GRAVITY TO HELP YOUR CORE
Matt Green utilises products from GravityFit to explain how improving your posture and engaging your core will benefit your golf swing.
WHEN working with golfers, whether they be from the Golf NSW and Golf Australia High Performance squads or club golfers, one common goal is providing quality feedback when exercising. Correct feedback allows the golfer to know when activating the correct muscles and doing an exercise correctly, and when they are not. Used by PGA Tour winners Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt, the range of GravityFit products is driven by the idea that the effect of gravity helps facilitate core muscles. All the GravityFit products give people instant feedback to facilitate correct technique, with a range of golf specific applications that can be done in the gym, on the range or even at home.
With the elite Golf NSW squad, we start every session by working with the Gravity Cap, the Core Awareness Belt and TPro (Thoracic Pro) as a way for them to activate their core muscles. We set up exercises wearing the hat, belt and TPro that work on improving core control, not necessarily strength, before starting golf specific gym work. Always remaining as symmetrical as possible by doing the exercises both right and left handed. GRAVITY CAP People are often told to feel tall and long through their spine and that’s a good cue for the golf posture.
With the Gravity Cap on and arms pushing down through the straps on either side, the relative force of gravity is increased, and the pressure created through the bands allows the golfer to feel what it is like to actively lengthen the spine (pic 1). From this position simple exercises like walking and lunging are great to begin with and improve posture before moving into golf specific movements.
A simple but effective exercise is to bend forward into the golf posture keeping the arms parallel or in line with the body the whole time and hold the position (pics 2 & 3). With this move we are obviously getting the core switching on, but also activating the muscles which control the head and neck.
A lot of golfers let their head stick forward when addressing the golf ball and that affects their movement and how the muscles around the shoulder blades work. The improved posture encouraged by the Gravity Cap is a good way to get some control through the neck and core muscles and gives a sense of being nice and long through the spine.
… THE CAP CREATES PRESSURE THROUGH THE BANDS TO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE PUSHING AGAINST TO ACHIEVE LENGTH IN THE SPINE.
CORE AWARENESS BELT The Core Awareness Belt (CAB) is designed to give instant feedback through the CAB’s Telme buzzer, a beeper that beeps when the core muscles aren’t correctly activated or relax. With the belt on, again begin with walking and move to exercises like lunge walking, keeping the feeling of a narrow waist and tall, long spine at all times. Once a person’s core control is good enough to make those basic moves without the belt beeping they can wear the belt in the gym doing core exercises, weights and even push-ups, with instant feedback making sure they are using their core the right way during their gym program.
For a golf specific application hold a club and take a golf posture making sure not to lose core activation at address (pic 4). From there you can hit pitch and chip shots or rehearse backswing rotation, getting feedback on how the core muscles are working throughout the golf swing.
To increase the challenge and improve core control further take a golf posture on one leg and keep the core activated without the CAB beeping.
PEOPLE KNOW THEY DON’T WANT TO BE HUNCHED OVER BUT MANY OVER CORRECT AND GO TOO FAR THE OTHER WAY. THE TPRO ASSISTS IN FINDING THE MIDDLE GROUND ...
TPRO (THORACIC PRO) People know they don’t want to be hunched over, but many over correct and go too far the other way.
The TPro assists in finding the middle ground, delivering a better idea of the mid position for the upper back, particularly in the golf swing (pic 5). If you are too hunched forward the pressure of the ball will increase in your upper back, to upright and the pressure will be gone altogether. The goal is to maintain an even pressure of the ball in the middle of the back at all times. When training a posture muscle, the longer we do the exercises the better, so I like to use the lighter yellow band when using the TPro.
Standing tall and long with arms out in front, feeling the spiked ball of the TPro on the back in a nice neutral position, the first exercise activates the deep muscles in the upper back as well as the core muscles. Maintaining the pressure of the ball in the back the whole time, bring each arm in one at a time, making sure the spiked ball doesn’t move (pic 6). If the upper back remains stable and the shoulder blade doesn’t move, the TPro is training the core muscles, shoulder and upper back to move correctly.
Moving into a golf posture and maintaining the pressure of the ball in the upper back, again with the arms out in front, rotate into a backswing position while keeping the pressure in the ball unchanged (pics 7 & 8). Come back down into the address position with the space between the arms and body remaining the same. This exercise gives good feedback on correct rotation using the upper body, and not just swinging the arms.
Adding a club through the TPro forms a ‘V’ shape in front. When combined with consistent pressure of the spiked ball, the ‘V’ provides a reference point for the golfer to know that they are rotating correctly. This reinforces the correct movement pattern of rotation with arms in front, improving both the golf swing pattern as well as fitness.
The TPro with the straps tucked in, or the GravityFit TSensa without the arm straps, can be worn to improve posture when hitting full shots, or even when sitting at a desk, to reinforce correct posture by maintaining the pressure of the spiked ball in the upper back (pic 9). This is also particularly good for posture reinforcement when chipping and putting, when the body is often forgotten.
If you’re in good posture when putting and chipping, your body is going to work more efficiently and you are going to have a more repeatable stroke or swing, with minimal movement.