Ron Swanson – For a Change of Pace…Content in my Blog
November 17, 2010 By: Ron "Commish" Swanson
The last time I wrote on this blog I talked about finding a reason for putting yourself through the rigors of working out. Because it is so much easier not to go to the gym, there has to be a darn good reason for going. This brief intro marks the beginning of my next few blogs where I try something slightly different, I am going to include “content.” Hopefully some of you loyal readers will find something useful that you can incorporate into your Brick Bodies journey.
I am a golfer, I confess. It consumes a goodly portion of my time, thought, and treasure. And, to this end, I am working on several things this “off-season” in an effort to improve. While working out will not help my putting and chipping I am focusing on strengthening my core and improving flexibility. These are the areas that the gym can help me with. Additionally, I am doing some drills that I have learned and/or modified to fit my time allotments. The keys to these drills are that they 1) develop muscle memory; 2) can be completed in five minutes or less; and 3) cost nothing to do. I am thinking about writing about some of these on our Bad Golfers Association website in conjunction with Gary Marlowe’s tips. (Gary is a terrific teacher and former Tour player but, after 17 knee operations, he is about to undergo a knee replacement this month.) Some of my drills are “Using Snow to Improve Your Swing Path”, “Smash that Pile of Leaves for Power”, and “90-Seconds to Better Chipping and a Better Lawn.”
In this blog I will concentrate on improving flexibility. Please keep in mind that I am talking from my viewpoint and not as a trainer or professional of any kind. I hate reading disclaimers but I must remind you that I am The Commish of a group of Bad Golfers and as such make no claims other that that these work for me and I do not think I am unique in any way, shape, or form.
In my mind a good measure of being flexible is “can you touch your toes.” I can’t. I haven’t been able to for many years and attributed it to many different reason. First I thought I was too heavy. After losing some weight I found that I still felt like I had alligator arms when I tried to touch those elusive and far away toes. Then I thought it might be because my back was too stiff so I worked on strengthening and improving movement in my back. I have to say that applying traction and doing some simple muscle tightening exercises are stimulating and refreshing, however, I still looked more like a lowercase letter “r” when I bent over than the lowercase “n” I was trying to be. Finally I figured it must be old age that was preventing me from being as flexible as I wanted. Not much I could do about that except maybe taking Tai Chi or Yoga classes. Then I had a brainstorm, and it was so simple and so available to all of us that it is a shame that it is not accessed more. I asked a question. It was that simple. I just asked Victor Brick for some help.
“Victor, as hard as I try I can’t loosen my back enough to touch my toes. Is there anything I can do?” Immediately he said that my hamstrings were too tight and showed me a stretching exercise that, over time, will help to loosen them. I had never even considered that my “hammies” were holding me back and Victor diagnosed it within 30 seconds.
Herewith is the simple stretch that he showed me and it fits my criteria of 5 minutes or less:
If possible sit on a bench and stretch your left leg straight out. Keep your back straight or slightly bent forward. After 30 seconds relax the leg and do the same with your right leg. Relax for a few seconds and then do the same with your left leg only this time hold a towel in both hand and loop it over your foot. Apply pressure and feel your hamstring stretch for 30 seconds. Relax. Do the same with your right leg. Relax and then pull both feet together in sort of a “lotus” position while you try to push your knees towards the ground. After 30 seconds you are finished. Over time you will see slow improvement in your hammies and maybe lengthen those alligator arms.