It’s Time For Summer Sports’ Preparation
June 14, 2010
Last week we began our seven-part summer sports’ preparation series with the five components of physical fitness as applied to summer sports in general. For the next two weeks we will highlight golf drills focused upon enhancing your game. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program or sport, please consult your physician.
Driving a golf ball is a complex, compound movement which requires the engagement of several muscle groups both when performing the backswing off the tee and when performing the power swing when you actually hit the golf ball.
Primary muscle groups involved in these actions:
When performing the backswing -Spinal rotators (backward), wrist radial flexors, elbow extensors (front arm), elbow flexors (rear arm), hip/leg external rotators (front leg), arm adductors (front arm), arm flexors (front arm), hip/leg internal rotators (rear leg), arm abductors (rear arm), thumb flexors, wrist flexors, and finger flexors.
When hitting the golf ball (i.e. power swing) -Spinal rotators (forward), arm abductors (front arm), wrist ulnar flexors, hip-leg external rotators (rear leg), hip/leg internal rotators (front leg), elbow extensors, arm adductors (rear arm), thumb flexors, wrist flexors, and finger flexors.
The real challenge is creating a smooth, continuous and powerful movement pattern. You can certainly see why it is challenging when all of these muscle groups need to engage and coordinate in seconds. The drill this week will help you to work on smooth, continuous motion by learning how to properly engage the spinal rotators, performing spinal rotation.
Warm-up for 5-10 minutes prior to performing this drill.
Standing low-to-high wood chop with a medicine ball
• Equipment suggested – 6-10lb. medicine ball
• Begin standing with the legs approximately shoulder-distance apart and the shoulders, hips, knees and toes all facing in the same direction holding the medicine ball in both hands.
• Shoulders should be rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and the knees relaxed, body weight focused into the heels.
• Bring the medicine ball down just to the outside of your left thigh keeping your shoulders square so that the arms are across the body diagonally and your arms are straight.
• Without changing the position of the arms, engage your spinal rotation muscles of the torso (i.e. think of your waistline) bringing the ball from the low position to a high position above your right shoulder at approximately eye-level following the ball with your eyes (i.e. visualize going from the left hip to the right shoulder).
• Simultaneously, pivot off of the left foot, pivoting the hips as you bring the ball across and up and then return the ball, left foot and hips back to the beginning position.
• Avoid leading with your head; the entire torso will rotate as one unit.
• Concentrate on the creation of a smooth/continuous movement pattern without breaking form.
• Perform one set of 8-12 repetitions on each side, two to three times per week.
Next week, we will feature two more golf drills enabling you to perform the three drills in succession.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com