WANT TO HIT THE BALL BETTER / FARTHER? STRECTH! (Part 1)

Bob Forman
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
MS, Exercise Physiology 

There are 2 things that are so very apparent now after years of working with all levels and ages of golfers.  One is that they want to hit the ball further down the fairway or they want to get the distance back they once had.  And two, a very simple way to achieve this is . . . stretch. 

One of the questions asked to golfers who are about ready to go through a golf fitness assessment is, “What areas of your game would you like to improve?”  Without a doubt, the number one response is “more distance.” 

A fairly easy way to improve swing efficiency and gain a few more yards down the fairway is to work on flexibility.  Stretching tight muscles will allow for a greater range of motion and that, in turn, can set the stage for more clubhead speed.  More clubhead speed, as we all know, is one of the key ingredients to distance. 

Which muscles to stretch?  There seem to be some commonalities among most golfers as it relates to limited mobility.  Some of these common areas can play a significant role in robbing the body’s ability to efficiently swing a golf club.  These areas include:  tight internal hip rotators, limited shoulder rotation, tight chest muscles, and limited mid-back range of motion, to name a few. This month our focus will be on internal hip rotators. 

As a golfer goes into his backswing he is, in essence, internally rotating his trail leg (right leg for right-handed golfers) under his hip as his foot remains stationary, and then mirrors this internal rotation on the target leg during the downswing and follow through. 

Tight internal hip rotators will limit the golfer’s ability to do so, leading up to a host of potential swing faults. The first is a straightening of the trail leg.  This, as Butch Harmon indicated in an issue of Golf Digest, is one way to lose power in your swing as it may cause the body to over rotate too far away from the target.  This would make it harder to rotate the body back around during the downswing, which may cause timing issues, balance problems, and perhaps an inefficient weight shift.   

A straightening of the trail leg could also force the upper body into reverse spineor a leaning of the upper body back toward the target.  This does not set the golfer up in a very good hitting position to be able to initiate the downswing in the proper hitting sequence. . .that being the hips first, followed by the golfer’s trunk, then arms and finally the golf club.  As a result, the upper body tends to control the downswing causing an over-the-top approach to the ball and the dreaded slice.   

Another consequence of tight internal hip rotators is the inability of the golfer to open the hips at impact.  Instead, the tendency is for the hips to remain square, again robbing the golfer of power and distance.  Imagine a baseball player swinging a bat without opening up the hips.  It’s practically impossible to generate any significant power if the hips don’t lead the swing.   

Surprisingly enough it appears that most golfers I’ve assessed are tighter on the lead, target leg than they are on the trail leg.  Square hips at impact are common when reviewing their swings.  The question arises, then, does playing golf develop this imbalance? 

Still another swing fault tight internal hip rotators may produce is an excessive lateral movement of the hips during either or both phases of the golf swing.  Too much movement in the backswing is known as a sway and during the downswing, slide.   

Lack of deceleration of the hips, laterally, during the downswing will not allow for an efficient transfer of energy up to the next segment or the trunk of the golfer.  This moving foundation interferes with the kinematic sequence and reduces the power output potential.   

A golfer’s ability to get into a good hitting position at the top of the backswing, and the inability to stop the lateral movement and open up the hips at impact could be directly related to tight internal hip rotators.  It’s a very common muscle deficiency that should be assessed and addressed for better ball striking. 

What to do?  A regular stretching program which includes isolated stretches for the internal hip rotators will go a long way in improving your golf swing.  The key word here is regular meaning all year round.  Here are a couple of good stretches you may want to try. 

Knee Drops

Lie on your back with feet flat, knees up, and arms at your side.  Spread the feet out wider than your shoulders.  Moving in the same direction, drop both knees down toward the floor as far as comfort permits, while maintaining a tight stomach and shoulders on the mat.  Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and then swing the knees up and over to the opposite side.  Do 2 to 3 sets to each side readjusting the width of the feet with each transition.  Remember to breathe normally.  Go real easy with this one if you've had hip replacement.  Raising the arms overhead on the floor will provide more of a stretch to the upper body

golf fitnessReverse Clam
Lie on your side with knees bent.  Keep your knees touching as you slowly raise and lower your top foot as high as comfort permits.  Do not hold the stretch at the top and be fluid in your movements.  Repeat 15 to 20x and then roll over to the other side and repeat.  Remember to breathe normally.  More than likely, you’ll feel this on the side of the hip.   


Next month, in Part 2, I’ll talk about some of the other areas mentioned that most golfers should address to improve swing efficiency and distance.      
 

Ассасины, повторила Сэнди, вздыхая.

К трупу нельзя подпускать людей, его надо отправить в ближайший родовспомогательный центр.

Тогда со "где брать потребительский кредит" мной пойдет Ли Пяо, решил я.

За пятьдесят ньюмарков в час чрезмерно активные дети и атлетического сложения взрослые могли потренировать свои мускулы и попытаться установить новый рекорд по прыжкам в высоту.

Слишком уж там большое расстояние.

Амбри подошел к сложной машине; "Курс специализации переводчиков франц. языка Современная макроэкономика" почувствовав приближение создателя, она засверкала и принялась мурлыкать, точно огромная кошка.

Да, и вбил он себе в башку, что все это должен сожрать один.

Меня не было в поселке, но я слыхал об этом.

Это был "Больница преображения" драгун, посланный из форта.

Я так и скажу хозяину "скачать adobe flash последнюю версию" авось он не рассердится.

Он все время проигрывал крупные суммы, которые переходили в карман моему торговцу свининой или фермеру.

Но, в отличие от нее, он не прошел к себе, а вышел из дому.

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Quad-Hip Flexor Stretch

This is a progressive stretch for the quad-hip flexor area.  Be cautious as you lean back on the bench as it will challenge the knee if the quads are tight.  Avoid this stretch if you've had knee replacement.  Tight quads/hip flexors will impede hip mobility and that may rob you of power and distance.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- the common physical deficiencies most golfers have, how to detect and correct with over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills
- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults 
- how to put together an inexpensive home gym

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

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or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures,  


August 28, 2014
We talk about Shan's golf fitness assessment results

 


June 26, 2014


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury