Improving Golf Performance with the SandBell

July 13th, 2012

By John Sinclair- Master Trainer Hyperwear

Not only is golf one of my favorite past times, it is also a beloved sport around the world. Golf is fantastic because it’s a game that all can learn to play; yet it’s impossible for anyone to be perfect at. It’s that search for the perfect golf game, or much less, the perfect golf shot that keeps people attached to the sport.

In the last 20 years that I have been playing golf, only recently have people started to embrace the fact that the better conditioned their body is, the more likely it will be that they can have better golf scores, better golf shots and ultimately be able to play more golf! Tiger Woods helped the golf world realize this with his relentless drive to be the best golfer on the planet. Part of that drive included golf specific training to get stronger and more powerful.

Today, with the help of technology, we have better golf clubs, better golf coaches, and better golf balls, yet the average scores are not going down. In fact, the more I talk with people around my town, the only thing that seems to be going down is the number of golf games they play every year. I know this has certainly happened to me over the last few years. Some say it is time that prevents them from playing more golf, others say it is that their bodies are just not holding up to be able to play everyday or twice a day like they used to.

So why should avid golfers play less, shoot higher scores, and risk further injury when we have the technology, not just in great golf clubs, but in the knowledge we have to make your body have the capacity to play more?

I have teamed up with Hyperwear because they have a tool that I believe can really help golfers have better mobility and stability in their joints, and at the same time make them stronger, more powerful and hit the ball farther.

Golf Fitness Tips and Strategies

I present golf fitness tips and strategies for staying in shape during the on and off golf season. For us in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada our golf season is quite short, but our desire to play is quite high. Early in the year, when the snow is off the ground and the temperature is above zero degrees Celsius, people are already dusting off their golf clubs awaiting word from their fellow man or woman that the first driving range has opened up.

Most people up here in the Great White North will hit hundreds of golf balls on the range without any off- season training directly related to golf. This can be quite traumatic to the soft tissues and joints.

The need for mobility, distance and accuracy

I have spoken with several golf professionals about the language they use with their golf students. A trend I’ve found is an effort among professionals to change their student’s uninterested attitudes regarding the importance of flexibility. Most students fail to realize that a joint’s range of motion can define flexibility and impact their golf game.

When trying to improve the shoulder turn, I have heard golfers say they need better shoulder flexibility. While that could be true, I have found in working with golfers it is not that the shoulders need to be more flexible, but rather the Thoracic Spine, or middle of the back, needs better mobility. Mobility refers to the relative motion of each joint and the joints above and below them in all planes of motion.

For example, in the golf swing there is lots of motion in the transverse plane (rotation), but there is also plenty of motion occurring in the frontal plane (side-to-side) while trying to stay stationary in the sagittal plane (forwards and backwards). For efficient movement that yields great golf shots, there must be balanced mobility in all three directions, or planes of movement, from one joint to the next. This mobility is required at the ankle, hip, and thoracic spine specifically.

I have found that by addressing these three movements, the entire body will achieve better stabilization, and thus have the capacity for more swings without causing joint damage.

The more efficient the body’s ability to deal with stress (exercise, movement, sport), the healthier our tissues will be, which gives us the capacity to perform more efficiently. That is why when we select tools or equipment we should do so based on the outcome we are looking for.

The video below demonstrates exercises that use the SandBell to create mobility in the ankle, hip and spine, and ways to develop strength and power all while having fun. A great advantage about the SandBell is that you can pack it in the car right next to your clubs, or use it to get warmed up before heading to the golf course or range.

Click to watch SandBell exercises for golf!

Have fun, get mobile and play more golf!

About John Sinclair

John Sinclair is a Master Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Educator, Author and Mentor with World Health, the largest chain of health clubs in Western Canada. John serves as Director of Continuing Education and as a workshop presenter and mentor for the World Health personal trainers in Edmonton and Calgary Alberta. John has presented over 150 full day workshops for World Health and has 13 years of personal training experience.  John is a member of the Faculty for PTA Global.  You will find him travelling and representing the top vendors in the fitness industry, as he is a Master Trainer for ViPR, Power Plate North America, Technogym and Hyperwear.

John’s experience as a strength and conditioning specialist include coaching amateur and professional athletes in hockey, lacrosse, football, soccer, and basketball.  John is a Medical Exercise Specialist and enjoys working with clients that require unique strategies to help eliminate their pain and discomfort. John’s degree in Athletic Therapy enhanced by the education of PTA Global has provided an ability to train clients that range from sedentary to Olympic athlete.

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