Back to work

A day off after competing is always good, especially when you need to clear your head and do some inventory on what happened. Today I headed back to work to solidify some of my swing changes further and figure out why I went backwards when the pressure was on last week. The good news is my perception of bad is not really bad. The bottom line is that I have really flexible shoulders and my arms can fake a backswing pretty well. The goal today was to work on feeling my thoracic spine turn right better and achieve more separation. When that happens, my hands work significantly less and I can just let my body sling shot. So I’m going to do some work in the gym tomorrow and find some ways to build the motor patterns because at the end of the day, that’s what will translate to competition.

Have you struggled with these parts of your swing? Would a specific workout to address it be helpful? Let me know and I can post some specific exercises this week!

-S

Cinco De Mayo Workout Alert!

Ok, this one is seriously awesome.  In fact, I loved this workout so much that it will definitely become a regular in my routine each week.

One, it utilizes kettlebells which are pretty much my favorite training tool right now.

Two, it challenges the left and right sides separately which is always a nice change of pace.

Three, it kept my heart rate up, made me sweat and accomplished a lot in a short period of time.

And lastly, because every section on has 5 reps to it, you can go a little heavier and focus on each rep individually!

Here is the basic lay out:

cincodemayoworkout

And here is a glimpse into what this actually looks like when it’s connected together…..(please excuse the kettlebell flopping over in the first exercise, I’m still a work in progress on those!)

In between each full round of right and left, I did some med ball long tosses and then chased it down for a total of 10 passes across the room.  This was a great way to get the heart rate up a little more and give my hands a break from gripping the kettlebell.  It ended up taking about 20 minutes to complete the entire workout.

Give this one a try this week when you’re pressed for time, you can always change up the number of reps and rounds to fit your schedule.

Cheers!

-S

A little recap

I took the last few days off from writing to focus on golf. This week was our annual PNGA Cup and it was a pretty physically and emotionally draining test. As with any round of golf, there were highs and lows, although right not the low feels pretty low. But I’m thankful for these opportunities to continue learning and growing. Golf is really good a exposing ones weaknesses and also showing someone’s true character. I’m walking away from this week so happy to have spent time with some of my favorite people who make my heart so happy. And also needing to accept that some people will never change and the only thing I have control over is how I react to their behavior. Today I stayed more focused and non reactive then ever before despite my personal feelings. It was a huge step forward in many ways, and I’m proud of how I handled myself and didn’t allow some of the nonsense to impact me. It was just golf.

I got home this afternoon and laid down for a few moments, 3 hours later I work up :). Whoops! I guess that’s what playing almost 14 days in under 2 weeks will do to you!

Cheers to the weekend friends!

-S

Empty the tank, then take time to reflect

I’m sharing this data today because I had a chance to stop in and take my favorite cycle class today. And the instructor Drew does something in his workouts that is truly making a huge impact on me. After one of the hardest sections of the workout where you literally feel your entire body tingling and fatigued, he gives you a few minutes to close your eyes and just ride. It’s a amazing feeling to push your body’s and mind so hard, but those few minutes of reflection is life changing. It’s made me start thinking about my work with my own clients and how important it is to allow them time to get back in tune with their body after pushing their limits. It’s in those moments that true change happens and you can get in touch with who you are and where you’re going.

Today as I closed my eyes in class I thought of those moments on the golf course where I’ve experienced adversity and how this introspection time can make a huge impact on my ability to cope. This is when exercise becomes so much more than a means to improve your physical health and provides a mental and emotional outlet as well. Perhaps if the world began to look at exercise this way instead of a necessary evil, more people would choose to be active.

Just a few thoughts on this Tuesday evening that I will be taking into the PNGA Cup this week. Let’s go!!

-S

How to use a foam roller to up your Dead Bug game

Lumbar stabilizing exercises are one of the most underrated exercises in any training program.  Yes, they’re not super exciting, but the rate of return on them is huge!

The Dead Bug in particular is one of those lumbar stabilizing exercises that is commonly used, but rarely performed correctly.  But there are some simple solutions using a foam roller that will automatically fire up the abs and get the most out of this exercise without the risk of doing it wrong.

Check out these 3 variations!

First up, you will place the foam roller between your knee and arm on the same side.  You want to create tension here and keep that constant the entire time.  As you maintain the position, slowly let the leg drop towards the ground only far enough so that the lower back never loses it’s position.

