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June 2009

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Better Posture = Feeling Better

Body_sideview_2 It has become irrefutable to me, that proper posture is the #1 most important aspect of musculeo skeletal health than any other.   If there is one thing that gets more and more re-enforced into my brain year after year, it’s that the body has ONE design, and ONE design only, in which to operate from; and the more that people get out of this design, the more ailments they are prone to have.  Nature gave us one blueprint in which to operate from and that is, (From the side view), the Ear should be on top of the Hip joint, the Hip joint should be on top of the Knee, and the Knee should be on top of the ankle.  In other words, these joints are designed to stack on top of one another.  Along these lines, the next LAW of nature, is that muscles were designed to move joints, not the other way around, and when these muscles get too imbalanced, they cause the joints to get out of it’s design, thus creating unbalanced load forces on the joints.

 

The reason that the vast majority of our population has so many aches and pains is simply because we live in aAddress_position_sideview_3 culture that in one sense – is not natural!  Instead of hunting and gathering, walking and moving in a multitude of directions, we instead sit and lean forward, whether driving a car, sitting at our desks, watching TV, ad infinitum.  Sitting down too much, is literally the #1 musculeo skeletal problem in our culture, simply because the hip muscles do too much work holding our torsos up, while the legs do too little work.  The result is that our hip muscles don’t work in sync with our legs. In time, the over use of our hip muscles begin to dominate our pelvis and eventually move it out of position.  Once the pelvis gets out of position, every single joint in the body is affected and in turn, the joints get too much friction, or pressure placed upon them.  When that happens, we’ll begin to see back problems, hip problems, knee problems, shoulder problems,  etc.  Simply by recognizing a persons posture, one can begin to eradicate the pressure placed upon the joints be doing the proper sequenced exercises (usually beginning with stretching) which will return balance to the body.

 

Whether it’s analyzing a golf swing, or prescribing a “custom” fitness program, restoring a person to proper posture is the key. 

 

How’s your posture?  How are your ailments?         

 

Golf And Other Sports

While growing up as a youngster, golf was definitely considered a sissy sport. Over time, research has proven that this is FAR from the truth. Professional golfers possess “Tree Trunks” for legs, and on average, possess greater upper trunk flexibility than NBA basketball players! Although at first glance, the golf swing may not look very athletic, the fact remains that it IS! (maybe it’s because we’re dressed in such nice slacks, instead of wearing a tank top, or a helmet?)

To elaborate on this, even more similarities are revealed when computerized motion analysis, reveal that the golf swing motions are nearly identical to that of hitting a baseball, throwing a baseball, hitting a tennis ball, etc; and especially the timing sequences of all of them are remarkably similar! If it requires fitness programs to best maximize the performance of other sports motions, why would golf be any different?

I have yet to meet a person, who after embarking on a “proper” fitness program, didn’t improve their golf game (not to mention their overall health). I highly recommend that golfers train for golf as if they were training for another sport. You’ll be amazed.

Are Your Swing Faults "Just" Habits?

To date, I don’t think anybody’s ever achieved a perfect golf swing. Although a few have come close, (Snead and Els come to mind); even they have some slight nuances that they fought for a lifetime. The truth is however, that the overwhelming vast majority of golfers have some swing faults, certainly some more than others.

The next question that must be asked is; what is a fault? To answer that, let’s take a look at what most consider to be a typical swing fault – The Flying Right Elbow (for right handers of course) For years (and even today), the flying right elbow is considered “taboo” for a lot of teachers and players. The truth of the matter is that there were a LOT of great players who had “flying elbows” (Jack Nicklaus for one), but there are also great players with neutral elbows, some with elbows close to their sides, etc. So therefore, are flying elbows bad? The answer lies in the fact that flying elbows are great for some people (like Jack Nicklaus) and bad for others. In the case of the flying elbow, one simply has to check out the functioning of the shoulder blades and the muscles that control them (rhomboids and traps) to find out if your elbow is out of balance or not. In other words, a person who is stocky and tight in their chest and back is more likely to be a candidate for a flying elbow. Although we’re only talking about one aspect of the swing here, the fact remains that virtually all swing faults are really “symptoms” of each individual persons’ anatomical function.

Unfortunately, many golfers are trying to achieve positions in their golf swing that they physically “can’t do”, simply because the muscle function of “‘their” bodies won’t allow them to do it. Understanding the basic functioning of your muscles will certainly allow you to practice on the things that are right for YOU.

Do you know WHY you do WHAT you do in your swing?