Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Golf Swing Conditioning and Habit Building – Follow Through

Explosive Golf, Using the Science of Kinesiology to Improve Your Swing is a book by Dr. Michael Yessis that demonstrates ways to enhance your physical approach and understanding of swing mechanics though golf focused training movement.  Try incorporating these routines with your functional fitness work as prescribed by ep golf and build your golf foundation for performance improvement.

Follow Through – The follow through carries maximum club head speed through the contact area to ensure delivery of power to the ball.  Ideally, it keeps the club head in contact with the ball for the longest possible time in order to deliver the greatest force to the ball.  Cutting the follow through short or trying to stop the club early will reduce both distance and accuracy.  Momentum is responsible for club movement during the follow through but specific muscles are stretched in order to slow the club down.  As the muscles stretch, they develop tension with the ever increasing range of motion until the club is stopped at the end of the swing.

Right (trailing) Arm Horizontal Adduction - In the downswing, the right (trailing) arm moves down and across the body (adduction) and then up and across during the follow through.  The muscles on the back of the right (trailing) shoulder and arm play an important role in slowing the club during the follow through and other phases of the golf swing.  They play roles in enabling a compact backswing and proper arm rotation during the downswing.  They can become injured in the follow through due to the very powerful stretch that they experience.  Also, they are small and usually under-developed which also contributes to potential injury.

  • Standing Row - click on the link below to view the video.  A good exercise to strengthen the muscles involved in the follow through is the standing row.  Attach a flex band approximately shoulder high and grasp the end with the arms extended and tension on the band.  Stabilize the body and pull the handle back by bending the elbow.  Keep the arm in line with the shoulders and pull the elbow beyond the back to fully contract the muscles.  Slowly return to the initial position keeping the movement under control.
Side Bending – A powerful weight shift and hip turn will generate spinal side bending in the flow through.  If the range of motion exceeds your capabilities or the proper sequence of actions is disrupted, back injury may occur.  The muscles of the core and lower back provide stability to the spine and help prevent injury that may occur due to unexpected forces encountered during the swing and follow through.

  • Side Bend without Hip Slide - click on the link below to view the video.  A simple exercise to strengthen the core and lower back muscles involved in the follow through is the side bend using either flex bands or a dumbbell.  When using flex bands, stand with one end of the band firmly secured under your feet.  Hold the other end on the same side of the body with the band under tension.  Bend to the opposite side as far as possible keeping the hips in place.  Return slowly to the original position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions then repeat on the other side.
  • Side Bend with Hip Slide - click on the link below to view the video.  A more advanced version of the side bend adds a lateral hip slide as you bend to the side.  Start with a well-balanced stance while holding a dumbbell in one hand.  Lower the shoulders and shift the hips as far as possible away from the arm holding the dumbbell.  After reaching the bottom, inhale and raise the trunk up and over toward the other side as far as possible.  For greater stretch and strengthening, execute the movement with the arms overhead while holding a light dumbbell and preform the movement through the greatest possible range of motion.
Spinal Hyperextension – At the completion of the follow through, the swing ends with the back in a reverse-C curve with a hyperextended spine.  If the finish is correct, the hips are forward and the shoulders are back.  This position requires a strong core and lower back to safely and effectively execute. 

  • GHD or Stability Ball Sit ups - click on the link below to view the video. This movement may be performed on a Glute Ham Development machine if available or a large exercise ball.  Start in a seated position and secure the feet under the foot supports of the GHD or under a solid object or furniture (if performing on a large ball).  Cross the hands over the chest and roll the ball and hips forward as you lie back.  In the final position, the lower back arching should duplicate or go slightly beyond the amount of arch you experience in the follow through.  After reaching the lowest position, tighten the core muscles to sit back up to the original position.  Pause and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  • Backward Overhead Medicine Ball Toss - click on the link below to view the video. This movement is a good exercise for developing the lower back and using the core to control the amount of reverse-C achieved at follow through.  Start in a standing stance position holding a medicine ball in extended arms in front of the body.  Slightly flex the legs and bend forward at the waist while maintaining normal spine curvature.  Go into a squat, inhale, and forcefully extend the trunk and legs while driving the ball upward with straight arms.  Release the ball over your head as the body is fully extended and you go into the reverse-C position.  Toss the ball easily at first and add speed and power as you progress.
Incorporate these golf specific and other core and lower back movements into your weekly activity routines.  Developing core and lower back strength will add distance and accuracy to your shots while reducing chances of back injury and pain.

1 comment:

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