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Gharrison

Flexibility and doubts

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Hey guys, new to the Sandtrap, but have stumbled onto the site more than a few times. Anyway, I have a question regarding flexibility. I'm a 21 year old male, with very little flexibility, I struggle with a lack of distance (don't we all), but I've been getting regular coaching, my swing has improved but I just can't seem to get that extra yardage, and I know it's all down to not being very flexible, and not being able to make a good shoulder turn while keeping my lower body still. Any suggestions? I've tried some exercises but can anyone refer me to a reputable set of exercises guaranteed to work? Not warm up exercises, more long term flexibility exercises. At the moment I can only really swing half way back before I have to resort to breaking my left arm down and turning my hips too much in the backswing. I look at all my compadré's and they're all flexible and, with this, hit it well past me, it's getting pretty frustrating and embarrassing now at this stage. All feedback welcome.

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Originally Posted by Gharrison

Hey guys, new to the Sandtrap, but have stumbled onto the site more than a few times. Anyway, I have a question regarding flexibility. I'm a 21 year old male, with very little flexibility, I struggle with a lack of distance (don't we all), but I've been getting regular coaching, my swing has improved but I just can't seem to get that extra yardage, and I know it's all down to not being very flexible, and not being able to make a good shoulder turn while keeping my lower body still. Any suggestions? I've tried some exercises but can anyone refer me to a reputable set of exercises guaranteed to work? Not warm up exercises, more long term flexibility exercises. At the moment I can only really swing half way back before I have to resort to breaking my left arm down and turning my hips too much in the backswing. I look at all my compadré's and they're all flexible and, with this, hit it well past me, it's getting pretty frustrating and embarrassing now at this stage. All feedback welcome.

Things that will increase flexibility is lifting weights through the full range of motion. I've gained more flexibility in my hamstrings doing dead lifts than i ever did trying to touch my toes with my hands.

Yoga is good.

Basically for me its staying active. But don't discredit warm up exercises, they are very much important. If your warming up, NEVER do static stretching to warm up. Holding a stretch will cause your muscles to shut down. Static stretching is for post work out. If your warming up, just move around. Run on the tredmill. Sometimes i will make my first set of weight lifting very light, lots of reps, just to get those muscles warmed up for the next 2-3 sets of going heavy.

No real magic bullet here.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

Things that will increase flexibility is lifting weights through the full range of motion. I've gained more flexibility in my hamstrings doing dead lifts than i ever did trying to touch my toes with my hands.

Yoga is good.

Basically for me its staying active. But don't discredit warm up exercises, they are very much important. If your warming up, NEVER do static stretching to warm up. Holding a stretch will cause your muscles to shut down. Static stretching is for post work out. If your warming up, just move around. Run on the tredmill. Sometimes i will make my first set of weight lifting very light, lots of reps, just to get those muscles warmed up for the next 2-3 sets of going heavy.

No real magic bullet here.


Actually, weight lifting decreases your flexibility.  Thats why they also warn people to not get too carried about with lifting weights and bulking up when it comes to golf.  The only thing that will improve flexibility is stretching exercises.

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Actually, weight lifting decreases your flexibility.  Thats why they also warn people to not get too carried about with lifting weights and bulking up when it comes to golf.  The only thing that will improve flexibility is stretching exercises.

there's a lot of 'depends' and so on to be making such a blanket statement weight lifting does not equal bulking up weight lifting can be a great part of adding flexibility when done right weights can be incorporated very successfully into a stretching program add muscle can aid in flexibility, and provide joint integrity, depends on how you maintain that muscle mass, not just the amount etc etc etc there's a crew here that seems to hear 'weight lifting' and confuses it with 'body building' - it's always good to be clear on what type and goal one has in weight lifting before drawing conclusions on it's applicability to certain sports or to other aspects of fitness/health/nutrition

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer View Post


Actually, weight lifting decreases your flexibility.  Thats why they also warn people to not get too carried about with lifting weights and bulking up when it comes to golf.  The only thing that will improve flexibility is stretching exercises.

