Warm Up Wednesday!

Here’s one of my favorite finishing exercises to do before I play or practice.

Reverse Lunge to Rotation!

Keys to Remember:

  • Focus on your foot and feeling the ground beneath you
  • When dropping back into the lunge position, tuck your pelvis under.  This will help engage the glutes and core, as well as provide an active stretch on the hip flexor.
  • Breathe out and drive up hard to the balance position
  • Once balanced, focus on feeling the glute on your standing leg activated.
  • Add the rotational component once you feel proficient in the lunge.
  • Focus on stabilizing the lower body while rotating from your t-spine.  If you lose your balance, chances are you may have over-rotated!
  • You can always start by only rotating at the bottom of the lunge, and then adding the top rotation once you feel more stable
  • Don’t be afraid to bust this out on the first tee or the driving range, your opponents will only be intimidated by your power!

Back at it!

Today was my first day back on the course since August!  One of the longest breaks I have ever taken from golf, but one that was necessary.  I will get into more of what I have been doing for my game in the interim down the road, but one that I wanted to share with you today is the concept of acceptance.

Although it’s a word we all hear a lot throughout our life, it was first introduced to me in a athletics setting two years ago from the amazing Dr. Bhrett McCabe.  I was fortunate enough to speak with him after a horrific start to my season in 2015, one that left me shaking on the first tee and having anxiety attacks on the course.

Not a fun place to be when you love the game, but I literally felt locked up and unable to swing.  Dr. Bhrett talked with me about learning to accept every outcome, in all aspects of my life.  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this concept was absent from my life. So I began a journey to improving my ability to accept, everything!

This past fall though, I had another amazing opportunity to learn from Steven Yellin, author of The Fluid Motion Factor.  He came to work with the Seattle University Golf Teams and I was able to go through the program along with them.  This only expanded further upon the idea of acceptance, and took it another step forward for me with how to translate it to the golf course.   Because I put my clubs away though and have been unable to play, today was the first day I put much of what I have worked on into action on the course.

I can tell you, it is a very freeing feeling to hit a shot that may not be exactly what you want, but being able to move on from it.  It has also allowed me to identify when negative thoughts enter the equation, acknowledge them and replace with a more positive, focused thought.  My mind now feels free to wander where it wants while I play instead of my obsessive compulsive nature trying to force it where I believe it needs to be.

There is still an incredible amount of work to be done in the next few months, but today was a wonderful start.  At the end of my round, I actually didn’t know what I shot and had to spend quite a bit of time going back through to remember each hole.

I challenge all of you to head out to the course or driving range and instead of picking apart everything you believe was wrong, take a deep breath and move on to the next swing.

Happy Golfing Everyone!

-S

Aloha!

The cure to a 6 hour flight the day after lifting heavy, some GOLFLETICA Flow in 80 degree weather!

I’m happy to be thawing out Hawaiian style the next two weeks while I, in the words of the great Jason Glass, “sharpen the blade”.

There will be a lot of deep breaths, meditation, golf and focus on each second as it happens instead of what is out of my control.

Here’s a small portion of a flow series we do at GOLFLETICA to help open the hips and t-spine.  When I watched the video back I couldn’t believe how tight I am, perhaps a dip in the pool will help!

 

 

-S

Keeping it Simple

There was a time in my life where every time I worked out I felt there had to be bells and whistles in order for it to accomplish something.  Yes, I was that ridiculous person standing on a swiss ball doing squats.  Someone somewhere probably has cell phone videos of me falling off!

When it comes to my workouts these days, it’s all about simplicity.  Each workout I ask myself, what needs to be accomplished and how can I challenge myself in a safe and appropriate level for how I feel today.

Safe is the key word there.  The most important aspect of my job is keeping my clients safe, but the same goes for myself in the gym.  Sure it’s fun to stand on a bosu with a dumbbell in one had doing curls while the other is pulling a band and your eyes are closed and a book is balanced on your head, oh and someone is also throwing stuff at you just to keep you guessing.  Ok, that would never happen……at least I hope!  The point is, the principles of great movement are simple, so why do we have to make our workouts so complicated?

I had a solid 40min today the knock out a workout, and thankfully because I let my body have some recovery time last week it was time to load up and get after it this morning!

After a 10min warm up to get my nervous system firing on all cylinders and the joints moving well (25 degrees today, brrrrrrrrr!), my workout today went like this:

1.  Landmine Deadlift 8 reps / Assisted Pullups for Negatives 6-8  Repeat 4x

2.  Reverse Lunge Weighted Reps/ Incline Pushups for Negatives 6-8/ Sit and Reachback 10 each side Repeat 4x

3.  Sumo Deadlift 8 reps/ One arm row 8/ One Leg Bridge 10 each side Repeat 4x

All great functional exercises addressing hip hinge and extension, push/pull strength, glutes and t-spine rotation.

Three things to note:  One, I have to modify many of these movements in order to have correct form.  It is always better to opt for a level that produces good movement, all hail the band assisted pull up!   Two, I live and die by the landmine when it comes my heavier lifts.  With 3 bulging discs in my low back and nerve impingement in play, I have learned the hard way too many times that there are lifts I just cannot do without a consequence.  But thanks to my handy landmine, there is hope and deadlifts love me again!  And finally, a lot of fitness programs take exercises like this and tell you to do as many as you can in a specific time period, asking you to compete against others for who can do the most.  Please don’t.  Quality movement is so important, and while I am all for challenging the body, remember to be safe.  If your form breaks down, exercise over!

 


Happy Monday Everyone!

-Shawn

Always Choose the Stairs

Happy New Year!

I read a great quote today that hit home for me and also felt like a good mantra for this new year.

