CONDITIONING FOR GOLF: Being a game which is heavily dependent on precision timing, control, accuracy and skill, golf has a highly functional component. In order to achieve optimum physical efficiency, golfers need to train using programmes that are scientifically designed to improve integration and synchronisation of the whole body. Isolation and machine-based training programmes will play havoc with the body’s ability to organise and coordinate multi-joint movements such as a golf swing.
Viraj’s programme: Viraj’s programme is based on improving flexibility, stability, strength and power in that hierarchical order. Viraj, already a precocious talent, was 12 when he started on a fitness programme to develop golf-specific conditioning. Over the last two years, he has gained almost six inches in height, dropped loads of body fat and gained significant strength and power. He needs to improve his flexibility more, though, and I must confess it is not his favourite area of work either!
VIRAJ DEMONSTRATES FOUR EXERCISES
The Turkish Get-up: This is simply a movement that teaches the correct mechanical method of getting up from the floor with a weight in your hand to where you have the weight locked out at the shoulders in an overhead position. In the process, you build great coordination, proprioception (sense of body position), stability and mobility particularly in the shoulders which tend to get tight and stiff in golfers and some serious core strength.
Kettlebell swings: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell handle in both hands. Keep your weight spread evenly through your heels and forefoot. Bend your knees and descend into a quarter squat and push your hips back. Lean forward and lower the weight between your knees. Keeping your arms straight, your shoulders back and without rounding your back, thrust your hips forward and swing the kettlebell up to your preferred height. Allow gravity to pull the kettlebell back down as you push you butt back, bend your knees, and get ready for another swing. The hip and glute thrusts are biomechanically similar to the extension forces generated in a golf swing. Ten powerful swings done at 95 per cent plus intensity make a good set; 3-5 sets are ideal.
One leg Deadlift with Kettlebell: Very similar to the Veerabhadra III Asana in Yoga. Stand on one leg, reach out to pick up the kettlebell placed next to the stance leg by hinging from the hip. Lift to a vertical position extending the glutes and hamstrings, then bend in a similar manner and place the bell back to the exact position. This is one repetition. Work 6-8 repetitions, then repeat on the other leg. Great for balance, stability and for teaching the correct recruitment pattern in the posterior chain extension mechanism.
Rotatory Lunges with Medicine Ball: Lunge out on one leg keeping the Medicine Ball in your hands. Turn using your core and obliques in the direction of the leading leg. Complete a full turn, then return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. This is one repetition. Complete 10 reps and 3 sets.
This helps develop rotational exibility in the trunk and shoulders, an absolute indispensable movement in golf.
SIX OTHER GOLF-SPECIFIC EXERCISES
• Overhead Squats
• Box Jumps
• Inverted Rows
• Swiss Ball Lateral Shifts
• Swiss Ball Jack Knives
• Cable Chop and Lift
|Viraj Madappa with golf coach Indrajit Bhalotia. Viraj is holding the Player of the Year 2012 and the All India Junior Golf Tournament trophies. The 15-year-old made it to the finals of the 112th Amateur Golf Championship of India at RCGC on Sunday
Name: Viraj Ganapathy Madappa
Born: November 9, 1997 (Calcutta)
Studies in: Class IX, Akshar School
First brush with golf: Started playing golf at the age of nine. Regular visits to Tollygunge Club for swimming classes exposed him to the world of golfing
Current ranking: Number 1 in under-18 category in India
First major win: Delhi Juniors National Golf Championship 2007, where he stood third
International breakthrough: 16th in the Callaway Junior World Championship in San Diego, 2012
Inspiration: Golfer Bubba Watson
Favourite tee-off zone: Bangalore Golf Circuit
When not playing golf: Plays table tennis and cricket
Relaxing means: Being hooked to his PS3
Music to his ears: Tracks by Maroon 5
Movie buff: Admires Aamir Khan
Can keep watching: 3 Idiots
Tournaments won in 2012: Toyota IGU All India Juniors, Toyota IGU Eastern India Juniors, Toyota IGU Northern India Juniors, Usha IGU Delhi Juniors.