GRAVITY TO HELP YOUR CORE

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS - MATT GREEN is a sports phys­io­ther­a­pst and Head of Golf at Pre­ci­sion Ath­let­ica (www.pre­ci­sion­ath­let­ica.com.au). He con­sults to the Aus­tralasian PGA Tour, Jack New­ton Ju­nior Golf, Golf NSW and Golf Australia, work­ing with their de­vel­op­ment and high per­form

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.

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