Improve your game with these tips

Today we have an expert - Rick Huegli, Sports Performance Director at Velocity Sports Performance in Redmond. Rick was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Washington for 19 years and has been coaching athletes of all ages and abilities for over 30 years. Thank you for the help Rick.

Today we have an expert – Rick Huegli, Sports Performance Director at Velocity Sports Performance in Redmond. Rick was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Washington for 19 years and has been coaching athletes of all ages and abilities for over 30 years. Thank you for the help Rick.

“A golf swing is a very athletic skill. It requires balance, stability, and coordination of movement and timing while flexibility and strength affect the speed and power of the club.

Let’s start with the stance. As a performance coach I want to teach the athlete golfer how to stand and move in a balanced athletic position. Teaching proper body weight squats, split squats, lunges in a variety of movement planes strengthens and stabilizes the core (cylinder of the torso from the diaphragm to the top of the knees), balance, and posture muscles, is a great beginning.

Include single leg exercises like single leg box squats or bench squats, and single leg standing balance exercises followed with smooth lateral shuffle/sliding exercises, and the athlete will have a solid foundation for their stance. Resistance can and should be added in the form of weights and resistance bands when progressing the intensity of training.

The platform of the golf stance initiates the dynamic movement of the golf swing. Stability through the hips and rotation of the torso and shoulders through a large range of motion transitions into the big force application of this very explosive action.

The athlete needs to be strong enough to control the movement and durable enough to not injure back, hips, knees, and shoulders. This should be addressed through and number of components.

First a dynamic warm up consisting of movement that turns on, warms up, and stretches out muscles. Once again, body weight squats, trunk rotations, arm circles and hugs, walking lunges, hip lifts, mountain climbers are pretty simple warm up exercises that don’t require equipment but do require understanding and proper execution.

Training that enhances the strength, and power along with injury prevention for the golf swing would include strength training exercises like squats, weighted lunges, single leg dumbbell squats, and back extensions for leg and back strength development.

Upper body weight training that includes pushing and pulling exercises like dumbbell bench press and dumbbell one arm rowing or over head dumbbell presses combined with pull downs or pull ups. Band and tubing exercises for the shoulders are good for the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder.

A training tool that is great for development of dynamic strength, flexibility, and power and allows for multi-planar training is the medicine ball. With a medicine ball (weighted ball of various weights, sizes, and rebound qualities) a variety of exercises that demand strength, stability, and power through rotations, chops, swings, and throws from athletic postures can be done. Training with the medicine ball can incorporate general warm up and movement exercises or be more sport specific to the demands of the golf swing.

As a sports performance coach I believe that if we move we are athletes and we were engineered to move. By improving our balance, core strength and stability, power and stamina through a properly designed and taught training regimen we not only will improve our play but we will feel better and gain overall improved health.”

More information is available at 425-881-0647 or Velocity Sports Performance is located at 17735 N.E. 65th St. Redmond.

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