By Joe Hafera
Before beginning any exercise routine, make sure it's actually going to help you. Visit the TPI Certified Locator to find your local golf fitness provider. This individual can assess your body and your golf swing. The more information a professional has, the more effectively they perform their job. If you're an athlete and you randomly do exercises and drills, you're essentially performing surgery with a wooden spoon rather than a scalpel. Find your TPI today.
Milo Bryant is a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Professional and the Director of TPI Junior Performance Center in San Diego, CA. Thinking this would be an easy request, I naively asked Milo for a routine for my lower body that required no weights and no equipment--left out the part about no pain.
Bryant grinned and said, "That is easy, for me at least."
Before I had time to reconsider, he began explaining a lower body matrix.
”Whoa! A matrix? That sounds intense. Why is it called a matrix?” I asked.
Being a true wordsmith, Bryant replied by explaining, “Ok, you asked for it. A matrix, from a linguistic standpoint, is the main clause of a complex sentence. It's from that clause that everything grows and can have meaning. So, I wanted a small group of exercise that, when put together, can become the main clause in the complexities of an exercise program. With that one group of exercises, you have: strength, power, flexibility, balance, mobility, stability, endurance, mental fortitude. If you're in a crunch for time, I can give you three matrices --lower body, upper body and core body-- have you do two of each and in 10 minutes you have an amazing total body workout.”
This matrix is a series movements meant to challenge the lower body's muscular endurance. Bryant added, "However, because of the explosive nature of the squat jumps and the speed squats, you do get more than a modicum of strength development, too.
"I call it my '800 meter exercise'. it's not a sprint like a 100 or 200, and it's not like a mile jog," Bryant explained.
800 meters sounds easy enough. Follow along with me and you'll know that his assessment is spot on. About half way, you'll feel like you can't make it any more. And before you know it, you're counting down the reps to the finish line.
The complete exercise is 24 reps of each. Rest 90 seconds, then repeat for four sets. I asked Milo how often I should perform this matrix. "As long as I know the athlete is moving correctly and the muscles are sequencing properly, I could see the athletes doing this two times per week," Bryant said with that same glutton-for-punishment grin.
Don't attempt this exercise if you have pain, or haven't been assessed for this type of movement. You can actually hurt your body and your golf game by repeatedly doing the movement incorrectly.But once you're cleared and ready to rip, give the lower body matrix a try.
After we finished, Bryant warned me, “Joe, you'll be sore tomorrow. That soreness you're feeling? Yeah, that's strength moving in, and setting up permanent residence. That soreness is strength taking over, forcing dormant muscle to get with the program, or get out. And fat? C'mon, strength feeds on fat. Get enough strength, and guess what, you won't have too much room for fat - which is a good thing. So, don't worry much about your soreness, embrace it.