Shape up your Swing

Spring is here and so is golf season. Whether you are striving to advance through the competitive ranks, simply trying to take a couple of strokes off your game, or endure an injury free season, participating in a well designed strength and conditioning program can significantly improve your performance. Plexus Fitness is at your service to provide the functional, sport-specific training you need to play your best this season.

The golf swing is a complex movement that puts joints under a high amount of stress, especially the lower back, wrists, and elbows. A mechanically efficient golf swing requires a combination of flexibility, strength and balance. Functional exercise training is proven to be useful to improve joint stability, balance, muscular coordination, strength, and endurance in both healthy and injured athletes of all ages. Athletes of all skill levels can benefit from these performance related components of fitness.

At Train Daly we give special attention to assessing flexibility, core stabilization, balance, and functional strength to properly initiate and progress a specific program for your needs throughout the season. Let us help you get a head start on the season. Please call 347-850-DALY or email dan@traindaly.com to schedule a complimentary needs based fitness assessment and goal consultation. Remember to continue to check our Blog Daly for the latest in golf training and other health related topics.

Dynamic Warm Up Routines

What is the best way to warm up for your activity? A specific warm up would be best. Specific movements to prepare your body for the activity ahead. Traditionally, coaches, teams, and fitness enthusiasts use a general warm up, typically a light jog, followed by some static stretching. This defeats the purpose of a warm up, however. Running may not be specific to the activity you plan to do, its also a limited range of motion on the joints, and does little for the upper extremities. Furthermore, static stretching has been shown to fatigue muscle and decrease strength output for up to two hours. Static stretching also drops core body temperature, negating the purpose of a warm up. This type of warm up has perpetuated because it is so ingrained in coaches and exercisers, and has gone unquestioned until recently. The growing field of professional strength and conditioning specialists continue to seek ways to enhance performance and prevent injuries in athletes and amateur fitness clients. Most professional and collegiate teams use dynamic warm up routines for peak performance. It works for them and the average exerciser could benefit from it too.

The key points and advantages of a dynamic warm up include:

1. Warming the body's core temperature to increase elasticity in joint and muscle tissues

2. Increased heart rate, circulation, and breathing

3. Working the muscles and joints through activity specific ranges of motions

4. Enhanced coordination and motor ability through CNS stimulation

5. Mentally active preparation through dynamic movements - save the static movements for post activity.

Check out my demos page for specific examples and explanations on dynamic warm up routines. The New York Times wrote a nice article on warm up routines recently. Here.

SMR - The Poor Man's Massage - Foam Rolling

Self Myofascial Release (SMR) is an active therapeutic modality involving manual massaging of the fascia encasing your muscles with a foam roller, stick, or other apparatus. Imagine your muscles are enclosed by tight weave of strings. Daily activity and training stretch and stress these strings. Imbalances and asymmetries in our biomechanical patterns result in compensations. These compensations put undue stress on some areas of our body resulting in adhesions and scar tissue along the fascia. These adhesions are commonly referred to as trigger points or hot spots. They are like knots in a string that can be tender to the touch. Left alone these trigger points may cause further dysfunction and compensation. Trigger points compromise the length and function of muscles, which lead to compensation and over use of other areas, resulting in injury. Foam rolling, although not new, is getting increased attention in the athletic and fitness realm. Use it as a compliment to your dynamic warm up routine and stretching cool down. While stretching involves the passive lengthening of a muscle, foam rolling further aides this process by kneading out adhesions and scar tissue along that length, creating great mobility.

Still not convinced? Check out "Feel better for 10 bucks: Self Myofascial Release: No Doctor Required by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson at TMuscle. Great detailed explanations. My photos are better though :)

Please refer to my demo page for foam rolling examples and explanations.

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