We are using a club on the range and a golf specific stretch trainer for your post round exercises. The stretch trainer is specifically designed with foot webbing and handgrips to implement a static stretching process. If you do not have a stretch trainer you can acquire one in the Pro Shop.
Remember: Flexibility is one of the most important components of your golf swing. Stretching can lengthen your golf swing and increase your club head speed. As flexibility decreases, a golfer will try to compensate for the lack of flexibility in the hips, legs and back by altering their swing. If your swing is hindered by poor flexibility you could create stress on the low back region. A thorough golf specific stretching program enhances your capacity to lengthen your muscles which in turn increases your movement range and improving your flexibility.
Review the Add Power to Your Swing exercises from weeks 1, 2, & 3 on my archive page. This series is a progression program. Each week you will have a pre-round and post round exercise to do. For example, complete the exercises from weeks 1, 2, 3 & 4 for a total of six pre-round and six post round exercises!
As an added bonus, I have added a special feature at the end of this weeks class with sharing the fitness program of one of the PGA Tour pros.
Now lets get started...
Stand with your club grounded and the clubhead facing you. Slowly raise one leg bending at the knee and lift your heel upward towards your buttocks. Reach back and hold the top of the foot for a brief second. Return to the start position. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed.
Par Level: 10 reps to each side
Birdie Level: 15 reps to each side
Eagle Level: 20 reps to each side
Start: Sit with both legs extended, feet upright and wrap the center of the stretch trainer across the right ball the foot. Sit upright holding on to both loops of the stretch trainer with the right hand.
Action: Slowly roll down onto the left side while simultaneously bending the right knee and pulling the right foot to the buttocks.
Finish: Grab both loops behind the head and gently pull upward to create the stretch. Once you have found a comfortable stretch hold this position for 30 seconds. Release the tension and repeat, but the second time increase the stretch.
Tip: Keep tension on the stretch trainer to prevent slack in the transition.
At The Players Championship, I had the opportunity to sit down with Fred Couples. The man whose gallery is lined from tee to green with no less than five people deep, was gracious enough to give me two hours of his undivided attention to talk about his game and his fitness regimen to stay healthy on the TOUR.
Couples experienced the worst nightmare a golfer can encounter 45 minutes prior to his tee time at Doral in 1994. While warming up with an 8-iron, he experienced what he called 'an explosion' in his low back. 'I looked at my teacher and told him I was in trouble and couldn't move,' said Couples. A cart was dispatched to transport Fred to the rehabilitation trailer for examination. 'After being worked on for 20 minutes I thought I was ready, but when I went to stand I couldn't put any weight on my legs,' Couples said. Fred returned to Dallas where he was under the care of a physical therapist. After one week he saw improvement, but upon his return to the TOUR, it was just a matter of time before the pain returned.
At the advice of fellow TOUR player Don Pooley, Fred sought out physical therapist Tom Boers of the Human Performance and Rehabilitation Center in Columbus, Georgia. Tom immediately went to work diagnosing the problem and implementing the fix. 'Tom required a three day stay in order for me to go through the treatments and follow-up. The results were immediate,' said Couples. To maintain a healthy back, Boers prescribed strength exercises using bands and strength tubing, stretching exercises to increase range of motion, and cardiovascular endurance training.
Fred still sees Tom three to four times annually. Now at 45, he realizes that his fitness regimen is a must to keep his back in shape and continue to be competitive on the TOUR. His pre-game format starts with a warm-up on the Versa Climber cardio machine followed by stretching exercises. After his round he completes his day with 30 minutes of cardiovascular endurance training followed by strength exercises.
He continues his fitness program off the TOUR at his home in California. Tom Boers has treated many TOUR players over the years. He is referred to as the man with the magic hands. Couples fans, including myself, have him to thank for keeping Fred healthy for his game.
Click here for training aids from the Golf Fitness Pro Shop!
Editor's Note: Kelly Blackburn has traveled the PGA Tour and Champions Tour circuits as a fitness consultant and trainer for 11 years. Kelly welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at BlackburnOnTour@aol.com. Visit KellyBlackburn.com to learn more about health and fitness for golf.