Oh Gwyneth Paltrow….
Some of you may have heard about the Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow who made an announcement that she has been diagnosed with Osteopenia. Osteopenia is a loss of bone or a pre-curser to Osteoporosis. Now how could someone with access to the best of everything, and who is only 37-years old have brittle bones of an 80-year old woman? Read more about it here in The Independent.
There could be several reasons for this, the primary reason being the lack of vitamins and minerals from her diet, such as Vitamin D and Calcium, and a lack of protein from quality meats, such as pasture raised beef. Secondly is the overuse of static-state exercise (i.e.”cardio”) and not enough weight-bearing exercises (i.e. Muscles In Motion!)
Keep yourself healthy with a balanced diet and lots of weight-bearing exercises, and your body will not only thank you, but keep you strong so you will have the bones of an 37-year old when you are 80-years old!
Now that we’ve had some good weather and much more time to golf, are you noticing the spots on your body that are beginning to hurt? Some of the pain could be in your lower back, shoulders and neck. You could be experiencing pains in your hips, knees or elbows. This month we are going to address some alternatives to keep those pains from turning into injuries that last longer than the golfing season.
Neck: Let’s start here and work our way down. The neck is often ignored even though it is where a lot of tension can linger. That tension can work it’s way down the body causing pain in the shoulders, back and hips. So keeping the neck muscles loose and relaxed is key. When working on the computer, be sure the screen is eye level and you are spared having to look down or up too far. Lap tops need to be elevated by a pillow or table and having your elbows supported is a bonus. Give your neck some relief by lying on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and a small towel rolled up and placed under your neck. This will allow your neck muscles to relax, while putting your head and back in better alignment for your golf swing.
Shoulders: The shoulder is such a complex joint that it can get out of balance in many different ways. The most common is slouching or rounded shoulders. Keeping your shoulders back during the day or while sitting, can feel like work. Think of the area between your ribcage and your collarbone as a single unit and lift your ribcage from the bottom front rib, forward and up. This will automatically pull your shoulders down and back and you will train yourself to hold you in this better position. For those with good posture, this will be easy to maintain. For those of you who do not have good posture, you can practice throughout your day to strengthen the proper muscles and it becomes a good habit! This is very important for maintaining good shoulder plane angle during your swing. It can also help with reverse spine angle.
Low Back: This area can make or break a golfer. As I’ve talked about it before, the lumbar spine region is not meant to rotate-it’s meant to be stable. The areas around it are made for movement: Thoracic spine and hips. So I won’t give you a good stretch for this area because it doesn’t need to be stretched, but I will give one for the upper back. Lie on your back (supine) with your hips on the floor and take a round foam roller or large bath towel, rolled up tightly. Now place the roller or towel perpendicular (make a t-shape with your body) keeping your glutes on the floor, place your arms to the side or behind your head to support your neck, and let your shoulders and neck relax for 15-20 seconds. Then move the roller or towel up or down one vertebrae and hold for 15-20 seconds. This will help open up the chest and you will gain more movement in your thoracic spine. Keeping your lumbar region stable.
Next month we’ll address the hips, knees and elbows, and what you can do to keep these in top shape. Keep challenging your muscles in the gym, so you can reap the benefits on the golf course!
Diana Del Garbino is a certified golf fitness instructor through the Titleist Performance Institute and coaches beginner through advanced golfers at Muscles in Motion-Professional training studio in Lake Oswego Oregon. For more information about the program visit www.mymusclesinmotion.com.