Golf is king when it comes to hokey training devices. You've probably seen infomercials for gadgets that can lower your score by five shots. And we've all witnessed Kevin Costner, in Tin Cup, experiment with just about every one of them to no avail.
Golf enthusiasts experiment with goofy magical tools in a quest for the ever-elusive perfect swing. Now, the answer just got a little clearer for them. Donna Snow, president of Lifting Up Life, and her team of professionals have launched a product called Standing Firm®, which enhances strong and tight body rotation, quick hips, stability and control.
"It really addresses all the intrinsic muscles that create control in the body and its movements," Snow says. "From the feet through the ankles, knees and hips, it specifically trains the muscles around those joints that create stability and balance so you have a strong force with external and internal rotation."
Dedicating some time off the links and in the weight room has become common among elite golfers. Now there's a product focused on improving the specific movements you make during the golf swing.
"Standing Firm® is about core-centered rotational training," Snow says. "When you step on the product, the center disc has the ability to rotate 360 degrees, and the axis of rotation allows you to apply diagonal forces against specific muscles, which strengthen lateral and medial stability in the ankles, knees and hips, resulting in increased power in the lower extremities."
Professional golfers maintain balance and stability while taking vicious cuts. That's one reason why they can consistently make solid contact. To achieve this, you must work the muscles that are responsible for the action. According to Snow, some of these muscles can't be activated with traditional exercises, but Standing Firm® works these often neglected parts of the body.
"It's a progressive type [of] training, where you get stronger the more you use those muscles, but you have to start on that unstable surface to get those muscles fired up," Snow says. "When you're on the product, you're forced to use those smaller muscles, and once you've fired them up, it's incredible how much more support and control your body can have."
While the Standing Firm® device is perhaps most advantageous for golfers, athletes of all sports can benefit. The product, which launched in February, is currently being used at Mission Hills Golf Academy and by Cindy Reid and the Florida Marlins.
"Training the intricacies are the key to an injury-free season in any sport, and this can be done with balance equipment that challenges instability in spiral and diagonal planes," Snow says.
To improve stability, try Snow's Reverse Lunge exercise, which you can perform using Standing Firm® every day, before and after your regular training sessions.
Standing Firm® Single-Leg Squat
Assume position on Standing Firm®, balancing on right leg
Keeping left foot elevated behind you, drive hips back and squat down
Explode up, driving left knee up until right leg is fully extended
Lower to start position and repeat for specified reps
Perform set on opposite leg
Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg
Coaching Points: Don't let front knee pass toes // Maintain balance throughout exercise // Keep back straight and head up
Snow: Correct posture is the foundation of movement. Pay attention to alignment and posture. If you don't monitor alignment, the body will always follow the path of least resistance, setting up muscle imbalances. The centered bar and base markings should be utilized for precise movement and self-correction. The goal is to have all the muscles of the body working optimally with the correct muscles, doing the correct motion at the correct time. Less resistance can be more difficult when it comes to stability training.
For more information about Standing Firm®, check out standingfirm.com
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock