Controlling Movement and Proprioception
A good friend of mine is an esteemed researcher at Arizona State University, specifically her work focuses on golf performance. Debbie Crews Ketterling, Ph.D. is the author a book entitled Golf: Energy in Motion ' Its not about the ball; Its about the possibilities! I highly recommend this book for any golfer who is interested in all the components that contribute to peak performance, mind, body, energy and intention.
In a chapter entitled Create great golf, Crews discusses movement.
Creating every shot has two primary components ' start and finish. Science tells us the importance of starting and finishing each shot that we create (Proctor & Dutta, 1995).
The more complex the task, the longer the programming time. Longer programming time takes place behind the ball. Movement is coordinated relative to space and not to joints in the body. The mind, brain, and body plan the motion; joint angles and muscle torques follow. If joint movements are used, they are only effective if all motions of all the joints involved are timed so they reach their final position at the same time and then the motion is fluid. Focusing on moving the handle of the club through space, in the desired path, can be very effective. If the swing is finished in balance facing the target, many components of the swing had to fall into place without having to focus on each one separately. Finish is the end of the swing ' not impact. If the finish is correct, it is likely that impact will be correct since it is the bottom of the path.
Errors in motion can be detected before they are physically produced. They can be altered. Self-correction at a subconscious level takes place many times during the motion.
We cannot discuss movement and self-correction of movement without discussing proprioception. The definition of proprioception:
the perception by an animal of stimuli relating to its own position, posture, equilibrium, or internal condition.
The coordination of movements requires continuous awareness of the position of each limb. The receptors in the skeletal (striated) muscles and on the surfaces of tendons of vertebrates provide constant information on the positions of limbs.
Sounds like you need good proprioception for a solid golf swing!
How does one facilitate proprioception? One of the easiest ways to generate good proprioception is to move in and out of exercise with conscious awareness. For example, lifting one leg off the floor and placing the foot back in the precise, same position helps to facilitate proprioception, the art of knowing where your body is in space.
If you are looking for more exercises on this topic practice the progressive balance section in my DVD More Power and Distance @ www.KRTotalFitness.com
Lets get started!
Standing balance series on ball ' Par Level:
Place the left foot on ball, hands on the waist. Lift the left foot slightly off the ball and place the foot back down five times. Switch sides. Lift the left leg off the floor, extend the leg and hold for one breath, returning the foot to the starting position. Repeat three times and switch sides.
Half-moon exercise balance at the wall ' Birdie Level:
Place the left foot approximately three inches off the wall and the left hip against the wall. Tip: To challenge yourself more keep your hip off the wall or practice this exercise without the assistance of the wall. Place the balance ball under your left hand and shift your weight into your left foot. Pay attention to the position and placement of your right foot. On your exhale place your right foot back to the original starting position. Repeat this action five times, moving dynamically on the inhale and exhale.
To challenge yourself more, lift your right leg off the floor, revolving your right hip as open as possible. Keep most of your weight in your left leg with a moderate amount of weight on your left hand. Now return to the starting position for five more reps!
Lunge sequence ' Eagle Level:
Begin with the ball above the head, standing tall with the core engaged. Lunge the left foot forward bringing the knee to a ninety degree angle. Press off with the right foot, leading the movement from your core until you are balanced on the left foot. Carefully, with focus, step the right foot back and return to the lunge position. Repeat this exercise three times on each side.
Tip: Perform this exercise slowly, focusing on balance and facilitation of proprioception.
See you on The Turn!
Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com