. An endurance athlete that follows a bulletproof strength and conditioning program can expect to minimize injury and increase performance. Here are some ways an endurance athlete can incorporate strength training into their routine.
Engage Your Core
Considering the amount of time spent on your sport, training sessions should not last too long. A 30-45 minute session should be sufficient. You want to make sure you incorporate enough core work to support your body for long periods of time. To work your core, you can venture towards 8-12 repetitions of movements like stability ball knee tucks, chops, and lifts.
Lift Heavier weights
Endurance athletes should be lifting a minimum of twice a week to gain the benefits of strength training. The main focus should be multi-joint exercises such as squats, glute hip thrusts, bench press, and or chin-ups. During your main lifts (hip thrusts, squats, bench press) you want to keep your repetitions lower, between 5 and 7 reps. Also, don’t be afraid to pause at the bottom of repetitions for added stability.
When running, you want to spend as little time on the ground as possible with each stride. You are also repeatedly accelerating and decelerating your body every time you hit the pavement. Increasing efficiency in both of these areas will help you to minimize your ground contact time. Jumping, leaping, and bounding can all help to better your acceleration and deceleration. With these explosive movements, you only want them to last a maximum of 5 reps or up to 5-10 seconds with 60 seconds or more rest.
As an Arizona athletic trainer, I work with many clients who are trying to stay healthy while working jobs that require sitting at a desk all day. Long hours of sitting – in the car, at work, at home – usually leads to poor posture and a hunched over back. Overtime, this can lead to pain and even injury! You may not be able to quit your desk job, but here are a few simple tips you can use throughout the day to improve your posture.
1. Elevate your feet at your desk.
If you sit at your desk all day long at work, you probably sit in a somewhat comfortable chair as well. Most chairs aren’t ergonomically ideal, and over time we will begin to hunch or slouch. One thing we can do is keep our knees at the same height as our hips – this will keep the pressure off our lower back and allow us to sit farther back in our chairs and remain upright. This can be achieved by simply placing some kind of block or even a large book underneath our desks for our feet to rest on.
2. Take time out of your day to wall sit and reach.
The wall sit and reach is one of the many corrective exercises here at FAST that we use to build our clients’ posture. It is an exercise that we like to say gives you “bang for your buck” because of its multiple purposes and many benefits. It provides a decent stretch for the groin, neutral alignment of the spine, and shoulder flexion (bending). To perform the stretch, sit on the floor with your back flat against a wall. Bring your feet together so that the soles of your feet are touching each other, and let your knees fall toward the floor. Then, press your arms against the wall, palms facing out, elbow bent. Slowly straighten your arms, keeping them pressed against the wall, until they are raised above your head. Doing this stretch several times a day will help your posture remain straight as an arrow.
3. Do more glute exercises to keep them from falling asleep permanently
When siting all day long for upwards of 6-8 hours, what are we sitting on? Our glutes and our hamstrings. Think about what would happen if you were to sit on your hand for just 20 minutes – it would fall asleep, you wouldn’t be able to feel it, and it would not function until feeling was back. This can happen after a long period of time to the glutes and hamstrings, which can lead to “glutes amnesia” – a weakness in the gluteal muscles. A great exercise to get the glutes firing up again are supine glute marches, which can be performed without any equipment on any floor! Simply lay with your arms (palms down) and upper back flat on the ground, hips raised, and feet planted beneath your knees. Then, keeping a straight back, lift one leg (with your knee still bent) and lower it back to the ground. Repeat on the other side.
4. Drink more water so you are forced to get up and use the bathroom
This is a simple way to not only increase your overall health, but to increase your activity level as well. If you worry about your step count throughout the day, here is an easy way to get more steps in and get those glutes back in action. We recommend drinking 2/3 of your body weight in ounces per day, and add an extra 20 ounces per pound if you exercise. For example, a 200 pound man would drink about 130 ounces of water per day, and if he performed one hour of exercise and weighed 199 pounds afterward, he would drink an additional 20 ounces, totaling 150oz throughout the day.
5. The couch stretch
Most of us like to spend some time each day after a long day’s work on the couch. It’s where we can relax and enjoy a few comfortable and quiet minutes to ourselves. Why don’t we use it to our advantage? This stretch will take your hips from a state of constant flexion to extension. Simply place one foot on the floor in front of you, and keep one knee on the couch under you, with the rest of your leg stretched behind you and the sole of your foot facing upward, resting on the back of the couch. This may stretch the quad just as much as the hip flexor, depending on how tight your hips may be. Give it a try 2 to 3 times each side for 30 seconds to see what I am talking about first hand.
Post Attributed to Wade Haras (Old Town Scottsdale Facility Manager).