Warm Up Wednesday: A quick activation drill

Need to wake the core up in the morning to make sure you are all set for the day?  Do this simple but effective drill!

A few keys:

  • Set up first with the knees bent and the low back in a neutral position
  • Bring the knee up to a 90 degree angle make sure that it doesn’t ever get closer to you!
  • Place the opposite hand on that knee and push the knee away from you
  •  The goal is to use your abs to resist the knee moving, thus resulting in an activated core
  • Breath out as you push
  • Hold for 5 seconds and switch to the other side!
  • Start with 10 reps on each side
  • Be awesome!

Activating the core stabilizers is essential to warding off back pain throughout the day especially if you sleep in the fetal position at night after along day of sitting.

Enjoy!

-S

Warm Up Wednesday: A little agility goes a long way

When it comes to warming up whether for a workout or round of golf, never underestimate the power of some good old fashion footwork.  I’m talking running, skipping, shuffling, crossover steps, high knees, butt kicks and anything that involves a ladder!

The key is with all of these exercises is precision and working every plane of motion.  You want to stay as light on your feet as possible or what we call in our office, ninja style!

Here is a sample:

  • Run forward/backward 10x
  • Skip forward/backward 10x
  • Shuffle laterally 5x
  • Crossover steps 5x

It’s really that simple, get back to what you did when you were a kid!  Now if you can combine some specific corrective and activation work specific to what you need, you’re going to be ready for anything.

More glutes coming at you tomorrow as we hit day 3 of the August Challenge, see you then!

-S

Warm Up Wednesday: 2 must do exercises before golf, workouts and starting your day!

Let’s keep this simple, you sit all day long at work and chances are your hip flexors are tight and your glutes are inhibited.  Counteracting 60 plus hours in a chair every week is impossible, but there are two simple moves you can do everyday that will provide some help so that you can still get out on the golf course without pain or dysfunction.

1/2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: The key here is using a posterior pelvic tilt and your glutes to create the stretch.  If you massively lean into this, it will do diddily squat!  In order to fight those tight hips you need the glutes to get their act together!  Try holding this position for 30 seconds and do 2 sets on each side.

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Follow up that stretch with…..

Tall Kneeling Hip Hinges:  You have released the front of your hip, now you need to reinforce your newly found glutes.  Set up with a ball between your feet and squeeze it lightly.  You will notice those glute muscles waking up!  From here, initiate a hip hinge keeping your back straight (basically just get into golf posture).  As you return to the tall position, squeeze the ball between your feet even harder and picture your glutes pulling you back to upright.  2 sets of 15 to start!

Give this a try tomorrow morning before you head out to work, and even throughout the day.  Chances are your posture will feel better and you may even find you have a little less back pain.

Enjoy!

-S

Warm Up Wednesday: What Works for me!

I’m 5 days into tournament play and feeling great!  So just wanted to drop in with a note tonight on what I’ve been doing for a warm up this week that has me moving and feeling awesome.

  • 16 oz of water first thing in the morning
  • A solid breakfast: Today mine consisted of a protein waffle with peanut butter and bananas on it and some greek yogurt on the side.  The key here is timing, I like having a full meal about 90min to 2 hours before I play.  If I eat too close, I’ve noticed that my body feels sluggish or I get an upset stomach because of my nerves!
  • Continue to drink some water as you get ready to play
  • I start on the putting green with one ball going through my normal putting routine. I cycle through putts of all lengths, uphill, downhill, sidehill working on getting the speed of the green.  I never hit the same putt twice though because I believe it’s important to get into the competitive groove and there are no mulligans on the course
  • Next up is 10-15 minutes of movement.  Honestly, I change this up overtime depending on how my body feels.  The goal is to get a sweat going, target multiple planes of motion, engage my core, and feel powerful!
  • This is where people around me get confused, next up is the range.  However, just as I did on the putting green, I cycle through about 15 shots just like I would on the course.  And that’s it for hitting balls!
  • Drink some more water
  • I end with a few more putts before heading to the first tee

This is definitely not a magical recipe, and as I continue to understand my optimum competitive mind frame better, this routine will surely change.  But for now, I’m focusing on listening to my body and instilling confidence as I head to the first tee.

Let’s continue it tomorrow!

-S

Warm Up Wednesday: Activate that core!

I get this questions a lot: “If you could choose one exercise to engage your core before a round of golf, what would it be?”

Leg Drops!!

The single greatest exercise of the century guaranteed to get the body firing on all cylinders and ready to hit the golf ball a mile!

Some keys to success:

  • The version of this exercise I am doing in the video is the advanced.  There are a few modifications you can make if you’re unable to maintain stability with this one.
  • Begin on your back with your feet pointed up towards the ceiling, toes pulled towards your shins.
  • Let one leg slowly drop towards the ground.
  • As that leg is dropping, actively pull the other leg back towards you engaging the lower abs.
  • Only allow the leg to drop as far as your can keep your lower back in the starting position.
  • If you need some assistance, place your arms by your side and push your hands into the ground.  This helps create a higher level of stability throughout the body.
  • The slower your go, the better!
  • Start with 10 reps, rest for 30 seconds and go for round 2.

This is obviously a difficult exercise to do at the golf course, but you could absolutely do it before leaving the house.  And many courses have a locker room where you could technically add this one in to your pre golf routine.  Even if you don’t use it in your warm up though, this is a phenomenal exercise to add into your regular workout routine.

Let me know how it goes!

-S

Warm Up Wednesday: The Power of Getting Help!

Instead of posting an exercise today, I’m going to give you a little follow up from yesterday.  Basically I overdid it this past week and my SI Joint and T/L Junction locked up on me really bad.  Probably the worst it has ever been!  I couldn’t even lean forward without my back spasming at me.

In the past I would have just ignored it.  But thanks to having a team of medical professionals around me, I have learned that the sooner this issue gets dealt with the better!

The first step was using the inferential unit and some ice.  IF sends a continuous stimulation to the muscles and has been shown to help reduce pain and swelling.  I did a second treatment of this early this morning followed by a few exercises to see how I was moving.

It was clear that something was really off still, so the next step was getting evaluated by Dr. Joe.  Thankfully he has treated me regularly over the years so is very familiar with this issue and what causes it.  He started by palpating the muscles and seeing what the response felt like as well as checking my leg length.  My left leg was a1/2 inch shorter than my right today, ouch!  Here’s the key though, this is going on due to the muscle spasms so instead of going straight to an adjustment (which my body would not respond to anyway because it was in protective mode), Dr. Joe did some ART work on my glutes and TFL.  By just doing that work, my legs evened right back out.

Next step was to reinforce the pelvis not that it was back in the correct position.  I started by doing some basic bridge patterns focusing on glute activation.  Once that began to feel more engaged, I went to a side lying position and did some clam shells.  It was also important to engage my core so I ran through some dead bug sequences as well.

I cannot stress enough how much of a game changer it is reinforcing the soft tissue changes from a treatment with exercise.  Once the body is aligned and responding better, that is the time to build on it.

The end result of all this today, I am about 95% right now and managed to survive a 6 hour flight to Kona for my sister’s wedding!

I made sure to pack my foam roller and an exercise band so that I can continue to help my condition.  Hopefully I will be back to normal and ready to hit the golf course by Friday!!

Aloha!

-S