It is my observation that there are three specific areas that must be addressed on 95% of the ladies I train – see what they are.
One of the hardest things to do in fitness is generalize your workouts. In other words, each of us is so different form the next that it makes group fitness classes very difficult to design. How do you target the specific needs of each individual in the class and not make the session three hours long. For this reason, I always recommend a detailed evaluation of your specific limitations before designing any program, to see if it addresses all of your needs. And when ever possible, take one-on-one training so that the workout is customized towards meeting your specific needs and not the person next to you.
With that said, if I had to bite the bullet and create a workout to address the needs of one specific group, I think ladies would be the easiest to design. I say that because in my experience, women tend to have three specific areas that must be addressed on 95% of the ladies I train. Unfortunately, the reasons some of these areas need to be addressed is genetics.
If you have a hard time getting your tee shots up in the air, you’re giving up serious distance. I’ve got a tip that will help you: Check your stance width. I see so many amateurs who stand too narrow. They set their feet about as wide as their hips, head in line with the ball, shoulders level(below, right). That’s not a stable position, and usually sends the ball short and right.
Try this instead: Take your normal stance, then drop your right foot back a few inches, letting your head go with it. Your spine will tilt away from the target, with your shoulders angled upward(below, left). Now you’re in position to really launch the ball. In fact, you’ll hit it slightly on the upswing without changing anything in your swing. That’ll give you a higher trajectory and more carry distance.
The Deep stabilising muscles of the trunk form a muscular cylinder surrounding the lumbar spine and pelvis. The deep stabilisers help control the position and movement of the trunk. The mover muscles are more superficial, they are the muscles you use to move your body.
The Deep Stabiliser muscles:
Work at low intensity for long periods of time
Generate tension to support and stabilise rather than move the body
Contract before you move to support the body’s position
Turn on in a similar way no matter what way you are moving
Keep the spine and pelvis optimally aligned to maintain a neutral spine or ‘good posture’ position
The Mover muscles:
Work at high intensity for short periods of time
Generate force to move the body and change its position
Contract at the time of movement to cause the movement
Move the trunk and limbs
Work differently depending on what movement you are doing
The deep stabiliser muscles only work at about 5% of their maximal contraction, but stay on for long periods of time. As they contract, the stabilisers don’t move your body much, if at all. They tend to apply tension and support structures rather than move your body.
When you think of moving, the deep stabilisers contract before any of the muscles that actually cause the movement. This pre-contraction prepares your body for the movement by supporting and stabilising the trunk to provide a stable base for movement.
A stable base makes for mechanically efficient movement or static postures. Imagine a crane being positioned on a solid concrete slab versus a sandy beach. The crane on the concrete slab is much more easily controlled by the driver who can be more accurate as the crane picks up and sets down objects. The crane on the beach will be much less accurate and take more effort getting the objects placed exactly where it wants them. The deep stabilising muscles of the body provide the stable base for the mover muscles to move the trunk and limbs.
The mover muscles are the ones which move your body. The mover muscles generate a lot of force and fatigue quickly. They turn on and off rather than staying on like the stabiliser muscles. You can easily work your mover muscles by moving your body against resistance such as the quads, hamstrings or biceps. In the trunk the mover muscles include the rectus abdominis (the six pack) and the obliques. These are the muscles you work with exercises such as sit ups or crunches.
The Deep Stabiliser muscles:
Begin to turn off and on rather than staying on
Contract after you move and so can’t support the body’s position as effectively
Are less able to keep the spine and pelvis optimally aligned to maintain a neutral spine or ‘good posture’ position
The Mover muscles:
Work at high intensity for longer periods of time to compensate for poor deep stabiliser muscles
The deep stabilisers change the way they work when pain is present. They no longer contract before you move to prepare or stabilise the trunk, they react to the movement. This can lead to injury. The movement muscles try and compensate. As mover muscles, they contract strongly and start to move the body, other muscles then pull on to counteract this movement. The body is working much harder to stabilise and using much more muscle activity than it needs to. This results in tight areas of the body which feel great when massaged out, but the tightness returns again. If your back pain behaves this way chances are you have trouble controlling your deep stabilisers and the pain arises from the compensatory strategies of the mover muscles.
A number of screening tests can indicate poor control of the core. There are a couple of quick tests you can do at home. If any of these tests give you pain, do not continue any further testing and see an appropriate health professional.
The active straight leg raise
Lie on your back and lift one heel about 10cm off the ground with your knee straight. Compare how difficult this feels compared with the other side. If one side is harder than the other, or both sides are difficult, you could have some issues with control of your core.
Just like the golf swing, there are basically only three things that make the ball go on line or off line: the path, the position of the clubface and the quality of impact.
If you have control of your path, then you have control of your initial direction; if you have control of your initial direction (with a putt), you can then let the green do the work (in a full shot, you let the spin do the work). The way I teach putting and the full swing is to focus on these three principles.
People forget that the quality of the strike is everything in putting. Within a fraction of a second of hitting the ball, you know whether or not you have struck it on the correct line. It’s instinctive; you feel it off the putter-face.
Another thing people tend to forget is that there is a vertical as well as a horizontal sweetspot on every putter-face. The ball is 1.68 inches in diameter, so the sweet-spot on your putter needs to be 0.84 inches above the ground to strike the equator of the ball, which is your goal. You want to get the sweet- spot of the putter meeting the sweet- spot of the ball.
And you can see that when I match the sweet-spots, the putter is raised up a little. In other words, the putter has to be released on the up as it works through impact in order to strike the equator of the ball. The whole of the putter – i.e. head, shaft and grip – has to be released (not ‘blocked’ or manipulated) as it swings up through impact.
These are the two most important elements of putting.
It is essential to remember the longer the putt is the focus more on the speed and less on the line. If you misjudge the line but have reasonable speed you will start to eliminate three putting. Imagine a wide path to the hole with maximum break. The speed is critical and approaching your long putts using this ideal will give you a better opportunity to make the second putt. On the long putts your goal is to put the ball within tap in range, and that means distance control.
On short putts, focus less on the speed and more on the line and aim.
Whether it is a long or short put the length of your backswing will determine how fast the putter will move and therefore how far the ball will roll. You are trying to create a pendulum which is an uninterrupted motion. Control the speed with your backswing length.