It may not be politically correct to say but the truth of the matter is that, when it comes to the physical game of golf, men and women golfers are different. On average, men tend to be tighter and pound for pound more naturally strong while women tend to be much more flexible and have weaknesses in several key, golf-specific body areas like their outer hips, stomachs, chest, shoulders, arms and hands. Also, as a function of childbearing, women typically have wider hips and their arms hang at a greater angle from their elbows (increased carrying angle) so when they walk, their arms don’t bump into their hips.
Much like anything in life, too much of something is probably not good. For lady golfers, having too much flexibility combined with too much weakness in key golf muscles is definitely hazardous too their golf health and performance. Therefore, two helpful exercises that can go along way at improving a woman golfer’s strength and stability in their hips, trunk, shoulders and arms are “The Clam” and the “Modified Push-Up”.
Begin “The Clam” by lying on your left side with your hips and knees bent approximately 30-45° (see picture #1). Then, firm up your lower abdominal muscles and lift your right knee away from your left as high as possible without rolling off your left hip (see picture #2). Hold this spread knee position for 3-5 seconds and then slowly lower your right knee to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions and then switch sides and repeat with the left leg. When you perform this exercise properly, you will feel the muscles of the outer hip begin to gently burn as you fatigue.
“The Modified Push-Up”
To begin this exercise, assume a prone position on the floor with your ankles crossed, your knees slightly bent and your hands in a push-up position at about shoulder or chest height (see picture #3). Next, firm up your abdominal muscles and attempt to push your body off the floor with your chest, shoulders and arms (see picture #4). When done properly, your body should raise off the floor in one piece and your spine should remain straight. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds and then slowly lower your body to the floor. Repeat this exercise for up to 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions.
Performing these exercises every other day should begin to increase the strength and control many lady golfers need to begin minimizing the common swing faults like lateral swaying, reverse pivoting, over swinging and poor clubhead speed.
To find out more about Body Balance for Performanceâ and/or to locate a Body Balance for Performanceâ center near you please visit www.fitgolf.com or call 1-888-FIT-GOLF (348-4653).