By Kiel Christianson,
Today's elite golfers have become almost as focused on fitness as they have on technique. It is rare - perhaps impossible - to find a player on any professional tour (even the mini-tours) who does not include a strength and flexibility training component into his or her daily routine. Conditioning coaches are even beginning to reach the celebrity status of swing coaches and sports psychologists on the major tours.
But take a look at most recreational golfers. It seems like the extent of their workouts doesn't reach beyond carrying their clubs from car to cart.
In an attempt to bridge the gap between the best of the best and all the rest of us, Joey D - a celebrity tour trainer whose PGA Tour clients include Charlie Wi and Jason Dufner - has introduced a large line of home fitness gear that golfers of all handicap and fitness levels can use to get into shape. One of the most flexible and golf-specific items in the Golf Gym line is the PowerSwing Trainer.
The PowerSwing Trainer comes in both a Personal Edition and Masters Edition ($40 and $70, respectively). The Personal Edition comes with one 4-foot resistance band with a golf club-like grip, a carrying case for the band and an instructional DVD. The Masters Edition comes with three bands with varying resistance levels. The other end of the bands can be closed in a door at the bottom, middle or top for different types of exercises; it can also be looped around the bottom of your foot.
Over the past several weeks, I've been putting the Personal Edition to use, both at home and on the road. I'm a bit of a gym rat - at least as far as recreational golfers go - and I try to hit the weights at least three times a week. So when the PowerSwing arrived, my first thought was that the bands were too loose to help me much. However, after watching the instructional DVD, and following Joey D's various strength and stretching exercises, I was feeling the burn.
Nevertheless, at home I found it hard to get motivated to work out in such close proximity to my couch and my kitchen. The real benefit of the PowerSwing Trainer, for me at least, was its easy portability. When I'm on the road, the most exercise I tend to do is several pint-curls and repeated walks through buffet lines. But with the PowerSwing packed in my suitcase, I actually found myself running through a half-dozen activities while enjoying my morning coffee each day.
The golf-specific exercises designed by Joey D and demonstrated on the PowerSwing Trainer DVD are excellent for stretching and conditioning. Golfers who are allergic to the gym and able to resist the siren song of the sofa will benefit from working out at home each day for 30-45 minutes while watching TV.
But even if you don't feel like working out at home, the Personal Edition is ideal for packing in your suitcase or golf bag and taking along on business or golf trips. The formed golf grip gives you the feeling that the work you're doing will translate into a more powerful swing.
For more information, visit www.golfgym.com.
April 30, 2009
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.