03/29/2018 by Brett Cohen 7 Comments
Meaningful Mobility: The Key To Unlocking The Power In Your Golf Swing! Part 2 – Golf Fitness, NYC
Can Mobility Problems Be Solved By Exercise Alone?
As a fitness professional I encounter clients with a wide range of mobiltiy dysfunctions – from minor to severe. The problem fitness professionals run into is the plain fact that some mobility problems cannot be solved by exercise alone.
Mobility dysfunctions can be separated into two main categories:
1) Joint Mobility Dysfunctions (JMD)
- Arthritic conditions
- Joint capsule problems
- Joint subluxations
- Joint fusions
*These need to be addressed by a medical professional such as a; chiropractor, physical therapist, osteopath, physiatrist.
"If there is a joint mobility dysfunction, we need to address that as a tissue extensibility problem with our manual therapists or medical professionals." Lance Gill, TPI Instructor.
2) Tissue Extensibility Dysfunction (TED)
- Fascial restrictions
- Muscle flexibility problems
- Trigger points
These can be addressed by a fitness professional or soft tissue specialist such as a massage therapist, Rolfer, Active Release Specialist. All of whom are working on creating healthier and more supple fascia.
"Think of fascia as the inner skin of the body" – Guy Voyer, World Renowned French Osteopath
"Fascia is a 3D cobweb that holds everything together"- Thomas Myers, Author of Anatomy Trains
As a fitness professional I address Tissue Extensibility Dysfunctions by using the following exercise strategies.
By rolling I’m referring to the use of tools such as: foam rollers, massage sticks, and massage balls to break down adhesions and improve soft tissue quality. By taking the time to roll out soft tissue before stretching a muscle, players have reported less injuries and better results from training. By using the aforementioned tools, areas of poor flexibility can be targeted before performing any static or dynamic stretching routine.
Second) Stretch It
Provide isolated stretches that target the problem area specifically. Static stretching can be an incredible tool for developing mobility. We follow-up the increases in range of motion we get from static stretching into joint mobility drills and dynamic stretching.
Third) Move It
Joints that need mobility need motion. Joint mobility drills targets the problem areas with gentle motion. These joints are: ankles, hips, thoracic spine, gleno-humeral joint, scapulo-thoracic joint, wrists, upper cervical spine.
*Mobility restoration exercises are specifically designed to target one portion of our nervous system, a part that is called the proprioceptive system. Proprioception is defined as the 3-D awareness map of our own body in time and space.
**The reason that I focus on mobility restoration so much is that properly performed joint mobility exercises can have a tremendous impact on proprioceptive function because of the high density of nerve endings that surround our joints. When your nervous system receives proprioceptive signals telling it that a joint in a closed, compressed, or immobile, it immediately creates a reflex response that decreases muscle activation in the body in order to protect the joint. On the other hand, studies have shown that mobilization of joints increases reflexive strength in the body.
Lastly) put the new length into a movement pattern using dynamic stretches which are movements that are performed rapidly and repeatedly stretching tissue across multiple joints in multiple planes of motion. These exercises often require flexibility, mobility, stability, balance and core strength.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
Having worked with scores of golfers over the last 17 years (most of whom were males over the age of 40) I can whole heartedly say that all of them needed help with mobility. Decades of misuse and disuse have caused them to lose the ability to move freely which limits their ability to even get into the position to perform a mechanically correct golf swing.
It’s mobility that allows the generation of ELASTIC ENERGY between muscles, and that establishes a base for efficient power production.
Trainers that are not educated and aware of this will typically take their client to strength training straight away. THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE! If the client lacks the mobility to even get into position to perform the movement correctly without load – is given load, it will simply cause them to compensate during that pattern and they will end up hurting themselves. GIGO (Garbage In – Garbage Out). As movement coaches we are changing hardware and programming software.
In the example of the squat, the compensation usually causes discomfort and eventually pain in the knees, hips or low back. Our clients don’t come to us to get injured, they come to use to feel better!
If you’re a golfer that would like to; Feel Better, Move Better and Play Better… well then give me a call. I can help. (917) 596-8485
"Feel the difference in your body, See the difference in your swing"