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Article brought to you by: Golf Fitness Magazine

A couple of weeks ago we brought the 1st article from our new favorite golf magazine…Golf Fitness Magazine. And like we said before they have a lot more then just fitness stuff for you guys…we were very impressed with the content…and for us to endorse a mag that is saying something…since we feel most of the golf mags will be gone or in a different form in the next 5 years.
*Today’s article takes you inside the ropes and inside the gym of Trevor Immelman the 2008 Masters champion.

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By: Steve Gomen with David Herman

During this off season, Golf Fitness Magazine met up with Trevor Immelman and his golf performance coach, David Herman, for a few questions about Trevor achieving his boyhood dream of winning the 2008 Masters. We also got an exclusive inside look at a workout routine that Trevor uses to keep his body in perfect golf shape, and the routine he will use to prepare himself for 2009 season and to defend the Masters.

“Trevor’s Workout…That Anyone Can Do!”

Trevor Immelman-who is actually a great study of golf-specific fitness himself-used the aid of his sports performance coach, David Herman, to assemble an awesome workout routine that practically anyone can safely do on their own.

David has worked with Trevor Immelman—one of the Tour’s most fitness-dedicated athletes—for quite some time perfecting golf-specific exercises. And this one is one of the best routines we have seen. It encompasses all of the important aspects of the golf swing for more strength, speed and, most importantly, longevity.

Knowing that training for golf is unique from any other sport, they formulated a routine that promotes being 100 percent balanced during the swing. Trevor assured us that “when you play a downhill lie, you will notice a difference in your stability.” David and Trevor wanted a core stabilization program that was consistent with building and maintaining leg, upper body and core strength, all aspects that promote an automatically balanced swing as well as a reduced risk of injury. What they came up with is a whole upper body and leg program that is preformed while keeping the core muscles engaged and firing throughout the entire workout.

This routine we outlined for you is an abbreviated version of a more intensive work-out that lasts up to 90 minutes for Trevor. Or, based on time limitations to balance his professional and personal life, he will divide it into two, 45-minute sessions. But for purposes of this routine designed for you, 30 minutes is all that is necessary to get through the exercises. Dave suggests a 10 minute cool down walk and light stretching to keep your muscles loose and long.

Plan to only maximize the weights to a degree where you can continue to focus on keeping your core engaged. This makes the routine very safe for any healthy golfer. “This program is all about minimizing the risk of injury to your back, both in the gym and on the course,” explained Dave.

You should begin this routine by starting with lighter weights, building yourself up as you strengthen your core muscles. Even though this routine may appear like there isn’t much to it, it involves an immense amount of strengthening to the hundreds of tiny muscles that stabilize the center of your body, not to mention the strength you will add to your upper body and legs. If you have not already participated in a program that conditions your core muscles, be sure to step into this lightly. Expect some instability and wobble with your body in the beginning. As you improve your strength, you will notice that your stabilization skills will improve automatically for better body control. This stabilization process is the result of strengthened muscles that are needed to create a more balanced and safe swing, which, of course, means more distance, lower scores and added longevity to your game!

Core & Core Stabilization Defined:

The main muscles involved in core stabilization are deep muscles such as the transverse abdominus, the multifidus and the muscles of the pelvic floor. When engaged, the transverse abdominus creates a protective barrier around your spine. It’s the deep lower abdominal muscle you work if you pull in your belly button toward your stomach while exhaling the air in the diaphragm. The multifidus is a muscle that lies along your spine from your neck to your pelvis, with short fibers connecting one bone (vertebra) of the spine to other vertebrae near it. The muscles of the pelvic floor are most noticeable when you squeeze to keep yourself from urinating.

All these muscles, and muscles closer to the surface, help with core stabilization and posture, and will also help you to move more efficiently. These closer to the surface muscles include the thoracic area of the upper back, musculature of lower back and multiple gluteus muscles. Musculature connected to the pelvic that also help to stabilize the body include quads/lateral I-t bands, adductors and hip flexors. Core stabilization strengthens the body and helps you learn to use the inner muscles that create a strong, protective and balanced center linking the upper and lower body, which is optimum for golf.

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TREVOR’S WORKOUT

Equipment you will need:

  • Ankle Bands
  • Looped Resistance Band
  • Stability Ball
  • Yoga Brick
  • Bosu Ball
  • Medicine Ball
  • Pilates Ring (optional)

As you begin this workout, it is important to understand exactly what core stabilization is (see inset), and to re-emphasize the necessity to keep your center (core) engaged like a vacuum around your spine to keep the pelvis in a neutral and safe position throughout each exercise.

* If you are not regularly doing this type of training program, or suffering with lower back injury issues, always consult your physician, physical therapist or personal trainer before starting this exercise routine.

