An effective sport-specific training program teaches your brain to memorize movement patterns that simulate your sport. Your golf fitness program does more than strengthen your muscles. It recruits your muscle groups to form a coordinated team that stands ready to improve your game and protect you from injury. Elastic resistance tubes have the flexibility and maneuverability required for producing golf-specific movement patterns for exercise.
Resistance and Movement Quality
When selecting tubes for golf-conditioning exercises, use a resistance level that enables full-range movement through the entire pattern while maintaining proper technique and alignment. Resist the temptation to go too heavy. Doing so might compromise the quality of your game. Rudolf Laban -- the movement analyst and early proponent of ergonomics -- wrote about four components of movement. He observed how a subject moved her body in relationship to the surrounding space, the effort, or lack thereof that she put into her movements, the shape her body took during movement and her muscle recruitment patterns. Imagine how these components would change if your golf club weighed more than 100 pounds. When used at the proper resistance level, tube training helps your brain memorize the most efficient golf movement patterns.
Rotational Movement Patterns
Without rotation, there is no golf. Fortunately, golf-specific rotational movements come in many forms. Elastic tubing works best with these exercises, because it offers accommodating resistance. This means that the tube supplies less resistance when you are at your weakest point in the movement cycle, and more resistance when you have more leverage. To anchor the band, use one of the attachment devices that secure it to the door jamb, or place it under your foot. Depending on your strengths and weaknesses, your coach might have you initiate the movement from a high point, diagonally down to a low point, or vice versa. Some might want you to initiate the movement with your hips, while other coaches will focus on your obliques.
Although most of your tubing program will emphasize movement patterns, areas vulnerable to injury need some TLC. If you are one of those people who can do those scary, double-jointed things with your wrists, sit on chair or stability ball, place the tube under your feet, support your wrist on your knee and do some wrist flexion and extension exercises. The same applies to those upper-body contortions you do in yoga class. You'll never use that range of motion in golf, so stabilize those rotator cuffs. Secure the tubing to a stable object, stabilize your elbow against your waist, and practice internal and external shoulder rotation exercise.
Tubing workouts allow you to multitask and target multiple muscles groups simultaneously, making them the perfect tool for training the muscles of your body to work as a unit. Instead of hanging around flexing and isolating your biceps like a Mr. Universe wannabe, coordinate your squats and lunges with your shoulder, chest, biceps and triceps exercises. Try a lunge, then add an upper-body rotation for those golf-loving obliques.
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.