Actually your wrong

Just so you know i am not pulling this out of my ass,

http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/acsm-in-the-news/2011/08/01/study-strength-training-improves-flexibility-too

Quote:
The results—which may surprise advocates of stretching to improve flexibility—showed no statistically significant advantage of stretching over resistance training. Resistance training, in fact, produced greater improvements in flexibility in some cases, while also improving strength. Whitehead emphasized that this was a preliminary study involving a small sample size and called for carefully designed research with more participants to confirm or disprove the results.

The key is if you are doing resistance training, and performing the FULL RANGE OF MOTION, you will gain flexibility.

Unless you are on steroids, or a genetic abnormality, you will not decrease flexibility with strength. Look at the military, do you think they would sacrifice flexibility for strength. They are not opposites, given that leaner people, lets say ballet dancers are at the high range of flexibility, but they practice a FULL RANGE OF MOTION with there movements, using just body weight. They are very much not as strong, but to say if you lift weights you are going to loose flexibility is just wrong. Given you can shift your self one way or another, being more flexible. But compared to a person who is lazy, doesn't exercise. A person who lift weights will be very much more flexible than that person.

to sum it up in terms of quantitative.

If a lazy person, 8-5 desk job, doesn't exercise, goes home and sits on the couch, lets put his flexibility at 10, he's not totally rigid

You get someone who does full body work out, resistance training, gains strength, your looking at a 50. Well call 50 an inshape person who works out.

You take that in shape person, then turn him into an olympic weight lifter for squats. His squat would be near 90, the rest of his body might be a 50, but his isolated area would be much higher.

Same with ballet dancers, they have to be loose and limber, so they practice stretching, but there movements are full range of motion, body weight only. Basic body movements is exercise, our bodies have to support our own weight. So there full body might be 80, very limber.

Look at Mark McGuire in baseball. took steroids, he is a very limber guy in his shoulders, and core muscles, because he played baseball. He constantly pushed those type of motions to there full range with some sort of resistance, either lifting weights or swinging a bat.

Do you think Tiger lost range of motion when he gained his muscle, the guy can still make a full turn with the best of them. I'm talking about top level athletes here. You take an average joe, just get him into the weight room and his flexibility will improve greatly. Cause by your assertion, if you take a couch potatoe, lets say he doesn't stretch, by lifting weights he should be very rigid and not very mobile. I can tell you that anybody who lifts weights will say they gain flexibility.

Now if your going to come back and say, "Well when i lift weights i get sore and stiff". Yea you will, your muscles are being broken down, but that occurs in a very limited time frame, and is mutual exclusive to your overall flexibility. I could say someone could pull a muscle doing a static stretch, and it becomes tight. Do we discount static stretching as making you inflexible, nope.

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So youre saying that someone who lifts weights is more flexible than someone who does yoga?  Really?

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Originally Posted by saevel25

Things that will increase flexibility is lifting weights through the full range of motion. I've gained more flexibility in my hamstrings doing dead lifts than i ever did trying to touch my toes with my hands.

Yoga is good.

Basically for me its staying active. But don't discredit warm up exercises, they are very much important. If your warming up, NEVER do static stretching to warm up. Holding a stretch will cause your muscles to shut down. Static stretching is for post work out. If your warming up, just move around. Run on the tredmill. Sometimes i will make my first set of weight lifting very light, lots of reps, just to get those muscles warmed up for the next 2-3 sets of going heavy.

No real magic bullet here.

I don't agree on the stretching before excercising part. I started out lifting weights by threadmill warmup, but all it did was get my pulse up, it didn't prepare my muscles for anything. After a while, I started doing some dynamic stretching, which involved static parts too. Stretching before squatting made a huge difference on my mobility. Low weight on warm up lifts helps, but I got more out of dynamic stretching excercises.

Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

So youre saying that someone who lifts weights is more flexible than someone who does yoga?  Really?

Where did he say this?

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So youre saying that someone who lifts weights is more flexible than someone who does yoga?  Really?

