Golfers Should Stop Stretching Before They Play

Are you one of those golfers that are stretching out before you play or hit balls. Well check out this research that again explains that passive stretching before you play may not be the best thing for you. I always recommend warming up by performing functional movements and of course by hitting balls. And by all means do your stretching on a regular basis after your golf fitness exercise program, but not right before you play. Read the research here on my website.

Posted under Exercise Tips, Golf research

This post was written by Mark Tolle on December 14, 2010

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Golf Fitness Core Exercise

This is the plank, a good golf fitness exercise for developing the core control and strength needed in the golf swing.

Posted under Exercise Tips, Exercise Videos

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 24, 2010

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Strength Training For Women Golfers!

This is a great strength exercise for all golfers, especially women that want to increase strength in their arms. Often times women want to increase the strength in the arms for an improved golf swing as well as a way to make them look better.

This exercise will not only increase strength in the arms, but also in the core, and improve balance. Greater strength and stability is a sure way to make a more powerful golf swing. Give this exercise a try. Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Exercise Videos, Weight Loss

This post was written by Mark Tolle on June 15, 2010

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Golfers Use Foam Rolling To Improve Flexibility

I like using the foam roller with my clients for many reasons. The one thing I know for sure is that foam rolling before your stretching, and mobility work, is awesome for improving your flexibility and overall golf swing. Watch this video for a sequence of foam rolling exercises that you should do before you stretch and/or even before you head to the golf course. Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Exercise Videos

This post was written by Mark Tolle on February 8, 2010

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Doing Correct Exercises For An Effective Golf Swing!

Over the years I have come across a lot of smart people in the field of rehabilitation, fitness and sports performance. Of the many things I have learned, I’m always making sure that each of my clients are doing exercises that are specific to their own unique problems and goals. With that being said I want to describe a systematic approach to exercise that will help those that do not have personal coaching.

An interesting concept I have been utilizing for the last year or so, is a joint by joint approach to rehab, fitness and performance of golfers. This concept was first discussed by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook, two leaders in the area of sports performance. The idea is that each major joint (or area of the body) has a tendency to function more as a mobile joint, or as a stable joint. Yes, they all require a certain degree of each, and joint injury plays a role, however, this concept tends to hold true.

This mobility/stability concept occurs in an alternating pattern, and if this pattern is changed then dysfunction and compensation will occur. The normal pattern is shown below.

Pelvis/Sacrum/Lumbar SpineStable
Thoracic Spine (upper back)Mobile
Scapulo/Thoracic (shoulder blade) – Stable
Gleno-humeral (shoulder)Mobile
Cervical SpineStable

Regarding dysfunction in the body, we can use the low back as an example. If you do not have good mobility in the hips and in the upper back (thoracic spine), then the low back will give up some of its stability to obtain more motion when needed in those areas. A tight upper back & hips are big causes of low back pain in golfers.

A training error I see all the time is golfers focusing on strengthening their core in a dynamic and sometimes violent manner. This will not only lead to low back injury, but in fact it’s the hips and upper back that often times need improved mobility. That would not only help prevent injury, but also improve the overall golf swing.

So take a good look at the above table and make sure you have mobility where it is needed and stability in the ares where it is needed. Then let this be a guide in your selection of golf specific exercises.
Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips

This post was written by Mark Tolle on January 11, 2010

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Interval Training – What Is It?

There has been a lot of discussion over the past several years regarding interval training. I for one, highly recommend interval training for anyone that wants to improve their health and fitness level. There is plenty of research that points out the benefits of this type of training and often times shows it is more beneficial than the traditional steady state aerobic exercise.

Interval training is basically intermittent bouts of exercise followed by a period of rest/recovery. It is usually high intensity exercise, like sprinting, followed by low intensity exercise such as walking. It can be conducted on various types of traditional cardiovascular equipment. You can also perform an interval program in much less time than the traditional long endurance program. I personally feel that running and cycling, as well as body weight exercises are superior to any other forms of interval training.

The benefits include, more efficient weight loss, improved heart and lung capacity, prevention of heart disease, lung disease and stroke. The one benefit I find very interesting is that of lung function. As we age our lungpower will decrease unless we exercise and expand our lungs. Needles to say, taking a walk does not expand your lungs! The bottom line is, you need to exercise hard enough to cause heavy breathing/panting, and perform it on a regular basis. That’s how you exercise the lungs, and ensure good lung function as you age. So next time you do some exercise, kick up the intensity a little. And if you are really serious, get some help from a fitness professional to develop a kick butt interval program that is best for you.
Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Weight Loss

Golf Mobility Exercise To Improve The Shoulder Turn

Here is a a new mobility exercise video that will help increase the shoulder turn in your golf swing.  As I have mentioned several times before, you want to ensure that the majority of the rotation in the golf swing is coming from your upper back.  Often times golfers will over rotate through the low back which can lead to low back pain.

The shoulder turn is not only dependent upon the golf set up posture, but also the actual mobility of the upper back (thoracic spine) region.  This exercise takes advantage of the natural biomechanics of the thoracic spine and the relationship of the movements rotation and side bend.  These 2 movements occur in the spine together especially in the golf swing.

So give this a try and watch that shoulder turn improve.  Good Luck!

Posted under Exercise Tips, Exercise Videos

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 16, 2009

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Does Your Golf Fitness Program Prevent Injuries?

With all the discussion regarding the health care bill being developed in congress, I have one thing to say…’s confusing. We certainly will not have a clear picture until after it is actually implemented. And who knows when that will be!

With that being said, I believe it is more important today than ever before to take responsibility and focus on our own health. I have always been an advocate of preventive medicine, especially after seeing thousands of patients move through the orthopedic physical therapy clinics I have worked in for over 15 years.

I have learned through experience that a lot of the orthopedic typed injuries that occurred on a daily basis could be prevented. In my profession we know this as a fact. So my question here today is, does your fitness program utilize preventive principles? Common sense in training can help with prevention up to a point, but what I am specifically referring to is exercise selection.

Exercise selection should be specific to each individual’s needs. We all function a little bit differently. In other words our body has specific problem areas that need to be addressed with corrective type exercises in order to reach optimum performance, as well as prevent overuse type injuries. For example in the golf swing you need to make sure you have good hip mobility and stability, along with good trunk control as the forces generated in the swing move through the body. Otherwise increased stress can occur in the low back, leading to back injury.

So I believe it is important to have a fitness professional that can asses your current physical capabilities and then prescribe appropriate exercises that will help address any problem areas. Staying healthy and injury free not only keeps you the golf course, but keeps you feeling good. So make sure you are doing the right exercises specific to your body.

Posted under Golf Injuries

This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 10, 2009

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