Many of the most worthwhile golf improvement products on the market often come from simple ideas and innovations. One relatively straightforward product that is a generating a lot of interest lately is the GolfRoller, which is a simple training aid designed to increase back and core strength while improving flexibility. The repetitive motion of the golf swing and the stress it puts on your body definitely cultivates the need for core, back and neck assistance.
Unlike many complicated golf training products, the GolfRoller is a lightweight and durable tool that you can bring and use virtually anywhere. The product concept is similar to conventional foam rollers, but the GolfRoller actually consists of a hollow core of plastic wrapped in a neoprene layer. It’s extremely lightweight and portable, easily fitting into your luggage or even your golf bag.
Using the product is relatively easy and allows you to target specific parts of your body with each individual movement. The GolfRoller website has helpful videos that instruct how you can use the product to stretch your calves, hamstrings, hips, glutes, lower spine, middle spine, upper spine, quads, shoulders and neck. In addition, since you’re basically using your own body weight, you can control the pace of the movement throughout the entire process.
Think of the GolfRoller as your personal golf massage assistant. The technical term for massage produced by this type of body rolling motion is called “myofascial release”, a form of soft tissue therapy used to relieve pain and restriction of motion. By investing only a few minutes every day using the GolfRoller for your own golf massage, you can dramatically reduce lower back pain and increase your range of motion. It’s also a great tool to use as part of your warm up routine prior to leaving for the course or a golf practice facility.
The GolferRoller consists of a two piece construction, which allows the outer layer to easily be washed. The product is available for $49.95 on the GolfRoller website, where you can also watch multiple videos on how to use it to improve your golf fitness.
The PGA of America is continuing their support of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity with the second edition of the “Let’s Move On Course” program. During the 2012 PGA Championship, The PGA of America will be giving away free pedometers, courtesy of the Hospital for Special Surgery, to help promote the benefits of walking and physcial activity on the golf course.
The 2012 PGA Championship takes place August 8-14 at Atlanta Athletic Club and typically provides the strongest field of the year. Fans attending the event can pick up their free pedometer and track their steps while following the best golfers in the world.
Recent studies have shown that walking 18 holes on the golf course is equivalent to five miles or 10,000 steps. Golfers who carry their clubs during an 18-hole round can burn as much as 2,000 calories. Health and fitness experts have recommended taking 10,000 steps per day on average to help control weight gain and improve overall fitness.
The “Let’s Move on Course!” program was officially launched last year at the 2011 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Fans who claimed a pedometer and reported their data on PlayGolfAmerica.com walked an average of 14,767 steps or 7.4 miles on the golf course during last year’s PGA Championship.
Attendees of the 2012 PGA Championship in Atlanta can pick up their free pedometer at the main spectator entrance of the Atlanta Athletic Club. Pedometers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis each day of the event. Fans are encouraged to once again report their steps on PlayGolfAmerica.com, where they will be entered into a drawing to win an autographed pin flag signed by the tournament champion.
In the world of sports, golf is somewhat unique in that the golf swing is a repetitive motion that occurs on every shot. The lie or external conditions may change, but the ball stays the same and so does the opportunity for the golfer. Master the repetitive art of the golf swing and success can be yours.
Since the golf swing maintains the same elements for each and every shot, it makes sense that you’ll want to improve your body’s strength and flexibility within this realm. One of the latest innovations to help golfers achieve this goal is a unique piece of golf fitness equipment called The Extra 20 Yards®.
A patented high quality golf fitness machine that replicates the golf swing, The Extra 20 Yards® helps build strength within your core muscles that create club head speed, allowing you to hit the ball further. The product is basically a weight machine that could be used as part of your golf training program to help you compress the golf ball better.
The Extra 20 Yards® was built to help golfers increase distance off the tee with just minutes of exercise per day. If you are you looking to gain distance without spending hours in the gym, then The Extra 20 Yards® could be for you.
The battle to lower golf scores by improving physical capabilities is a constant for golfers around the world. One new tool in their arsenal is also one of the hottest new fitness routines in the United States.
Introducing Piloxing, the newest fitness craze – a combination of Pilates and boxing. Golfers have been familiar with Pilates for decades now, with high profile devotees such as David Duval. Piloxing takes the traditional mat Pilates and injects it with strength-building boxing moves that help burn fat, build muscle and strengthen the important core muscles that are essential for success on the golf course.
Created by Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer Viveca Jensen, Piloxing was developed to facilitate a balance of strength and flexibility. In addition to Pilates and boxing movements, the exercise incorporates the use of weighted gloves which add to the workout by toning the arms and maximizing cardiovascular health.
To learn more about Piloxing and to find a nearby class visit www.piloxing.com.
With nine major championship victories, Gary Player is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. A 1974 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades.
Now 75 years old, it’s Player’s remarkable longevity that continues this amazing story. Back in the 1950s, Player earned the nickname Mr. Fitness in the 1950s because of his impressive dedication to exercise. It’s obvious that dedication is still paying rewards.
“People said weight training was detrimental to golfers,” recalls Mr. Player. “I was squatting 325 pounds the night before I won my first U.S. Open in 1965. Today, the players have traveling gyms.”
As he’s aged, Mr. Player says he’s even more serious about staying fit: “Winning a grand slam title after the age of 53 meant keeping my body lean and mean.”
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How can science improve your golf swing? Some Stanford University researchers believe their digital cameras have captured the perfect golf swing. The key question is whether that knowledge can be transferred to your golf swing.
PGA professionals have known for a long time that proper technique within the golf swing is critical to ball speed. No matter the size or the strength of the golfer, a swing without solid technical elements will lose much of its force. Even at the age of 61, five-time British Open winner Tom Watson can hit a ball with more power, and farther, than fit competitors half his age.