Never said that, yoga would be in the realm of ballet dancers, very limber. Yoga is basically full range of motion body weight only resistance training in some regards. But you said lifting weights decrease flexibility, not one makes you more flexible than another. I proved you wrong.

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I agree that correct weight lifting technique will help with flexibility and strength.  This is why physical therapist use resistance training coupled with flexibility exercises.  I do both.  My stretching routine has a lot of yoga elements to it.  My resistance training includes weights and well as bands and as saevel25 stated, I use full range of motion and lighter weights with more reps, 15 - 20.

I suggest these two books.  The Joey D book is great for evaluating your flexibility and gives exercises to improve strength and flexibility.

http://thesandtrap.com/products/fix-your-body-fix-your-swing-the-revolutionary-biomechanics-workout-program-used-by-tour-pros

Roger Fredericks has an excellent section on stretching.  They are mostly yoga style stretches.

http://thesandtrap.com/products/roger-fredericks-secrets-of-golf-instruction-flexibility-your-guide-to-mastering-golf-s-true-fundamentals

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What Saevel is saying is that someone who lifts weights exclusively, with a full range of motion, will have greater flexibility than someone who does nothing.
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Originally Posted by boogielicious

I agree that correct weight lifting technique will help with flexibility and strength.  This is why physical therapist use resistance training coupled with flexibility exercises.  I do both.  My stretching routine has a lot of yoga elements to it.  My resistance training includes weights and well as bands and as saevel25 stated, I use full range of motion and lighter weights with more reps, 15 - 20.

I suggest these two books.  The Joey D book is great for evaluating your flexibility and gives exercises to improve strength and flexibility.

http://thesandtrap.com/products/fix-your-body-fix-your-swing-the-revolutionary-biomechanics-workout-program-used-by-tour-pros

Roger Fredericks has an excellent section on stretching.  They are mostly yoga style stretches.

http://thesandtrap.com/products/roger-fredericks-secrets-of-golf-instruction-flexibility-your-guide-to-mastering-golf-s-true-fundamentals

I'll go with boogie here...

Roger Fredericks is good - I still do several of his exercises 7 years later and other stretches. TPI (titleist performance institute) also has stretches. I also do kettle bells. If you are that bad as a 21 yr old - I'd find a sports masseuse to pound the heck out of you. You may be too tight and need someone to beat you.

Once per month, I go to the former Dallas Stars therapist, and he beats the hell out of me for 1.5 hours - hands, machines, and stretches everything out... Well, not everything.. Some things can't be helped. But arms, legs, back, shoulders, chest, underneath the ribs, neck - relieves the build up of stress, too.

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I think the area people can gain a ton of stability is in the joints. Most people sit all day, that means they are hardly using any muscles. There not standing or moving, so there ankles, knees, hips, core become week. If you want to get better at golf, especially with the first three keys, work on stability in the lower body joints.

Practice balancing on one foot, you can up this by standing on a pillow, or folded exercise mat (its a bit cheaper than buying one of those balance tools, exercise mats become multipurpose tools then)

Also work on the hip abductors and adductors

For most people i always recommend full body resistance training routine, with complex weights. Isolation exercises have there purpose, but to strengthen the stabalizing muscles, complex free weights are the best. For golf specific stuff,

Flexibility in the shoulders, and torso (rotation)

