FLEXIBILITY, A PREREQUISITE FOR POWERING UP YOUR GOLF SWING

Bob Forman, MS - Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Author, Speaker

Come on, admit it.  You’d like to be a little longer off the tee.  Who wouldn’t?  “Distance” and “Power” are the common catch words you see in almost all golf club advertisements.  But I’ve got news for you.  It’s not the clubs.  It’s your lack of flexibility that is impacting your ability to power up your swing.

I know because I’ve seen it in almost every golfer I’ve worked with, especially the older ones.  The inability to move around a body joint, or what is commonly known as range of motion, is taking away your capacity to generate power and clubhead speed, hurting your distance on the golf course.  For many, that’s also taking away the fun of playing.

The good news is that it’s an easy fix, but you have to put a little work into it.  Not a ton of work, about 10 to 15-minutes most days of the week.  Every day would be ideal and would also probably leave you feeling better.  It could also help to alleviate some of those nagging aches and pains you’ve been dealing with.

Our muscles, tendons and ligaments need to move and stretch.  When they don’t, they tighten up.  The less active you are, the more they tighten.  Think about how much sitting you do during the course of a typical day.  It probably adds up to quite a bit if you’re a typical adult person. 

Even if you are active, your muscles will tighten up if you don’t take the time to stretch them.  Activity strengthens muscles and stronger muscles become tighter muscles if not stretched.  Envision the stereotypical body builder who can’t raise his arm to comb his hair.  Not so much because of his big, bulky muscles.  He’s tight! 

That’s why a stretching program is vital and is the reason why flexibility is probably the most important component when it comes to golf. . . and feeling good every day.  Give it a try for a couple of weeks and feel it for yourself.  I bet you’ll see a few extra yards down the fairway, as well.

Here are a five good static stretches to help you get started.  Always go until a gentle stretch is felt.  DO NOT OVER STRETCH and do not bounce as this may cause damage to the muscle.  Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30-seconds, unless otherwise instructed, and remember to breathe normally throughout.  If, during the 30-seconds you feel the muscle tension ease up, go a little further into the stretch so as to maintain that gentle pull on the muscle.  A good time to stretch and enhance flexibility is after the internal body temperature has been elevated like after exercise, mowing the lawn and/or a warm bath.     

Calf Stretch - place your toes up on a ½ round foam roll (a 2x4 can be used as well).  Place your hands against a wall or counter and slowly lean into the wall until a gentle stretch is felt.  Hinge from the ankles and keep your entire body nice and stiff, don’t bend at the hips.  The heels need to remain in contact with the floor.

Hamstring Stretch - sitting on a bench or solid flat surface such as a coffee table.  Placeone leg up on the bench with the foot relaxed and extended over the edge.  Slowly reach down the raised leg with both hands until a gentle stretch is felt in the back of the leg.  Don’t bend the knee and make sure you hinge from the hips, keeping your chin up and back straight.  Don’t bow the back in an attempt to reach further down the leg and make sure the foot stays in a relaxed position.  Flexing the foot or pulling the toe toward you will engage the calf, which may take away from the isolation of the hamstring.  Switch legs and repeat.

Hip Flexor Stretch - lie on your back on the floor.  Keep the right leg down and bring the left knee up towards the chest.  Grab onto the left knee and gently pull it into the chest.  Repeat with the other leg.  This can also be done on a flat bench (as shown) or solid coffee table.  This will offer a better stretch as the extended leg is now below ground level.

Reach Thrus - kneel on all fours and keep your weight slightly back toward your heels.  Take your right arm and slide it along the ground over to the left until a gentle stretch is felt in the back.  As you do this, keep the left arm straight, do not bend the elbow, and keep looking at the floor.  Hold for 10 to 15-seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat with the left arm sliding to the right.  Keep alternating and do 3 sets to each side.  Remember to breathe normally throughout and don’t force the stretch or injury to the back may occur.

Open Book - Lie on your side in the fetal position with elbows, shoulders, and knees bent at 90 degrees, and a light weight (no more than 1 to 2 lbs.) in each hand.  Without changing any of the angles, slowly rotate the top arm up and over, as in opening a book, until a gentle stretch is felt.  Keep the knees together.  If needed, hold the knees down with the stationary hand.  The head can roll until you’re looking at the ceiling.  Hold for 10 to 15-seconds and return to the starting position.  Make sure to breathe throughout.  Do 3 sets, roll over and repeat to the other side.

Additional golf-specific stretches and a 20-minute stretching routine can be found in my book, Functional Golf Fitness Training

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Static Hamstring Stretch

 One of the main factors for low back discomfort is tight hamstrings, which can also affect hip mobility in the golf swing.

 

 

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:
- how to identify and correct the common physical deficiencies most golfers have that are impacting their swing and injury potential
- 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

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

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
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

 

 

November 11, 2017
The top 10 fitness must haves for better golf.  Click on the pic and then "podcast."  
My segment starts at 1:10:30.

 
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 


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