The Initial Assessment - Golf Fitness Evaluation
It’s easy to find golf fitness tips and exercises on YouTube but it’s not the way forward. Diving into a vigorous training programme might seem a good idea but you are just as likely to injure yourself than make lasting improvements.
A personalised programme takes into account your individual body mechanics and the starting point has to be an assessment.
Jon Hodgkinson adopts the Titleist Performance Institute Gold Standard for measuring range of movement, strength and balance relevant to golf swing mechanics in his initial Golf Fitness Evaluation, which he conducts in his studio. See my introductory article Why You Need a Personalised Fitness Programme to Play Your Best Golf.
This is the only time you really need to make the trip to see him personally, the rest can be done remotely, although face-to-face is much better and allows for reassessments to measure improvements.
All the essential moves a golfer needs to produce a repeatable, reliable swing are checked with precision, measured and recorded.
These comprise of a full biomechanical assessment, levels of separation and rotation range tests along with strength and balance assessments.
The assessment aims to provide a blueprint of how your body moves and to reveal strengths, weaknesses and discrepancies.
All key movements in the golf swing are assessed. Starting with the backswing Jon measures pelvic and hip rotation in the trail side, rotation through the upper back, rotation of the trail shoulder and overhead range of motion - the key elements of a successfully loaded backswing.
Downswing assessments measure rotation of lead hip, thoracic spine rotation and rotation of the lead shoulder. He also tests your ability to stabilise weight on your lead side.
Specific strength and balance tests complete the assessment giving Jon a complete set of data from which he draws up a tailormade exercise programme.
“Where there are limitations in any area of the assessment I can determine what needs to be done to make golfers move better through stretching and strengthening certain muscles” says Jon.
My main reason for approaching Jon concerned my injury record which it is fair to say is not good by any stretch. On top of my injuries I needed a full left hip replacement in 2018 due to inevitable wear and tear of the joint.
I was simply fed up of repeated golfing injuries, compounded by age.
This meant I wasn’t really able to play consecutive days to my satisfaction, disappointing as my role as Golfshake Travel Editor requires me playing a lot of golf!
After explaining my previous injury history I told Jon that my immediate goals were to reduce pain and the risk of injury, though for others they may wish to increase distance through increasing clubhead speed.
Jon put me through my paces with the series of tests and it appeared I was lacking in nearly all of them.
Using this data Jon constructed a programme of activities for me to complete at home, daily if possible, using just a few basic pieces of equipment such as a foam roller, a soft ball, stretch bands and a couple of dumbbells.
Individual programmes are designed around whether golfers intend to go to the gym, or work out at home with the basic equipment they own.
He also provided a customised short warm up routine I could employ prior to a round based on the key results of my assessment.
With my programme to hand I was ready to work out following the instructions on Jon’s personal training app.
To learn more about Jon and how he can help you play better for longer, visit his website here: https://www.jonhodgkinson.com.
Coming next week….my 6-week training programme!
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