I love the TRX Suspension Trainer for a ton of exercises, especially what I call "Golf Rotations". That being said, I think you need to be careful with the Windmill exercise that I have seen, mostly because I think it reinforces too much lower body movement. Check out this video to see what I mean.
Because I have a lot of clients that have problems rotating their hips and getting over to the left side (righty golfers), I have started to incorporate baseball swings to get them to really understand how the hips need to move. Check out this video.
This is an article I wrote about my experience at the Titleist Performance Institute's (TPI) Junior Coach Program. Keep in mind that it was originally written for strength coaches and personal trainers, although I tried to revise it a little to make it a little easier to read.
Last winter I attended the TPI Junior Coach certification. One of the strengths of TPI is its advisory board. For their Junior Coach program, they have assembled some of the world's top researchers, coaches, and doctors with respect to childhood development, to be on the advisory board. The board includes people like Istvan Balyi, who coined the term Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD); Brian Grasso, the founder of the IYCA; and among other top minds, Dr. Ernst Zwick, David Donatucci, and Al Vermeil. With the help of this incredible advisory board, TPI has come up with a brilliant system to train children. At the workshop, they make a very solid case for kids to be starting "deliberate play" at the ages of 5 and 6.
The LTAD approach is "the life-long athletic performance development model," which has been adopted by many countries and organizations, including TPI and USA Hockey, and "focuses on having kids perform age-appropriate skill acquisition drills to maximize athletic potential. It gets progressively more specialized as the athlete develops and reaches the next level of development."
Tudor Bompa stated "From early childhood to maturation, people go through several stages of development, which include pre-puberty, puberty, post-puberty and maturation. For each development stage, there is a corresponding phase of athletic training."
So what exactly are these "age-appropriate acquisition drills"? To answer that we need to look at what Titleist calls "Physical Literacy." Physical Literacy is the "development of fundamental movement skills (FMS) and fundamental sport skills (FSS) which allow a child to move confidently and efficiently in a wide range of physical activities. A child should be physically literate by the onset of the growth spurt." For girls, peak height velocity averages 12 years old and for boys, it's 14.
First, let's look at fundamental movement skills. They are general patterns of movement that combine two or more body segments and according to Dr. Vern Seefeldt, director of the Youth Sports Institute at Michigan State, they are the "basic vocabulary of sport." FMS are broken up into four categories:
• Locomotive Skills- running, jumping, dodging, skipping, hopping, bounding
• Stability Skills- agility, balance, coordination, speed, change of direction
• Manipulative/Object Control Skills- throwing, kicking, striking, catching, dribbling
• Awareness- spatial, kinesthetic, and body awareness; rules
To help children develop the important FMS, Titleist came up with the Cyclone Circuit, as discussed in Greg Rose's article at MYTPI.com. The Cyclone makes the introduction to FMS and all four categories above really fun for kids, a crucial part of keeping them interested.
After a solid base of FMS, kids can transition into fundamental sport skills, which are basically skills that are more specific to the tasks of that sport, with much more complex movements. Skipping over the fundamental movement skills and jumping too quickly into fundamental sport skills (Early Specialization) can rob a kid of the proper development. "A child who develops a better base of FMS will develop sport skills at a faster rate and peak at a higher level of expertise." It's building the foundation before the rest of the house.
Make them athletic first, teach them the sport skills second.
There is also the issue of the "10 Year/10,000 hour rule," popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, although studies on the "10 Year Rule" have dated back to the early 80s. The rule states that it takes a minimum of 10 years and 10,000 hours of training for an athlete to reach elite levels.
The 10,000 hours has been debated, and much of the debate about how many hours is required (some show 4,000, some show 6,000), is "due to the lack of agreement between experts on what they consider practice." The Cyclone could be considered "deliberate play" and many experts not only emphasize the importance of deliberate play but consider it to be a form of practice.
So essentially, all the hours kids spend in the Cyclone (remember, this is LTAD, they might spend 3 years in this phase), working on fundamental movement skills, counts towards the 10,000 hour rule.
By not offering some kind of program to help children develop a better base of FMS between the ages of 5 and 9, we are not only doing a disservice to them but we are making our jobs harder and less effective. Never mind the sports skills, but the skill-based movements that we do as strength coaches in the gym like Olympic lifting, plyometrics and agility drills will be harder to teach as well.
Still Not Sold?
So let's assume that you still think that kids don't need this type of program and will develop FMS on their own in the playground and at school. I think the most compelling reason to be training them at this age comes from the theory of "Windows of Trainability." Many experts (including Bouchard, Malina and Bar-Or in Growth, Maturation and Physical Activity; Balyi and Way; Dr. Ernst Zwick and Dr. Liam Hennessey) believe "that there are sensitive periods or critical times in every child's life where certain skills can be learned at an accelerated rate." "There will be certain times in a child's development, that the body is more responsive to certain skills due to changing growth velocity." Balyi and Way described the "Five S's" that have windows of optimal training:
Let's look at the research for the Windows of Trainability with respect to Speed and Suppleness.
