By Pam Owens, Special to Lone Star Golf
Are you suffering from golf injuries or chronic stiffness? Do
these setbacks limit performance? Year-round play, lack of movement and aging –
something no one avoids – as well as the endless, obsessive pursuit of more and
more club head speed takes a toll on one’s body. Many injuries, and certainly the
swing compensations that accompany them, are due to mobility limitations.
All golfers want and need mobility. Typical efforts to
stretch pre- or post-round rarely produce lasting change. Let me be clear: traditional
stretching feels good and is helpful. But it doesn’t do enough to produce the
kind of long-term results that will help you reach your golf potential.
Kinstretch is a new and more specific system to attaining
mobility. Kinstretch combines flexibility with strength to give golfers more
body control and many other lasting benefits, such as resilient joints and new
ranges of motion. While traditional stretching mostly uses passive, more
relaxing methods, Kinstretch uses active stretching that requires you to
independently create and control your range. This is not as easy as it appears!
This comprehensive approach to mobility can give you the
results you’re seeking. Many professional teams and athletes like Alex Bregman,
the third baseman for the World Champion Houston Astros, and Roger Sloan, a PGA
Tour and Web.com professional, have bought into and see the value of Kinstretch.
That’s what I want for you too.
Let me illustrate how and why Kinstretch can improve your golf
performance and resistance to injuries.
When we stop actively moving in certain ranges, our body doesn’t
bother to maintain that range – somewhat like muscle atrophy. Doing set poses
or passive stretches use limited ranges, which are not comprehensive enough for
the demands of golf.
Kinstretch teaches you how to maintain more ranges in more
joints with the daily routine of Controlled Articular Rotations (better known
as “CARS”). CARS are a series of home-based, daily sequences that develop
independent joint control. Independent joints are fundamental for more complex
sequencing as in a golf swing. CARS also re-establishes communication from the body
to the brain and back to the body, which translates to the golf course as
Spinal Cat/Cow: Begin in quadruped position with back rounded up
in the middle, head and tailbone down. This is cat. Begin to move the spine
very slowly with great intensity in a wavelike fashion by bringing tailbone up,
then lower back down, then ribs/stomach closer to floor, then
sternum/collarbone to floor with top of head then moving up. This is cow.
Reverse the movement starting from the tailbone moving toward the head back to
cat. Repeat cat and cow twice a day. By segmenting the spine independently
you'll be able to create more whipping motion and distribution of force along
the whole spine during the downswing.
Circumduction (Click for slideshow): Stand on one leg next to a wall for balance as
needed. Lift your other knee in front as high as you can while keeping your pelvis
and spine in neutral/tall position. Circle your knee to the side and back as
high as your hip mobility allows. Do this movement twice from front to back and
twice more from back to front on both legs. Be sure to create stability in the
supporting hips/legs and torso throughout by contracting all areas. The
standing leg/hip is working with great intensity trying to remain stable to
allow the mobile side greater range. It is very common for cramping in hips and
hamstrings to occur as you contract your whole body. Cramping just means you
are working in new ranges that are weaker and working with intensity!
Many golfers don’t possess the pre-requisites for a powerful
golf swing. Immobile hips, shoulders or upper spine will displace more force to
the lower back or knees. That’s dangerous.
As we keep swinging with more force on immobile joints, the
weakest link is likely to break. Despite working out, joints are most likely to
be injured in the end ranges of motion when the load (the weight you’re
lifting) is greater than the capacity.
Each golf swing is different and requires constant
adjustments for all conditions and circumstances. Mobility creates the space to
build strength and speed, which leads to power.
Mobility also gives opportunities to use your power on any
lie with any club in all conditions. The more options you own, the more
expertly you become at all movement required for all golf shots.
As a checkpoint, visualize your downswing from the top of the
backswing all the way through impact and follow through. When you drive force
from the top of the backswing consistently through the finish for any shot,
you’ll produce more power. Kinstretch and CARS can help you attain the power
you want. So learn and do CARS daily at a minimum, and try my Kinstretch
sessions either online or live for lasting mobility and higher performance.
Elite pro athletes and teams are practicing Kinstretch, and you can too.
Pam Owens is one of Golf Digest's 50 Best Golf Fitness
Professionals and the Director of Fitness at Royal Oaks CC in Houston. To learn
more about Pam, click here..