IMPROVE YOUR SPORTS
Would you like to improve your hip/leg and trunk rotation to improve your sport of choice? Then start by warming up the soft tissues of your body by using a foam roller or massage ball (like a tennis ball) on all the major muscles around the shoulder girdle and in the legs, hips, buttocks and (front and back) torso.
Next, perform some gentle stretching exercises to mobilize the hips, pelvis, spine, rib cage and shoulder girdle before progressing to the exercises outlined below, from St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO personal trainers; they are designed specifically to stimulate and strengthen the hip/leg and trunk rotation.
SPECIFIC EXERCISES FOR GOLFERS
Lunge With Rotation
This exercise strengthens the posterior oblique system by increasing internal rotation of the hip/leg and boosting torso rotation.
Lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your spine erect and shoulders level. As you lunge forward, reach down and gently pull your left knee toward the midline of your body while swinging your left arm behind you. As you rotate your torso, keep your left foot firmly in contact with the ground. As you stand up out of the lunge, rotate your torso and arms back to center.
Progression, when you become more confident: Swing the left arm behind you at shoulder height as you rotate (as though following through with a golf swing). Repeat these two movements back and forth as one continuous exercise, completing 10—15 repetitions on each side of the body. Do 2—3 sets.
Swiss Ball Side Lunge
This exercise strengthens the anterior oblique system by increasing external rotation of the hip/leg and boosting torso rotation. Note that transferring weight onto the standing leg during this exercise also strengthens the posterior oblique system.
Place your left foot on a gym ball as you balance yourself with your right leg. Roll the gym ball out to your left side with your left foot as you perform a single– leg squat with your right leg. As you squat, rotate your arms over your right leg as though you were taking a backswing in golf. Try to keep your right knee toward the midline as you perform this movement.
Placing more weight on your left leg (on top of the ball) stresses the anterior oblique system during this movement, while putting more weight on your right leg strengthens the posterior oblique system. Perform 10—15 repetitions on each side. Do 2—3 sets.
Lying Torso Rotations
This exercise is specifically designed to increase torso rotation to strengthen the posterior and anterior oblique systems.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and positioned on the left–hand side of your body at hip height. Reach your right arm up toward the ceiling and breathe out as you drop your right arm toward the right–hand side of your body and the floor, squeezing your knees together to prevent your hips/legs from moving. Return to the starting position and perform 10—12 repetitions on each side. Do 2—3 sets.
Note: If you feel uncomfortable performing this exercise, place a foam roller or pillow between your knees to make it easier until your body has adapted to the new movement.
For more information on how to improve hip/leg and trunk rotation, contact Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.