Stability in the ankles, knees, hips

Power in the hamstrings, gluts, and core

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Hi, Actually joined this forum for this discussion as i am having similar issues as the original poster. Granted, i am some 15-16 years older than he is. Nevertheless, some background: i have trained with weights since i was 14 years old. Not the fitness type or bodybuilding type of stuff, but weightlifting and powerlifting. I have to confess that since i discovered golf last summer, i haven't been to the gym very many times. However, as my muscle mass is decreasing, which i hoped would help with my shoulder flexibility, i find myself still as stiff as a board. Especially the shoulder turn in the backswing is pathetic. My left arm turns to about 90 degrees at the top, which according to the pro at my club, is not the end of the world, but i know i am then compensating for that the rest of the way. This, i think, has actually led to me having some pretty bad back pain recently. What i have started doing during the past week or so, is foam rolling. I bought a cylindrical shaped roll from a general sporting goods store. I think it's mainly used for pilates but i haven't really had the time to look into that. I am "rolling" it on my upper back and under my glutes and trying to find a way to target my shoulders. It feels really painful at first, but the idea is that it opens up the "knots" in your muscles. Afterwards, it feels like i actually have much more blood circulation in those areas. I don't know if this will benefit in the long run, but so far so good. At least my hips are feeling more mobile and flexible. When it comes to weight training for golf flexibility, i am not sure it would be my first choice. Don't get me wrong, weight training has a ton of benefits for general health. But if your primary goal is flexibility, i would look elsewhere. Remember, muscles are, in principle, rubber bands that snap your limbs around the joints. The stronger/tighter the muscles, the harder it is to to fully stretch them. Think about a top class powerlifter doing squats. They can't even get to the bottom position of a squat unless they have significant weight on the bar. Also, when professional athletes train with weights, they have professional strength trainers watching, making sure they also maintain the required flexibility to complete the task they get paid for. When most people go to a gym, they will copy some program from a book, magazine, or worst case scenario, a buddy. For flexibility, your weight training program needs to be designed by someone who knows what they are doing. And i don't mean the nice looking girl//guy with a fake tan at the reception of 24/7 fitness centers.i certainly don't know how to train with weights AND improve flexibility. Look for someone who works with athletes that compete either professionally or at the division 1 college level. Also, expect them to charge for their services.. I will keep doing the foam rolling at least 2-3 times a week and possibly doing some static stretching in the evenings. Weight loss is another (almost permanent) point on the agenda. I currently weigh 115 kg, which translates to about 255 lbs for those of you on the new continent. Height is 188cm, or 6'2. I think/hope the lost bodymass will make it easier to rotate my body. For those of you laughing at this last sentence, think about somebody that you know who is overweight. How do they put their socks/shoes on? Not a pretty sight. One of my old buddies from the gym actually has to put his belt through the loops on his pants BEFORE he puts his pants on. Will post later about the foam rolling and if it's working. I'm getting videotaped on saturday by our pro and i'm hoping to show some improvement.
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Totally agree that yoga and weightlifting and stretching exercises are the way to go.

I would just also like to add that I'm not sure that flexibility is necessarily all that important for a good golf swing.  I can't bend over and touch my toes while keeping my legs straight even with a 12" ruler in my hand, but I can still poke it out there fairly well.

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Actually, weight lifting decreases your flexibility.  Thats why they also warn people to not get too carried about with lifting weights and bulking up when it comes to golf.  The only thing that will improve flexibility is stretching exercises.

People really need to get out of this mindset. It's actually even been proven that BODYBUILDERS are far my flexible then the average person. You can just type in flexible body builder on youtube and get a ton of vids...but nobody really needs to see that. The key is to add stretching exercises with your weight lifting, and you'll be completely fine.

I'm not saying be a body builder and a golfer. I AM saying I think weight lifting and golf pairs up pretty well. You KNOW Adam Scott is lifting.

Tiger and Rory as well.

Ian Poulter...not as much. :D

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Yoga. Pilates. Before AND after stretching exercises. Softly. NEVER bounce.

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If you're weight-lifting, focus on full range of motion. Cannot stress this enough. Doesn't matter what you're doing, bench, squats, shoulder press, or curls. Don't sacrifice ROM for increased weight. Patience is key.

Yoga, especially arm binds, shoulder openers, will help free your swing immensely. Among all of the other poses that help your leg, hip, and back health, I've found that the rotator cuff and shoulder work to be most beneficial to my game.

If you're a strong guy but lack flexibility, I would go straight to Yoga (Vinyasa Flow is a good place to start). If you can get into Bird of Paradise pose, then you've reached a very good level of flexibility for golf in both your upper and lower body as well as an awesome supported core. (http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2776)

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