Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:44 AM
Absolutely Mekat, you are spot on the money. If you have muscular imbalances, weaknesses, physical limitations, injuries (pre existing or current) or simply aged related degeneration, ALL of these things impact the way in which you create and store power, and impact how you can create optimal movement patterns.
Of course all of the questions I have asked Zen I know full well what the answers are to these questions. I think it is important though to address it in question form so you guys have the opportunity to think and learn from the process. I also know that Zen will provide us with no nonsense answers that are based on science NOT speculation. I am also hoping that if people hear it from another source such as Zen we will actually make some headway if people start listening and start asking questions also.
People will have you believe that you can't overcome pre existing conditions and injuries. That age is just something that we need to accept and "Oh well, there is nothing you can do about it". This is pure unadultered rubbish Mekat. Anyone can improve on anything with the right advice and the correct approach from people who actually know what they are talking about.
Strength and performance training is my background and specialty. There is nothing that can't be improved or overcome with specific training. There is no need for it to be difficult, there is no need for it to be time consuming and there is no need for it to be overly taxing. I look at it this way "Something is better than nothing at all!" Even if you were only capable of performing limited exercises in a limited time space, isn't a small improvement of even 10% still an improvement that can enhance not only your sporting ambitions but your overall quality of life?
If we think there are fairy tales of advice in the golf industry, I can tell you for a fact that when it comes to the fitness industry the volume increases ten-fold. Here is a fact, no nonsense appraisal of the golf fitness industry... There is not one decent golf training program out there currently... NOT ONE! And I will tell you why?
Rule number 1 of sports performance conditioning and it is very simply:
The program must recreate the physiological needs of the sport of which it is being designed to be used for.
Pretty much every golf training program fails in this most basic programming requirement!
Think about the sport and anyone is capable with rational thought...
Golf involves a complex multi joint, multiple muscle motion that requires massive amounts of physical co-ordination. This motion is performed in a dynamic power ballistic fashion (simple terminology: fast and powerful) with an implement that is of submaximal load. (Simple terminology: A golf club weighs no more than 500g's, the ability to bench press or squat 100's of kg is not necessary for performance). This motion we call the golf swing is performed once dynamically and then is followed by a period of walking and rest (waiting for the next shot). This process above is repeated over a 4-5 hour period covering 5-6kms generally.
Now the personal problems I have with basically every fitness program on the market are:
* Single joint exercises: (Eg. A biceps curl): The golf swing takes co-ordination of multiple muscles over multiple joints in an unstable pattern of movement. Working one joint without having to co-ordinate it with another joint is therefore not optimal.
* Multiple repetitions: No unless there is a specific reason for doing so, like pre fatiguing a certain muscle movement or joint to encourage the development of a weaker muscle movement, there is no sporting reason to do more than 2-4 repetitions at most of any exercise. Most programs run on repetition schemes of 8+ (like bodybuilding programs). Name a period in the game of golf where you have to hit 8 golf balls or more, or make 8 swings on more at any one time. It is therefore poor sports science to program multiple repetitions, the sport doesn't require it.
* Anatomical screening and programming. Basing a program simply on individual areas of the body due to seeing the way it moves is actually superficial and ineffective. The body uses complex movement patterns to generate power and efficiency. Without programing to improve both the co-ordination and the physical requirements for these complex movements, you are not changing or improving the athlete to perform the task their sport requires.
Stretching for example is the biggest and most misused form of exercise in golf! It is programmed at the wrong times of exercise or sporting practice, and it actually impedes one of the most important physiological responses we require in golf... The stretch shortening cycle (and Zen will cover that I am sure). NOBODY doesn't hit the ball far enough because they are not flexible. I am very inflexible, I never stretch and I guarantee I would outdrive at least 90% of the golfers on ISG!
You hear all the time, "He turns his shoulders 120 degress and his hips 40 degrees and that is why he hits the ball long"
1. The right shoulder only turns a maximum of 30-45 degrees beyond the right hip, so how can you get differentials of more than 45 degrees?
2. The shoulders move independantly of one another (try it, you can move the left shoulder without ever moving the right and vice versa!). Guess what? 2 shoulder blades that are unattached. How do the shoulders ever move as a unit?
3. If it were true and flexibility in the amount you could "torque" your body was the main influence of distance and power in the golf swing, answer me this: Why do men hit the ball further than women when women are more flexible than men by a large margin. Kids and juniors who are hyper mobile, should therefore be the longest hitters of a golf ball on the planet. But guess what, they aren't.
The final thing that annoys me about golf fitness programs is this:
* One type of muscular contraction trained primarily. Most programs lift weights. This is one type of contraction. But in a golf swing there are multiple types of contractions. "Bracing" or "Static" or "Isometric" contractions of muscles where there is no movement but there is a muscular contraction play a vital role in the golf swing and in power generation. But they are never discussed and these programs certainly never train them!
Mekat I am seriously hoping that this thread will work the way it is designed and it will be a learning experience for all who read it. You can build all the mechanics in a golf swing you like, but if the physical limitations and physiological movements are not addressed and not being trained, you are on the fast track to nowhere! How can you improve mechanics when you can't even facilitate basic human movement requirements of the sport? It is like teaching an infant the optimal running technique when they can't even facilitate walking yet.
The cart has been before the horse for far too long in this sport! Hence why I say it is decades behind all others!