Pick Yourself Up Off The Floor
Not too long ago we were all kids and moved like we were made of rubber. We could bend, jump, roll, bounce, and balance without any trouble. Then it seems we got older and lost our ability to do these fundamental movements. What happened? Once we were born, we started to move from the ground up. All of us had to push ourselves off the floor if we wanted to look around and see what everyone was doing. Then we rolled over, we crawled, and we pushed ourselves into a squat position and balanced in order to stand.
Once we could stand we fell down, and started all over again from the ground up. Over and over and over again we continued this pattern until we mastered it and began taking small steps.
Fast-forward 18 years. How often do you see anyone over the age of 18 getting up off the floor? Hardly ever. Most of us are driving a car, sitting at our desk or playing on the computer in a seated position. We’re not maintaining our ability to get ourselves up off the floor. As convenient as it is to get up from a chair rather than the floor, this set of movements is essential to keeping our balance into our golden years. Yes, by getting down on the floor and getting back up again you can maintain your balance!
So how does this affect the golf game? Lets look at what patterns of movement we need for golfing. We need to rotate and shift our weight from the back swing to the down swing. Sitting back into our stance as we address the ball. Maintaining our golf stance without losing posture. Shifting our weight from one foot to the next. All of this is very important to make sure you have a consistent golf swing.
Now lets look at the muscles needed to complete the above movement patterns in your golf swing. Shifting the weight is going to take strong legs, from the feet to the calf. Sitting back in your stance requires stability in the glutes, hamstrings and quads. Rotating around the spine from the back swing to the down swing requires strong abdominal and back muscles. And maintaining your stance without losing posture requires all of your muscles to work together to give you stability. These are all the same muscles needed to get up off the floor! Do you see the pattern?
When you make the body strong with both legs, you only strengthen one portion of your movement pattern. When you strengthen each group independently, you just added a new element to your abilities, not to mention cutting down on your chances of injury. Imagine carrying your groceries with your right arm exclusively. Your right side will be using abs, back, legs, glutes, shoulder and arm muscles. But your left side is trying to stabilize. Over time your body will become so out of balance that when you try to lift with your left side, your right side will take over and that’s when you could pull a muscle. So start working out using one-leg exercises and build each limb strong and independent of the other so when they work together there is harmony and balance!
Diana Del Garbino is a Certified level 2 TPI golf fitness professional. She works out of Muscles in Motion-Professional Training Studio in Lake Oswego, where she is regularly working with local LPGA & PGA Professionals, those learning about the game and those who want to correct swing faults, lower their handicap and more.
To learn more about Diana and her golf fitness program go to www.MyMusclesInMotion.com.