According to the research, there are two windows of opportunity to develop speed, with boys and girls being different. The first window for boys, is between the ages of 7-9, for girls 6-8. The focus at this stage is agility, quickness, change of direction, linear, lateral and multi-directional speed. The duration of the intervals/activities should be 5 seconds and under. All of these qualities are being "trained" during the Cyclone, and the kids never even know it. They're just having fun, getting more athletic and developing speed and agility properly. The second window for boys is between 13-16 and girls 11-13. The question becomes: "Can they be as fast as possible while training in the second window if they missed the opportunity in the first window?"
For suppleness, the research shows the optimum times for both boys and girls are between the ages of 6 and 10, then again during peak height velocity (for girls 12 years old and for boys, it's 14). Again, all of the movements in the Cyclone are helping kids develop optimal mobility at the most opportunistic time. We all know how important mobility is.
Could we be missing out on an opportunity to help kids become better athletes, regardless of what sport they are playing? It's possible.
Will it be a lot of work? Yes it will, but it sure seems worth it.
Also worth it is the TPI Junior Coach program. If you have an opportunity to go, it's an eye opening experience. All of the information in this article was plagiarized from the workshop textbook.
For more info about the Five Iron Fitness Junior Program, click here.
Here is a warm up using the TRX at my friend Dewey Nielsen's studio (Impact Performance Training in Portland, Oregon). I love this warm up because it incorporates both upper and lower body movements at the same time.
You will see how she gets great length from head to toe with some of the movements and even though it was not meant for golfers, I think it would be an excellent pre-round routine.
Some of the moves are easier than others, and they get harder towards the end. The cool thing about the TRX is that the moves are easily modified by changing foot position or decreasing the range of motion. Do what you can.
One thing to focus on is her posture throughout the warm up. Notice how flat she keeps her back.
You can check out the TRX by clicking the banner below. If you buy one, I make a boatload of dough, so get your wallet out.
Unless you have been living under a rock, when you say "shoulder performance", Eric Cressey comes to mind. Eric has done everything he could, including injuring his own shoulder (now I think it might have been on purpose, just for research, that's how fanatical he is about the shoulder!) to learn whatever he could about EVERYTHING SHOULDER. I even remember him saying he was sitting in with a prominent shoulder surgeon to observe a few surgeries (no, it wasn't just watching Grey's Anatomy).
In November of 2009, just over 40 rehabilitation
professionals, and athletes gathered at Cressey Performance to spend
day learning about “everything shoulder.” This seminar bridged the
between injured athletes looking to get healthy and
performing at high levels and looking to stay healthy.
Lucky for you, this comprehensive seminar is now
available as a 4-DVD
set (and accompanying handouts). Whether you rehabilitate or train
athletes, or are an athlete yourself, this DVD set – chalked full of
cutting-edge research and detailed practical application strategies –
an essential addition to your library.
The segment was on golf fitness (go figure) so Samantha interviewed me and we took a few calls for the first 30 minutes.
Chi Chi was on after me and Samantha let me stay so I could be part of the conversation. He was really nice and still funny, I can see why people always loved him.
I asked him about his fitness program when he was on Tour and he said that he worked out starting in 1959. "No one really knew because I didn't tell everyone my secrets. Gary Player told everyone but I kept it to myself."
He said he went to a famous bodybuilder in Puerto Rico and asked him to help him get stronger for golf. Chi Chi showed him the golf swing and the trainer came up with some exercises he thought would help.
According to Chi Chi, he gained "50 yards in 3 months"!!
I also asked him about what he did as a kid in terms of playing sports. He said he played everything; baseball, boxing, soccer, you name it. He feels that kids are playing in too many competition matches in golf and getting burned out. Amen.
Chi Chi was known to have great hand-eye coordination, and I guarantee you playing different sports growing up was a big help.
Michael Boyle wrote a series of blog posts about kids, Early Specialization and how kids suffer from just playing one sport.
Good stuff from Chi Chi today, I was pretty excited that he was on the show. They are replaying it on Sunday (8am) and Monday at 2pm so check it out if you can. "Doctor Radio" (Sirius 114, XM 119)
Bob FormanCertified Golf Fitness InstructorMS Exercise Physiology
You see it more often in women, especially younger women, and young men.It’s characterized by an arching of the lower back while standing over the ball at address.The S-posture, as it’s commonly called, places a great deal of stress on the lower back.It
can also disrupt the golf swing sequence due to a concomitant
relaxation of the abdominal muscles, resulting in swing faults like
reverse spine (a leaning back of the spine toward the target at the top
of the backswing).