Next, you’re going to recruit some adductors.  Simply place the foam roller between your knees and squeeze.  As you do this, let the arms slowly drop above your head once again maintaining the position in your lower back.  By creating that tension with the foam roller, you will have a much greater sense of the stability being recruited with this exercise.

Lastly, you put the foam roller between your hands and squeeze it.  As the arms drop above your head, let one leg drop to the ground and alternate sides.  This one is definitely a little more challenging because of the combination of the upper and lower body, but by once again creating that tension with the foam roller, it is much more possible to maintain the amount of tension needed to successfully perform the exercise.

I love adding these in as a recovery set to a couple lifts, or even at the beginning of a workout to make sure everything is firing on all cylinders.  You can put it towards the end of a workout, but I always work on the premise that if you’re workout is doing what it’s supposed to, you don’t need to supplement with a bunch of extra ab work.  It’s much better to use these types of exercise at the beginning or throughout your work as a constant reminder of the correct lumbar position.

Happy bugging!

-S

Sunday 20 Minute Circuit

Today I set the timer and grabbed a few of my favorite exercises and just went continuously with the goal of keeping a moderate heart rate level.

My focus throughout was on my feet today and feeling them grab and engage the ground. I also kept in mind something I read from Meghan Calloway last week about treating each rep like an individual set. It’s amazing how much more engaged you feel when you flip your mind frame to that direction.

This was the perfect Sunday sweat session that didn’t fatigue me completely so I was able to go spend the rest of the day on the golf course !

Hopefully you all got out there and enjoyed the weather today!

-S

Good Enough

In the words of Dr. Bhrett McCabe, your good is good enough. Why not focus on what we’re good at and continue enhancing those skills. It’s great to work on the areas where we need improvement, but when the pressure is on you will lean on the skills you own and feel confident with. Love those, embrace those and be proud of what you bring to the table. If you spend your life chasing after what you think you need to be, you will miss out on how awesome you are right now!

Happy Saturday friends, S

Why stretch when you can grab weights!

Piggy backing off of yesterday’s post on warming up, today I wanted to share with you a few exercises that are great at preparing the body for activity by using weights.  Yes, you are going to get some dumbbells or kettlebells in your hands as a way to get ready for your workout!

Here’s the deal with the deal:  Yes, we want the body to be moving at it’s best before starting a workout or playing a round of golf.  But, engaging muscles and bringing awareness to the nervous system requires more than just leg swings and pelvic tilts most times.  This is about going beyond the warm up and into the zone of body preparation.

As a golfer, there are so many demands being placed on your body.  How many times in a round of golf are you actually standing on a flat surface?  Never!  You are attempting to swing a long lever at a high rate of speed on an uneven surface that you have never trained your body to adapt to.  That’s the inspiration for the first exercise in the video today.  You will be holding a weight in one hand and marching in place.  As you raise each leg, the weight wants to pull you out of balance and it’s up to your body to make the necessary adjustments just like it must do during a round of golf.

The second exercise uses the kettlebell as an aiming point for a lateral lunge/rotation sequence.  I love using lateral lunges because of the depth you can achieve into the hip and the challenge it provides to the adductors.  When you complete the torso rotation asking the hips to stay stable, the exercise becomes even more complex.  By placing one hand on the kettlebell, it creates a stable point to rotate from and will give you feedback if you try to cheat.

Give both of these a try before your next round of golf and let me know how it goes!

-S

Add this move to your warmup!

When we talk about warming up, it can’t just be about a few stretches or doing a few minutes of cardio.  If you are preparing the body to do something dynamic, particularly playing golf, you need to stoke the fire and get the nervous system ready to go!

That’s what this exercise is all about and one that I love seeing incorporated as a recovery exercise between sets in a workout, or as part of workout preparation.

Basically, you are going to set up like you’re planning on jumping up on one foot or even doing a lay up (although we want to make sure our arms are working in the proper sequence!).  Position one foot behind you and drive it up towards the ceiling as hard as you can.  But the key here is that you are going to stop your momentum right when the knee gets to a 90 degree angle.  Once there, tighten everything and hold!

The idea is to create some quickness and then quickly decelerate it and stabilize the body.  Sound familiar?  That’s the golf swing in a nut shell!  It’s also what happens in so many amazing exercises like the deadlift, kettlebell swing, squat, lunge….the list could go on forever.  This is the perfect exercise to prime the body for so many activities!

Check it out and give it a try, your body will thank you!

-S