In a high-tech analysis of golfers, a research team identified several key biomechanical factors that produce power, separating the elite professionals from the duffers. At the university’s Motion and Gait Analysis Lab, 10 pros used a 5 iron to swing at ping-pong balls on a linoleum floor, wearing only shorts and dozens of tiny silver light-reflecting balls. The volunteers were all Stanford alumni and included Will Yanagisawa, a Hawaii Pearl Open winner, and former pro Notah Begay, who is now an analyst with the Golf Channel.
Eight cameras made a digital record of their bodies during the golf swing, then compared the data to less reformed swings of amateurs. The team found that professionals’ swings are highly consistent, virtually indistinguishable from each other. And the pros, unlike the five amateurs who also volunteered in the study, always initiated their downswing by rotating their hips.
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Some PGA golfers that can’t stand the heat on the golf course are now turning up the heat – more specifically Bikram Yoga – to improve their health and performance. PGA professional Jamie Mulligan, who has worked with PGA pro Paul Goydos, Nationwide Tour pro Peter Tomasulo and college phenom Patrick Cantlay, is a confirmed proponent of the popular form of yoga called Bikram Yoga, in honor of founder Bikram Choudhury.
Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Mr. Choudhury developed from traditional yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. Bikram Yoga classes last 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%.
The intense heat and humidity help the muscles to stay warm and stretch more safely than in a colder environment. The 26 individual postures are meant to improve flexibility, balance and bring freshly oxygenated blood into those areas, promoting healing throughout the tissues.
The repetitive nature of the golf swing for professional golfers such as Jamie Mulligan can often create extreme stress and muscle tightness that leads to more serious injuries. Bikram Yoga could be a safe, simple answer for professionals or even weekend golfers who are looking to improve their scores while staying flexible and healthy.
Visit www.bikramyoga.com to learn more about Bikram Yoga and to find more resources in your area.
Increasing your flexibility and your core strength with Pilates, according to Physical Therapist Deneen Carter, is a great way to lower your golf scores and stay healthy throughout the season. For golfers, in addition to stretching your back, arms and legs, it’s also important to stretch your hips, ankles, wrists, shoulders and neck. Since Pilates focuses on the core muscles, which extend from your stomach and back through your hips and buttocks area, it’s a popular option for professional golfers such as 2001 British Open Champion David Duval.
“Everything powers through your core when you play golf,” Physical Therapist Deneen Carter said. “Make sure your hips are strong. And warm up before the game. Stretch, hit a few balls. All of this is very important so you don’t go out there cold. And, of course, make sure you have the proper mechanics for your swing.”
If most golfers are proactive with their stretching and exercise program, they are much more likely to be able to continue playing the game pain free. According to recent research, most golfing injuries are the result of a lack of flexibility, and not necessarily because of poor swing mechanics.
“It’s all related to a lack of flexibility,” said Carter. “Golf does not just involve the upper body or the lower body. It’s your whole body – from your neck to your ankles. We see more golfers here with complaints about the lower back because it tends to be a more painful area than, say the hips or the ankles.”
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Have you considering incorporating yoga into your life to help with your golf game? If not, you may want to consider this ancient practice, which originated over five thousand years ago in India.
Most golfers are more than willing to spend whatever it takes for the latest Callaway or TaylorMade driver. However, they often neglect the body that is responsible for swinging that driver in a repetitive motion hundreds of times per round.
Recent research has found that Yoga can counteract golf’s one-sided repetitive motion, which can have a negative impact on the back and joints. Could this ancient art form be right for you? It seems as though the popularity of yoga among PGA professionals is reaching new heights.
Over the past decade, golf professionals such as David Duval, Annika Sorenstam, Brad Faxon, Gary McCord and Gary Player have been avid yoga practioners. Ken Green, a former bad boy of the GPA says yoga has helped him “kill the demons” so he could regain his tour card.
Golfers’ back pain can result in some golfers giving up the game all together. Vijay Vad, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York developed a program randomly adding Yoga practice to his patients on medication for back pain. After six months about 80% of the patients practicing yoga experienced a decrease in back pain compared to 44% reduction for patients on medication only. Fifty-six percent (56%) of the patients on medication experienced another acute episode of their injury while only twelve percent (12%) of patients using yoga experienced a reoccurrence.
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A long drive is a quick way to shorten a golf course and allow you to hit more short irons into the green. Most golfers aren’t born with Dustin Johnson’s long drive distance, so we need to build our ability to hit the longest drive.
The Extra Twenty Yards® is an at-home weight-pulley device that mimics the golf swing to increase club head speed and add long drive distance to your game. Its creator, Graeme Alexander, recommends golfers spend about three to five minutes with the device three to four times a week.
“I lack the motivation to go to a gym for an hour or 90 minutes three times a week so I can hit a golf ball farther,” Alexander said. “So I came up with an exercise machine that is biomechanically specific to the golf swing.
The Extra Twenty Yards® is a patented product specifically designed to aid golfers to hit the golf ball further. The product is a weight machine which can help develop strength in the golf swing. Stronger golf muscles will result in faster movement and golf club speed.
“In a gym, weighted pulleys are vertical. The Extra Twenty Yards® has a handle that replicates the gripped end of a golf club and you pull — in lighter weight increments — on the correct golf swing plane.”
The Extra Twenty Yards® requires a room with at least an eight-foot ceiling. Already sold in Europe, where it has earned support from numerous teaching pros, the Extra 20 Yards was introduced in the United States last month for $350
Vist the The Extra Twenty Yards® website for more information.