Flex-Fit golf fitness Knees and the golf swing

By Katherine RobertsJune 18, 2008, 4:00 pm

Knees and the golf swing
 
WOW! What a week in golf! I, like you, was glued to the television all week and held my breath during most of the playoff!
 
Congratulations to two great players and especially Tiger for his determination. When I watch a performance like this week I am motivated to do my best in my personal and professional life. I hope you were inspired as well.
 
Obviously one of the big discussions this week was the status of Tigers knee, from the level of his pain to his immediate future plans. I know Tigers trainer and he is one of the best trainers in the world. Trust me, he is in good hands!
 
It is important to understand the general role of the left knee in the golf swing. Assuming you are a right handed golfer, the left knee (as well as the entire left side) provides the foundation to which the golfer drives all his power from the right to left side. When you generate as much power as Tiger the knee takes a tremendous amount of stress.
 
I have worked with thousands of golfers and when they are faced with knee issues we evaluate three, perhaps surprising assessments.
1. Evaluate the foot function ' stability and mobility of the feet, status of the arches and mobility in the Achilles.
2. Evaluate the function of the hips ' mobility in the hip flexors, psoas and piraformis as well as strength in the gluts.
3. Evaluate the strength of the quads and flexibility in the hamstrings.
Many trainers who work with knee injuries focus solely on the strength in the quads. Although strong quads are important for stability in the knee there are many aspects of the body that effect knee stability.
 
Note: I have worked with many golfers, preparing them for a total knee replacement. Due to the severity of their knee function we work solely on the mobility of their hips, pre-surgery. On average our outcome is better than those patients who do not work on their hips before surgery.
 
Proper function of both the hips and feet have a direct correlation to stability of the knees!
 
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 with a few exercises for the feet and hips, ultimately helping stability in the knees.
 

Foot series::
 
Standing foot strengthener:
Stand with the feet hip width apart and hold onto the back of a char for support. Inhale deeply and on your exhalation lift as high as possible onto the balls of the feet. Hold for one deep breath and repeat ten to fifteen times.
 
Arch awareness exercise:
Stand with the feet hip width apart and focus your attention on the base of your big toes, baby toes and center of your heels. Feel as though you are pressing down at these three corners of your feet while you lift up in the arches. If you are performing this exercise correctly you will feel the action not only in the feet but in the inner thighs. Hold for five breaths, rest for thirty seconds and repeat three times.
 
Foot / Achilles stretch and strengthener:
Step the left foot back, right knee in a lunge position. Use a club for balance. Inhale as you lift your left heel as high as possible, exhale and press your left heel towards the floor. Repeat five times and switch sides.
 


 

Hip series::
 
Supine glut stretch on the ball:
Begin on your back and place the right foot on the outside of the left leg, left foot placed on the balance ball. On your exhale roll the ball towards you, feeling the stretch in the outside of the right hip, specifically the glut. Repeat five to ten times and switch sides.
 


 

Groin stretch:
Place your spine directly against the wall, bringing the soles of the feet together and as close to the groin as possible. Note: you should not feel any strain in your knees.
Hold for three minutes, allowing gravity to loosen the hips.
 


 

See you on The Turn!
 

Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com
 
Related Links:

  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
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    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.
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    Woods: New putter should help on slower greens

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:35 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods’ ice-cold putting showed at least a few signs of heating up earlier this month at The National, where he switched putters and ranked seventh in the field on the greens.

    The mallet-style putter is still in the bag as Woods prepares for The Open, and he’s hoping the heavier model with grooves will prove valuable at Carnoustie.


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “To be honest with you, I’ve struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said Tuesday. “So for me, it’s going to help on these greens, for sure.”

    To combat the slower greens, Woods usually applied a strip of lead tape to his putter. But this heavier model of putter doesn’t need the extra weight, and the grooves on the putter face allow the ball to get rolling faster and hotter.

    “You don’t necessarily have to do that with the grooves,” he said of the lead tape. “When I putted with the Nike putter, I didn’t have to put lead tape on the putter to get a little more weight to it. I could just leave it just the way it was. This is the same type.”  

    For all of the talk about his putting woes this season, Woods still ranks 56th in strokes gained: putting. More crucial this week: He’s 102nd in approach putt performance, which quantifies how well a player lag putts.

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    Woods: Open best chance for long-term major success

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:26 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods is more than a decade removed from his last major title, but he said Tuesday that The Open is the major that gives him the best chance for long-term success.

    “I would say yes, because of the fact that you don’t have to be long to play on a links-style golf course,” Woods said during his pre-tournament news conference. “It certainly can be done.”


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Woods pointed to the late-career success for both Greg Norman (2008) and Tom Watson (2009), both of whom challenged for the claret jug deep into their 50s.

    “Distance becomes a moot point on a links-style golf course,” he said.

    That’s certainly not the case, however, at the Masters, where bombers long have thrived, or the U.S. Open, which places a premium on long and straight driving.

    “You get to places like Augusta National, which is just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately,” he said. “But links-style courses, you can roll the ball. I hit a 3-iron that went down there 330. Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance.”

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    "Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 17, 2018, 10:15 am

    Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie

    Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open

    To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.

    “It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”

    Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:

    • Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
    • Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
    • A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.

     

    “This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like

    that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange

     

    “I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico

     

    Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 am

    Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.