With the U.S. Women’s AM in full swing (pun intended), I thought that today’s wellness focus should be dedicated in some part to the event. As many of us look on and admire the techniques of these amateur golfers, I thought that focusing on a couple of instruction tips and exercises would be an appropriate tribute to this week’s championship and to our own personal training. As we watch many of these contestants play with strength and swing with optimistic potency, it is ever apparent that they didn’t get that way without some instruction first. It is safe to say that not one of those players showed up to the championship without going through a rigorous work-out regime or without seeking the advice of their coaches and other players. So, as we all strive to become better at our practice and desire to be the best version of ourselves, we will seek out the tips and instruction from other successful golfers. Today our instruction tip is all about…
In an article by Golf Digest, Professional Golfer Lorena Ochoa, shares her secrets of power. In almost every golf magazine, newspaper and website you will see pictures and featured articles regarding some of the most powerful hitters in golf. However, the problem with this is that most of these articles feature men as the dominate hitters, while rarely showing the accomplishments of the women. While men do work and train hard for their powerful swing, so do women. Lorena Ochoa has proven this fact before; and although she is now retired, her powerful swing has made her legendary. Standing at 5-feet-6 and weighing in at 127 pounds, Ochoa was known for her strength and for the fact that she could hit the ball farther than Tiger Woods. Back in 2009, Ochoa was averaging 263 yards off the tee. That is power, my friends.
Ochoa shares the details of gaining optimal speed and the importance of her fitness regimen. Ochoa says that the key to her power is being able to swing very fast through the impact zone, and breaks down her power swing into four simple steps:
- Notice at the top of my backswing, I’ve made a full shoulder turn, and I’m poised to start the downswing. Don’t worry that my left arm is bent. Centrifugal force will straighten it at impact, increasing my club head speed.
- As I approach impact, my legs drive toward the target. The muscles in my lower body are in control and create a platform for firing through the ball. My wrists unhinge so at the last second the club whips into the ball, releasing my stored energy.
- At impact, the club meets the ball squarely, my right arm is in its setup position and my feet are still gripping the ground.
- Past impact my arms swing freely.
Lorena’s Fitness Tip for More Distance:
Lorena Ochoa continually emphasizes the importance and the positive impact of her work-out regime. One of the exercises that Lorena utilizes in maximizing her strength is working on her gluteus medius, which is the muscle on the outer sides of the hips. According to LPGA Physical Therapist, Caroline Nichols, a strong gluteus medius helps maximize rotary movement to increase power. Nichols suggests this workout:
- Lie on your left side and put your right leg slightly behind your left with your foot rotated up. Lift your leg and slowly return it to the start position. Do not arch your back, and do not let your body roll forward or backward. This will work out your right gluteus medius. To work out the left side, do the reverse. Start with two sets of 8-10 reps on each side per day. Nichols suggests adding ankle weights when the work out becomes too easy.
U.S. Women’s AM Update
Two days have already come and gone, medals have been earned and the match-play portion of the Championship is well underway. The 36-hole championship will end this upcoming Sunday. Now for some quick updates:
Yesterday, both Jihee Kim and Lydia Ko shared medalist honors after the second round of stroke play. Kim, 17, was the first round leader and shot a one-under 70 while Ko fired a five-under 66. The two tied at six-under 136 yesterday. Ko is the number 1 ranked amateur according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and at age 14 poses to be a threat to many other players on the field.
Moriya Jutanugarn, the low amateur this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, shot a four-under 67 and placed third at minus-five. Fourth place went to Emma Talley who was four-under at 138. Casey Grice shot a four-under 67 for fifth, followed by Doris Chen whose even-par 71 earned her sixth with a two-under 140. Pamela Pretswell, Xi Yu Lin and Annie Park all tied for seventh place at one-under 141.
U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Champion, Brianna Do, missed the cut for the match play portion of the championship.
With all of that said, we still have five days left of golf (the day isn’t over yet!) and plenty more excitement to come!
*Keep your eyes peeled for more power tips at next week’s Wellness Wednesday
BY: Cassandra Gonzales