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What gives Tiger Woods the swing

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             Business


                                                        TOTAL
                                  WORKOUT
                           Program Blends Conditioning With Swing Mechanics
                                                           BY DAVE RAUDENBUSH




                            W              hat gives Tiger Woods the swing speed to nail a drive 350 yards? What give
                                           Vijay Singh the stamina to spend hour after hour on the range? What helped
                                           Ernie Els bounce back from the knee injury that sent him back to the locker
                             room, and later the operating table, last season?
                                      The answer to all three questions is physical fitness. Modern tour players are gym
                                    rats who spend hours working out each day. With the assistance of specially skilled
                                     trainers, these players condition their muscles in ways that complement the
                                      dynamic forces of their swings. The end result – better golf and few injuries.
                                           Now, the average player can gain similar improvement in their games and




                                                                AARON BADA ASSISTS HIDDEN CREEK OWNER ROGER HANSEN DURING A WORKOUT




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      TOTAL WORKOUT

      physical conditioning.                                                                                                                              uing Education Institute (ACEI) for
         Golf Specific Fitness, a pro-                                                                                                                     the Total Golf Performance Enhance-
      gram now offered at several facili-                                                                                                                 ment and Injury Prevention Program.
      ties in the Atlantic County area,                                                                                                                       Golfers who come to a GSF center




                                                                                            UNDER BADA’S DIRECTION, HANSEN BUILDS STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY
      helps golfers develop the flexibili-                                                                                                                 receive a complete game evaluation
      ty, strength and speed necessary                                                                                                                    with a priority given to the physical
      to make a mechanically sound                                                                                                                        fitness necessary to play the game well.
      golf swing. The program was cre-                                                                                                                    Students receive a swing evaluation
      ated by Aaron Bada, a B8 PGA                                                                                                                        recorded on CD-Rom, then a consul-
      professional and certified trainer,                                                                                                                  tation with Bada and a personal train-
      who operates the GSF Player                                                                                                                         er. They create a individualized pro-
      Development Center at Tilton                                                                                                                        gram for the student.
      Fitness in Somers Point. He also                                                                                                                        Players who come to GSF, even
      operates the program from Hid-                                                                                                                      those who may be in otherwise good
      den Creek Golf Club in Egg Har-                                                                                                                     shape, learn the importance of golf fit-
      bor and teaches golf at Sand Bar-                                                                                                                   ness. For example, men tend to have
      rens Golf Club.                                                                                                                                     overdeveloped upper body muscles.
          Bada also plans to open a Golf                                                                                                                  Frequently, such players need to bal-
      Specific Fitness Center this spring in       Bada of mixing conditioning with                                                                        ance bulk in their arms, shoulders and
      Somers Point. The center will be a          swing instruction. “Everybody from                                                                      chest with flexible strength in their
      combination exercise facility and golf      the younger low handicappers to older                                                                   abdominals, glutes, and lower back–
      training center. Bada’s clients receive a   players wants to play better.”                                                                          the muscles that create the big,
      combination of swing analysis, exercis-        Bada is certified through the Inter-                                                                  smooth turn common among most
      es to improve flexibility, strength and      national Sports Science Association                                                                     good players.
      cardiovascular endurance and therapy        (ISSA) as a golf fitness trainer,                                                                            For most students, the program
      to treat injuries. He developed his pro-    National Exercise and Sports Science                                                                    begins with learning the correct pos-
      gram as an assistant professional in        Association (NESTA) as a golf condi-                                                                    ture and address position.
      Charleston, South Carolina.                 tioning specialist, and also has earned                                                                     “We try to get you set up properly
          “It was the perfect blend,” said        credits through the Advanced Contin-                                                                    and effectively so you don’t work




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        against yourself,” Bada said.                better is definitely a goal,” Bada said.    cardiovascular fitness. A healthy heart
            Often, achieving that starting posi-        Golfers who do not condition            and lungs support a players endurance,
        tion means improving the student’s           themselves properly can suffer from a      giving them the stamina to walk the
        flexibility through the hamstring mus-        variety of injuries. Pain and stiffness    course and handle pressure late in a
        cles in the back of the legs and             in the lower back, rotator cuff injuries   round of golf.
        strengthening the midsection, the            in the shoulders, and wear and tear to         According to Bada, “You have to
        much talked about “core” area. Bada          the muscles and tendons of the hands       make yourself stronger from the inside
        believes a strong core is the secret to a    and forearms are golfer’s most com-        out.”
        good swing. The GSF Program focuses          mon complaints. As many as 63 per-             The cardio component of the pro-
        on not only training the core in tradi-      cent of all golfers report pain in the     gram calls for the student to work out
        tional ways but also in ways that            lower back.                                three to five times a week for 20 to 40
        directly affect the golf swing.                 The golf swing with all its twisting,   minutes. Training activities include
            Students learn exercises to              torquing and explosive speed can be        walking, running, and using cardio
        increase flexibility, range of motion         hard on any player’s body.                 machines such as the elliptical trainer,
        and coordination. They also practice            “You can generate a tremendous          recumbent bike, and rowing machines.
        dynamic stretching techniques used           amount of speed in the blink of an             Students are measured each step of
        to warm up before a round, a key to          eye,” Bada said. The launching pad         the way. The can observe their own
        injury prevention and better perform-        for all that force needs to be well pre-   progress in the form of increased
        ance. For years, golfers frowned at the      pared if a player hopes to avoid seri-     strength, improved range of motion
        idea of weight lifting. Adding muscle,       ous injury over the course of a career     and weight loss.
        people thought was bad for the golf          in the game.                                   The end result, hopefully, is a bet-
        swing. In reality, the golf swing               GFS students also improve their         ter, fitter golfer. ◆
        involves as much muscle activation as
        football, hockey, baseball and the
        martial arts, sports whose athletes
        have recognized the importance of
        weightlifting for decades. GSF stu-
        dents build strength, which helps
        improve posture, maintain the spine
        angle during the swing and boost
        power and consistency.
            Once he gets his students set up for
        success, Aaron moves on to in-swing
        concerns such as swing plane. Again,
        mechanical improvement goes hand
        in hand with improvement in strength
        and flexibility.
            “Golf-specific training helps you to
        clear your hips more quickly and gen-
        erate more power,” Bada said. “With
        exercises specific to golf, you definitely
        can see a difference.”
            The majority of players who come
        to Bada’s center are between the ages
        of 45 and 65. Some of them have a
        history of injuries. Others want to
        avoid being sidelined by pains, strains
        or worse.
            “Prolonging the activity and playing

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