HOW'S YOUR GAIT?

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

It’s pretty amazing when you think about all the body surface area we have and how little of it actually makes contact with the ground when we’re standing and even less when in motion.  That relatively small contact area, to be more specific the bottom of our feet, can have a pretty significant influence on how we feel.

Gait, according to Merriam-Webster, is a manner of walking or moving on foot.  It plays a vital role in keeping us aligned from our feet all the way up to our head.  The normal gait is characterized by each foot striding forward, landing on the outer part of the heel, rolling in slightly (known as pronation) and then pushing off with the big toe.    

An individual’s gait or stride is often taken for granted and not really thought about much, although it should, as an improper gait can increase the potential for both acute injury and chronic aches and pain.  We’re talking all the way up the body from the feet to the knees, hips, low back, shoulders, neck and head.  If you’ve been hampered by an ache or pain in one or more of these areas and it’s been difficult to find the cause, take a look at your gait. 

The most common gait issue is over pronation or an excessive rolling in of the foot and ankle during the stride.  This results in a wearing of the inner or medial aspect of the underside of the shoe.  Less common is under pronation, otherwise known as supination.  This is characterized by not enough rolling in of the ankle, and a wear pattern on the outer part of the sole, as the individual tends to stay on the lateral or outside part of the foot. 

People with flat feet tend to over pronate as do people who toe out when they walk.  On the other extreme, people with high-arched feet tend to supinate.  These aren’t requirements, however, as people with neutral feet can go either way.  It’s not uncommon to have a normal gait on one foot and either over pronate or supinate on the other.      

The long term impact on the body from either gait pattern has been researched extensively.  In this one example note how the left skeleton is out of balance due to over pronation of the left foot.  As you can see, the rolling in of the foot causes misalignment throughout the entire body.  When the body is misaligned, functionality is impaired and unwanted stress is placed on the muscles and joints.  This can impact efficiency of movement and cause both acute and chronic pain.     

Running shoes, which are ideal for walking as well, have long had the technology to help negate improper gait by either providing motion control or more flexibility.  The former providing over pronators with more medial support to prevent the excessive rolling in of the foot while the latter offering more cushioning to facilitate pronation for those who supinate.

Which are you?  Checking the wear pattern on your shoes that you’ve worn for awhile can give you a hint, although sometimes it’s tough to tell.  Having a gait analysis by someone who is trained in identifying gait patterns is a good route to take.  They can assess if you have improper gait, what type of gait you have and then recommend a particular style of shoe to look for on your next purchase.  This is good information to know, especially if you do quite of bit of walking/running.   

By the way, if you’ve been wearing the same shoes to walk or run in for the past year or longer, you’re asking for problems.  Most running shoes, if worn on a regular basis, should be replaced every 6 to 8 months as the support they provide tends to diminish with the wear.  An ounce of prevention may save you some big bucks down the road and aid in keeping you pain-free. 

The weather’s starting to warm-up and folks will once again be outdoors.  Make sure you have the proper footwear as this will help in maintaining body alignment, which will promote better movement patterns while reducing the potential for injury.    

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

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

 

 
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