The term athlete has never more aptly applied to golfers than it does today. While strength continues to remain an important part of the game, power gained through flexibility and balance are now what put a great golf game within reach for many.
So what’s the key to achieving the level of flexibility and balance that will transform your game?
Core muscle group flexibility. Think about it. Your swing revolves around your navel, the area supported by the core muscles. Not just your abs but the entire core – your obliques, glutes, piriformis, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Your ability to get the most out of this major muscle group could mean a 20 yard or more difference in your drive.
Fitness expert and author Kelly Blackburn explains, “In your golf swing your hips and glutes provide a solid foundation for balance as well as supplying the mechanism for acceleration. A flexible core allows you to fully extend your swing and maximize power at impact as you rotate through into the finish position.” She suggests a simple flexibility test.
“Take a 5 iron and move into your backswing position. At the top of your backswing your left arm (assuming you’re right handed) should be completely straight and the club should be directly parallel across your shoulders. If it’s not you’re not alone but you are definitely losing power due to a lack of flexibility.”
But flexibility exercises that are not specific to the golf swing and its physical requirements, while helpful, will not provide the flexibility and balance that will deliver the power that golfers are looking for.
One device making a big impact with both professional and amateur players is the CoreStretch. Previously available only to physical therapists and athletic trainers, the CoreStretch has recently become available to all golfers. Unlike conventional stretching methods that force the back to curve, the unique design of the CoreStretch elongates the back enabling a deeper more effective stretch of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the core. The CoreStretch works on a three-plane swivel for up-and-down, side-to-side and twisting motion provides optimal stretching for three levels of fitness for the lower back, obliques, hip flexors, piriformis, glutes and hamstrings – enabling users to fit their individual needs.
Weighing about a pound, the CoreStretch is light-weight and collapsible, so it can conveniently be taken to the office, business travel or even kept in your golf bag so that it can be used daily, even several times a day in seated, standing or floor positions. The unique design of the CoreStretch ensures proper techniques so that users can achieve an effective, dynamic stretch that without the risk of injury.
Blackburn has begun recommending the CoreStretch to her clients, both professional and amateur as well as adding it to her Golf Fitness product line. “While there are other methods of stretching the core muscles, none provide both the position stability and portability of the CoreStretch. It’s become so popular that I’ve created an entire mulit-level game-enhancement program around the CoreStretch.”