Longer muscles for longer drives | By Alan Walters (ETPI)

I’m sure you’ve read countless articles on how to generate more power, increase clubhead speed, hit bombs, smash the ball 300 yards… etc. But then, when you’ve put them into practice, you still find yourself pumping the ball out there a mere 220 yards carry downwind – it’s frustrating to say the least!

The problem is not the tip or article itself, but more the fact that the vast majority of people simply do not have the physical capability to perform the desired move with the correct speed, power and consistency in order to hit the ball further.

This is not to say that you will never possess the physical capability to perform the correct move at the desired speed, it’s just a fact that most people, whether you are aware of it or not, do not have the flexibility required. This comes from a lifestyle of sitting at home, in the car, at work and even socialising, without taking any counteractive measures to keep or improve flexibility.

LOST AWARENESS

To add to this, most people are so tight and inflexible that they have lost the awareness of where their body is in space (not in the Star Wars way). What I mean by this is most people have lost the conscious ability to activate certain muscles along with the awareness of how to move their body properly. For example, they think that they have a flat back when its rounded or they think their shoulders are level when they are tilted. So, when you try to apply a tip or perform an instruction, the chances of doing it correctly or in a way that will see quick and long-lasting improvements are slim to none. You may have experienced this yourself when you have been for a lesson. By the end of the lesson the golf professional has you hitting the ball great or at least much improved, however the next time you go to practice or play, it feels like you’ve never hit a ball before. This is not because you have the memory of a gold fish and have forgotten the advice, but it is the fact that you are so inflexible that you are lacking body awareness which stops you from achieving the same positions, movement patterns and sequencing you had going previously.

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY

Similarly, if you are trying to perform ‘golf specific’ strength exercises, you are more than likely going to be grinding in the poor movement patterns that already exist due to insufficient flexibility, as you will not be able to get into the required position to make improvements. Luckily, the news is not all bleak. Before you throw your clubs in the lake and buy a fishing rod, there are a few simple exercises that will start you on a path to improving your flexibility, and the best thing is that they can all be done in your own home, office or at the golf club before you tee off.


THE EXERCISES

For each of the following you should:

  • Perform them for 60 seconds on each side
  • The order is TP glute medius/ TFL, Glute stretch, Toed in hamstring stretch
  • Go through this sequence three times
  • Try and do them every day (especially before you play golf or hit balls)

Trigger point – Glute Medius/ TFL

(You will need a PTP massage ball)

•Locate the correct spot at the top of your glute by following around your hip bone.
• Lay on top of the ball with your bottom leg straight and the top one bent up.
• This exercise will be painful but will lessen after a while and then you can start the exercise part where you lift your bottom leg up and bring your knee towards your hip.

Glute stretch (Beginner)

• Take a seat and put your ankle onto the opposite knee.
• Turn your body to the opposite side.
• Pull your knee and rotate to extend the stretch further.

Glute stretch (Advanced)

• Put your leg onto a bench and bend it 90 degrees.
• Then rotate your body to the side and hold.

Toed in hamstring

• This targets the outside of your leg.
• Put your foot vertically up against either a bench or a step, and simply stick your butt out, lean forward, drop your chest down and rotate.
• Hold this position for 15 seconds.

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