Women, Golf Yourself First!by Diana Del Garbino
Ladies, when it comes to our health, our fitness, our nutrition, or just taking care of ourselves, we consider ourselves last. This seems to be part of our genetic make up. I see mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and wives take care of everyone else, but when it comes to their own health, as it relates to everyday living and fitness for our favorite game, we put it at the end of the list.
Let’s take a look at how much time we really have: There are168 hours in a week. Let’s break it down; 40 hours for a full time job, if you get 9 hours of sleep a night, that’s 63 hours a week, 10 hours for commuting, 20 hours for kids & family (during the week), if you cook, add 10 hours a week, weekend time (family, friends, & GOLF) add 20 hours. That leaves you with 5 hours extra a week. So what should you do with that extra time?
Start by thinking about who needs to be mentally, physically and emotionally strong? That would be you! The woman of the house. As women we are the center of the universe. Everyone knows who to ask to get the answers to homework, where the keys are, and are the dishes clean or dirty? Now that you know how important you are, why are you still putting yourself last?
Take that five hours a week, and break it down to one hour five days a week. You can get a lot done in those five hours! Imagine if you dedicated 30 minutes three times a week on just your golfing muscles? What would that look like? Upper body mobility would give you more rotation. Lower body strength would give you more power and stability in your stance. Upper back workout would keep your shoulders from getting over worked and causing injuries. Strengthening your glutes and abdominal muscles would give you a more athletic stance and keep your lower back from overworking and getting sore. So get working those golf muscles before the kickoff of the spring season!
Now let’s talk about nutrition. Remember the old adage “you are what you eat?” Well, your mom was right. If you want your body to be soft and squishy, eat more bread, pasta, and rice. If you want to be lean and toned, eat more fruits and vegetables, lean protein; but go easy on the whole grains and breads, limit your sugar intake. Remember what and how you eat determines not only your figure, but your mood, muscle quality and metabolism.
Ok, so now you’ve taken time out for your self. Let’s talk about when you’re out on the links. What are some of the challenges for women on the course? Athletic ready position (addressing the ball), means it’s ok to bend your knees and stick out your butt!!
Make a bad shot? Let it go and focus on the next opportunity for a great shot.
Time on the course should be a challenge and leave you with a renewed sense of self-confidence and well-being. Do you want bogies for health or birdies? Your body deserves your best effort!
Diana Del Garbino is TPI-Certified Level 2 fitness pro in Oregon. She works out of Muscles in Motion-Professional Training Studio in Lake Oswego, where she works regularly with local LPGA & PGA Professionals. To learn more about Diana and her golf fitness program go to www.mymusclesinmotion.com.
Ying and Yang For Your Golf Swingby Diana Del Garbino
Mobility and Stability. It is like a golf bag and your clubs; you can’t have one without the other. When these two components work together, they are the link to having balance in your golf swing and stance as well as preventing injuries.
Injuries occur when there are imbalances in the muscles or joints. Incorrect mobility can throw off your balance, creating a ripple effect in your swing thus causing your shot to be way off target. An unstable stance will prevent consistent ball striking.
The same is true if you have too much tightness in your joints. When you are not able to rotate into your backswing and pre-load your muscles, this causes loss of power. As if a poor shot isn’t bad enough, a joint or muscle injury could occur. For example, our golfer who does not have mobility in his upper body and stability in his stance may try to achieve more power in his downswing. This is usually seen by the “over the top” swing fault. This can cause strain in the chest muscles. Now that our golfer feels pain he will compensate and cause even more swing faults. Had he gained more mobility in his thoracic spine and stability in his lower body he could correct the original swing fault.
According to physical therapist Gray Cook and strength coach Mike Boyle, the principle of efficient movement for golf occurs in an alternating pattern of mobile joints and stable segments. For example, the foot has stability, the ankle has mobility, the knee has stability, etc. From the feet to the fingers this alternating pattern can be found. When this pattern is altered there becomes a dysfunction and the potential for injury increases as you move to compensate.
There are several ways to achieve both mobility and stability through your workout. Weight training provides the quickest and most reliable results. I know what you’re thinking, weight training is going to make you “big and bulky,” however the opposite is true. With controlled movement and working the muscles through their full range of motion you will get both strength and flexibility.
How it works: the muscles in the body work in such a way that when you flex your bicep muscle, your triceps muscles have to relax and stretch. This is called antagonist and agonist. All of the muscles have the ability to work in this pattern from the abdominals contracting and the back relaxing, to the gluteus maximus contracting and the hip flexors stretching and relaxing.
By working opposing groups of muscles you gain strength while maintaining proper mobility in the ligaments, thus helping to preventing injuries to you the golfer.
Your golf swing and stance will be most effective when the areas in the mobility pattern are worked to their full range of motion and when the areas in the stability pattern are stabilized for their maximum potential. With proper form, you will have the basis for a great stance, swing and follow through, along with improved endurance, balance and power. All of this will keep you playing the links for years to come.
Diana Del Garbino is TPI-Certified Level 2 fitness pro in Oregon. She works out of Muscles in Motion-Professional Training Studio in Lake Oswego, where she works regularly with local LPGA & PGA Professionals.
To learn more about Diana and her golf fitness program go to www.mymusclesinmotion.com.
Please read more articles from the February 2010 issue at: http://golftodaynw.com