David McGill: Functional training for golf

David McGill explains how strength and flexibility training can help with posture and in doing so aid your muscles to function correctly, with the goal of improving your golf swing.

‘Functional strength training’ is a phrase commonly used these days by trainers in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, it is also subject to misinterpretation. Many trainers are quick to prescribe complex, ‘functional’ exercises such as lunges or cable woodchops, involving a broad range of muscles.  Having failed to selectively stretch tight postural muscles and gradually re-integrate weakened, muscles back into the role for which they are specifically designed, such exercises greatly exceed the physiological capabilities of the average exerciser, ultimately increasing the possibility of an injury occurring.

The Posterior and Anterior Oblique System

Many ‘functional’ exercises prescribed to us in health clubs work muscles responsible for strength and movement yet fail to initially activate and gradually strengthen the deep, internal muscles responsible for stabilizing the spine, keeping it correctly aligned during a golf swing and other dynamic movements.  Stomach exercises often succeed in strengthening the ‘core musculature’ however ‘core stability’ will never be achieved if our spine and pelvis isn’t correctly aligned.  Why train muscles to be strong yet hold the spine in a misaligned position? Be sure to select a personal trainer who precedes your exercise prescription with Kinetic Chain Assessment (KCA) involving a detailed analysis of your posture. This helps to identify faults caused by muscular weaknesses and tightness, and the inability of these muscles to function correctly. Without the use of KCA, many personal trainers fail to notice when certain muscles, which they intend to target through exercise, are actually being prohibited from functioning correctly by tight, postural muscles.

A detailed, pre-exercise postural analysis, like that offered at Bodyrefine, helps establish a safe starting point for you. Using selective strength and flexibility exercises the primary objective is to ensure that your muscles function correctly without the risk of further injury or complication caused by excess tension or overload.  Afterwards, you will be introduced to progressive exercises which are suited to your physical condition and are functionally beneficial to daily activity.  

The most effective personal training will include cutting-edge Dynamic Flexibility Training (DFT).   Offered by a select number of specialist trainers in the country, DFT is highly beneficial for golfers and tennis players. Incorporating dynamic routines (using the posterior and anterior oblique systems) which closely mirror the dynamic movements used in these sports, DFT improves the power and flexibility of the muscles which the body is dependent upon for effective performance in golf.

Bodyrefine’s David McGill is available for one to one personal training sessions. He can be contacted by phone on 07748 778515 or by email at: david.mcgill@davidmcgill.com

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