Elite Performance Golf - CENTER OF POWER FOR A PGA GOLFER
Since the first Greek Olympics, athletes have realized the value of the strong center. Martial artists have known for thousands of years that the power of the body originates from one's center, which is located two inches below the navel. Martial artists call this their 'ki' or 'chi', meaning energy and the origination of power in the body. When one utilizes his 'ki' correctly, he will have access to limitless energy. Today the center of power or core training has become an invaluable training technique in most successful conditioning programs.
The core is the essential link in the performance of all power movements. This region consists mainly of slow twitch muscle fibers, which are capable of performing large workloads with rapid recovery. While slow twitch muscle fibers are dominant, fast twitch fibers are also present. Power training for the core must incorporate movements that are explosive and synonymous to the actual movements of the particular sport for which one is training. This will increase the development of the fast twitch muscles and, along with the slow twitch muscle fibers, it will enable all the involved muscles to work at a higher performance level.
For the professional golfer, the abs are one of the most important areas to train, since power is transferred from the lower body directly through the abs to the upper body. The upper body is then responsible for the swing actions in striking the golf ball. The abs play a very large part in all aspects of the golf swing. The abs (your center) contribute to the swing set up, transformation of power, postural balance and allow the golfer to maintain the correct spinal and pelvic tilt throughout the swing.
Skip's core training program consists of exercises that are grouped in the areas they emphasize: area 1 (upper abs), area 2 (obliques), area 3 (lower abs), area 4 (combination of exercises that works two or more areas). All the major areas must be trained equally. Incomplete abdominal training will cause a muscle imbalance, increasing risk of injury.
Skips core training program looks at the abdominal muscles as a whole system, not separate parts. The muscle groups of the core region are synergistic, since they act and react together. In most movements, one muscle group is a primary mover, another group is a secondary mover and the third is used as a stabilizer. By having a balanced training program, the muscle groups of the core region will perform optimally.
The exercises in Skips program are ranked from 1-3; 1 being the easiest, 2 being intermediate and 3 being advanced. This type of program allows the individual to start slow and gradually increase his/her training level. By increasing the difficulty of an exercise, it will increase intensity; causing muscle adaptation.
Skips program consists of a variety of exercises in which similar abdominal exercises are linked together in a series. These exercises have similar movements with different variations added. For example, the leg lift series; in each exercise one does the exact same leg movement, but there are a variety of leg positions. Although the movements are similar, the varied leg positions work the muscle from a slightly different angle, jolting the muscle and causing growth.
Variety is one of the most important aspects of a successful training program. Without variety, the muscle will grow complacent, rather than being jolted into periods of growth.
The most important principles to remember when designing your training program are balance, emphasis and variety. Not only must one train their center or core, but a professional tour player must have a total conditioning program that includes a curriculum emphasizing muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and nutrition.