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If you play tennis or golf and want to improve your game, adding some stability and strength training to your fitness program can help you get that edge.
Tennis and golf each involve a lot of rotational movement, especially at the shoulder joint and through the torso. Complex movement patterns place a lot of strain on the stabilizing muscles in those parts of the body. In order to prevent unnecessary injury and gain strength to improve your performance, focus some extra attention on these key muscle groups involved in your game.
The shoulder is made up of a group of four muscles called the rotator cuff. This muscle group stabilizes the shoulder and allows it to move. These muscles need to be worked using light resistance, and properly stretched to avoid common overuse injuries.
Your core is the powerhouse in tennis and golf. Both games require rotational movement, so adding specific exercises to strengthen the lower back and core can really boost your performance.
The muscles at the side of your waist are called the internal and external obliques. The obliques are important for stability, especially for movements that involve lateral (sideways) movements.
To activate these muscles, you’ll need to perform exercises that involve side bending or twisting.
The Quadratus lumborum is a deep, stabilizing muscle that connects the upper and lower body. It’s an important muscle for stabilizing the hips and spine, and it also works with the diaphragm to allow deep breathing.
Perform a standing hamstring stretch to help loosen up your hamstring muscles to provide relief from tight lower back muscles.
This exercise engages the muscles in the whole posterior chain, including glutes and hamstrings.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).