(WARM-UP)

Do a 10-20 minute warm up using a treadmill, stationary bike or
elliptical machine. Follow with a light stretching routine or a dynamic stretching routine with a loop resistance band if possible.

#1: ABDOMINAL STABILIZATION ON BALL

Using a resistance band (either with a partner or by simply attaching it to something stable) perform abdominal crunches focusing on rolling from a horizontal to a vertical position, and hold. Follow this holding movement with a set of short, rapid repetitions. Be sure to make a small exhale with each repetition.

  • 2 sets, holding for 15 seconds at the top each time.
  • One set 10 full-range crunches at a quick pace.

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#2: CHEST-ALTERNATING DUMBBELL

Place an ankle band around the lower legs, which will help engage the lateral muscles of the upper legs, while also engaging the glutes/buttucks and abdominal muscles. Lay with your shoulder blades centered on the stability ball and focus again on engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain a bridge position. Alternate single arm chest presses (as pictured). Light weights are recommended to start with because this exercise is about concentrating on keeping your core muscles engaged throughout the exercise with proper technique.

Each arm is fully extended and retracted before switching to the opposite arm. You should feel the center of your body slightly shifting side to side while performing the exercise.

  • 30 repetitions (15 repetitions each arm).
  • Repeat exercise 1-2 times.

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#3: STANDING SINGLE LEG SHOULDER PRESS

As with the entire exercise routine, it is important to keep the core engaged throughout the exercise, particularly with this one. As you engage the center of your body, keep the spine straight and a neutral pelvic position before lifting the weight above your head. Place an ankle band around the lower legs, which will help engage the lateral muscles of the upper legs and hips. Stand with one leg on the floor (or on a yoga brick for added difficulty) and be sure to keep your supporting leg slightly bent. Begin with dumbbell weight elevated in shoulder press position. Press the dumbbell slowly up and down while maintaining a strong stable core, balancing on one leg. Use light to medium weight so that you can focus on core stabilization throughout the exercise.

  • 1 set of 12 repetitions on each leg.
  • Repeat 1 time.

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#4: PLANK EXERCISE WITH ENHANCED STABILIZATION

This exercise can be preformed with varying levels of difficulty (as pictured) for more intensity. Trevor describes it as “a killer of an exercise for the golfer.” You can begin this exercise by simply starting with the elbows and feet directly on the floor, working toward the more advanced levels that enhance the firing of your core stabilization muscles. Make your best effort to hold a plank position and be careful not to let your neck drop down too much. Focus on something in front of you and remember to breath as you hold the position.

  • 2 sets of 20 seconds, gradually building to duration of one minute.
  • Advance to Level 2 using the Bosu ball.
  • For Level 3, use a yoga brick below your toes to add additional instability opposing the Bosu ball.
  • For Level 4 add the medicine ball below your feet.

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#5: CORE BRIDGE ON BALL WITH LEG EXTENSION

Lay with your shoulder blades centered on the stability ball and focus again on engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain a bridge position. Exhale while focusing on a strong, stable and centered position. Slowly extend your right leg and hold for a 3 second count while taking small, short breaths, holding single leg balanced position. Release leg slowly to floor. Re-stabilize the core and switch to left leg for a 3- second count. Use caution because this exercise is more difficult than it appears. It may take a few workouts to get your body under control.

  • Start with 3 repetitions on each leg, and hold the leg extension for 3 seconds.
  • Build to 5 repetitions on each leg, holding each leg extended for a 5- second count.

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#6: DUAL/SINGLE LEG HAMSTRING CURL

Lie on your back and begin in a bridge position with legs straight and heels of your feet placed on top of the stability ball. Roll the ball toward your buttocks until your feet are flush against the ball, then slowly return to the starting position. With this exercise, you can add two levels of intensity, and one variation using a single leg (as pictured).

  • Start with 8 repetitions and build to 15 repetitions.
  • Level 2 – Add weight with a disk or medicine ball (as pictured).
  • Single Leg – Us.

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#7: CORE ROTATION WITH STABILIZATION

This exercise is a basic core rotation movement that Dave has modified to increase core stability and recruit fast twitch muscle fiber in the abdominal and oblique muscles. It can be performed with just the looped resistance band for a good rotation exercise, however, you can greatly intensify the effectiveness of the exercise for all of the core muscles by adding the ankle band and Pilates ring. Step into the position and rotate the shoulders and chest until they are centered with your hips, then hold for 15 seconds.

  • Repeat 1-2 times on each side(hold for 15 seconds).
  • Add the ankle band to engage the lower body.
  • Add the Pilates ring to engage more of the upper body.

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