• Shift your weight onto your forward leg.
• Extend your arms to the club until you feel a stretch in your backswing muscles.
• Hold for 15 to 20 seconds as you breathe deeply and relax.
• Repeat with the club vertically on the ground to your left.
• Switch lead legs and go through entire sequence again.
The second exercise is a seated hip stretch.
• Sit on a chair or use a tee bench.
• Place your right ankle on the top of your left thigh.
• Place gentle pressure on your right knee with your right forearm.
• Lean forward hinging at your waist until you feel a stretch in your right hip.
• Repeat on the opposite side with left ankle on top of your right thigh.
During the off season, activities such as yoga and Pilates are exceptional ways to condition your body for golf. If you really want to rev it up, try a boot-camp, which focuses on muscular strength at such a pace that it conditions you aerobically at the same time. These regimens target core muscles and strengthen while improving trunk rotation and joint integrity. They also promote equal strength and flexibility on both sides of your body.
While a golf strength-training program will not cure all of your aches during golf season, it is perhaps your best for pain and injury prevention. Focusing on restoring optimal balance and joint resiliency will keep you on course for years to come.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions or comments about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311 or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for her award winning fitness advice book, CindySays..."You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her website www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.