“There is no elevator to success, you must take the stairs”

On a day where so many people decide to make drastic lifestyle changes and resolve to finally workout, lose weight, stop eating sugar, gluten, meat, etc, it’s hard to ignore the feeling of a clean start on January 1st.  But this year I choose to look at it differently and challenge you all to do the same.  Instead of resolving to fix all the negatives, why not resolve to embrace the unique qualities in yourself that make you, well, you!

Making lifestyle changes is no easy feat, and it won’t happen overnight.  What it starts with is patience, perseverance and understanding.  One bad day of eating won’t destroy your hard work, missing a workout does not mean you have lost your focus.  Life gets in the way sometime, and the more we continue to love ourselves and realize that the journey is the reward, the easier it is to make on going decisions to improve our health.

Instead of killing myself in the gym today, I enjoyed a day off with my family.  A trip to the barn to hug my beautiful horse…..


And then a run to the park with my husband and puppy Danno to play in the snow.

When we got home I did a few body weight exercises on my staircase to warm back up!

 


Do 10 reps of each exercise and repeat 4-5x for a quick home workout!

Cheers to a great year, lets make it an awesome one and keep climbing those stairs!

-Shawn

Hello all!  In 2017 I’ve decided to embark on writing again.  I had a love affair with writing when I was younger, I was even editor of my high school newspaper.  Each day was like being in the movie All The Presidents Men, searching the school for the latest lunchroom scandal and reporting the breaking news of the school removing all the unhealthy treats from the vending machine.  Very serious stuff of course, but I loved it.  The only problem with my plan to be a reporter, every time I had to have human interaction I basically turned as red as Brock Lesnar does when he’s getting ready to take someone to suplex city.

Actually, it’s possible I could get more red than that.  In fact, now that I’m thinking of it, Brock Lesnar had Paul Heyman to talk for him.  That’s what I needed, damn!!  “Hello, my name is Paul Heyman and I’m an advocate for Shawn Farmer.”  If only…..wpid-wp-1427004386687

Well, now that I have exposed myself as a WWE fan, let’s get back to the real subject.  I still love to write but lately I find myself getting caught up in the rush of life.  Everyday I reach for a piece of paper though to write out workout plans and to make sense of my ideas.  We have a whiteboard in the training room filled with jumbled up words that only make sense to my odd working brain but putting pen to paper just makes life better somehow.

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So just as the title says, this will be my place to provide you all with a crapload of exercises and write.  About what, we’ll find out!  And what better way to start then literally with crap!

Yes, I moonlight as specialist in manure management.  Ok, I just pick up horse poop at my barn every week, but on this particular week I’m doing it everyday.  And of course our farm car had to break down which means I’m doing it the old fashion way.  'This is what Jack and me have managed to create so far...all you have to do is add your poop to the top and we have a field record!'

A wheelbarrow, bucket and shovel just happen to be great workout tools though, so here are a few of my best moves at the barn with a some of my favorite moves in the gym that help accomplish the same goals!

The Farmer Walk

This first one is named after me!  Ok, it’s not, just a coincidence that it’s called a Farmer Carry.  There are a lot of great variations on this one, but basically the concept is to pick up something heavy and carry it with good posture.  If you ever wondered what weight lifting actually is, do this!  Today I had to pick up a heavy bucket around 40lbs so I am demoing doing the same carry with a Kettlebell (not ball), just marching in place.  By loading it asymmetrically, it challenges your balance and forces your body into making corrections as you switch feet.  It’s a great way to help your nervous system adapt to changing environments.  Stay tall, shoulders blades down and back, focusing on using you lower abs to pull your leg up.  An added bonus, it also challenges ankle eversion and inversion.  Try it in your barefeet and it only gets more challenging!

Bottoms Up Squat

Picking up 6 horses worth of manure weighs a lot, thankfully the wheelbarrow is set up perfectly to do a squat and then either a sled pull or push.  One of my favorite exercises right now to work on posture and lower body strength is a Bottoms Up Squat.  By holding the kettlebell upside down, it forces your posterior chain to activate and keeps you in better posture.  One of the keys with this is range of motion though.  It is so so so so so so so so important (did I mention how important it is?), to make sure you are not loading a faulty movement pattern.  When people complain about how lifting weights makes them tight, it’s because they are loading shortened patterns and enforcing the smaller range.  Own your squat before you load, I can’t say it enough!!  If one more person posts a video of themselves squatting 400lbs with knee valgus and only making it a few degrees into the move I’m going to scream!  There is no shame in getting back to body weight and rebuilding your form with proper activation and range.  Then you can do cool stuff like this Bottoms Up Squat with lots of weight and get the most out of it.

Half Kneeling KB Chop to Press

This last one is a variation on a chop.  When using a pitch fork you end up working on many of the same patterns required for a golf swing.  Separation, lower body stability, t spine mobility and mental toughness!  Try picking manure in 20 degree weather!  The kettlebell variation I use to work on these patterns is an over the shoulder swing.  Definitely make sure you are proficient in the swing pattern here, it is challenging to load your shoulder this way so having adequate range of motion is a must.  I let the weight of the kettlebell help rotate me, brace through my lower body and then make sure the weight is set before transitioning into the press. I am also keeping my pelvis in a posterior tilt and squeezing my glutes to help lock down my lower body.

The moral of all these exercises?  When you here someone say the word functional, this is it.  Think about what you do in your daily life and then ask yourself if the exercises you do in the gym are helping.  That doesn’t mean you have to mimic the exact motions of your sport, in fact many times you want to do the exact opposite.  But there are so many basic human movements such as push, pull, squat, hinge, crawling, rolling, being able to reach an itch on your upper back that all add up to a healthy body.  I do ask one favor though, please under no circumstance do not grab a band or cable machine and start taking golf swings with it! (I will elaborate on this later)

Happy Tuesday!

-Shawn