Work on the GolfGym Balance Ball can add a few yards to your game
Earlier this year I took part in a conference call with PGA Tour player Stuart Appleby, who was promoting his fitness and swing-training device, The Leaderboard. One of the comments he made during that chat stuck in my head:
“I’m absolutely positive that doing bicep curls won’t help your game.”
Conditioning is pervasive on the pro ranks these days. And it seems that the emphasis on strength training is on the “core” – abs, lats, obliques, gluts, and all the other muscle groups that allow a powerful coil on the backswing and an explosive downswing.
I try to keep this in mind in my own three-times weekly workouts. And one thing I’ve noticed in these workouts is how incredibly popular the big, colorful rubber balls are. Even some of the young muscle-heads are bouncing and rolling and crunching on these things that strike me, in all honesty, as something I’d expect to see on a playground rather than in a gym.
Recently, however, I was introduced to the Golf Gym line of products, including the 55cm and 65cm Balance Balls. These products are designed and endorsed by Katherine Roberts, golf fitness consultant for The Golf Channel.
I have to say that my skepticism about the big bouncy balls has waned as a result. A bit, anyway.
Fresh out of the box, the 65cm ball ($35) exudes a rather unpleasant rubbery odor, and the pump that is included to blow it up is not exactly easy to use. After a few curses (and some very tired forearms and hands – maybe part of the workout?), my ball was up and bouncing.
And so were my kids, leaping and bouncing and rolling on and off the thing, inducing in me several small heart attacks as their tiny heads just missed the coffee table, fireplace, and bookshelf.
Once I shooed my energetic genetic legacy away and distracted them with slightly less dangerous bottle rockets and matches, I popped the GolfGym Balance Ball Workout DVD ($20) into the DVD player and began my workout. Roberts leads an anonymous man through the workout, detailing how to perform such strengthening and flexibility-enhancing exercises as the pelvic tilt, the oblique twist and point, and, my favorite, the downward dog.
One problem with DVDs like this is that they tend to move a bit slowly for me. I like to feel the burn and work up a sweat a bit faster, mainly so I can move on to a vodka tonic all that much faster.
Nevertheless, after mastering the basic moves with the DVD, I can design my own more strenuous workout on the ball.
Best of all, I don’t have to fight the nubile and muscular youths in the gym for the balls there. Now I can bounce around in the privacy of my own living room, and spend my time in the gym doing bicep curls. They may not help my game any, but at least I’ll look buff stomping around in the woods searching for my ball.
Roberts performs the Oblique Twist & Point on the Balance Ball, a move lifted from old “Starsky & Hutch” reruns.
|« Hats Off to Thee, Minnesota||Us: Play badly, switch clubs; Wie: Play badly, switch people »|