Sunday, September 20 2020


Tune-up the machine for better golf.

Update: May, 28/2017 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

By Robert Bicknell

Greg Norman doing leg-lifts on crutches just helped the internet to meltdown. Yes, apparently the 62-year old Great White Shark just cannot stop injuring himself, but thankfully, this time it didn’t involve a chainsaw, just a torn ligament.

Norman, who is a fitness fanatic, loves posting his workouts online. I believe he is only second to the 81-year old Gary Player in this regard. Player went one better than Norman a few years ago, when he posed for a 2013 photo shoot in the nude – at 77.

During the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, 71-year old Cher, accepted an “Icon” award and performed wearing her trademark outfits which leave nothing to the imagination. During her acceptance speech, she casually mentioned that she can “still hold a plank for 5-minutes”.

A few years ago, I started hitting the gym and was amazed to find that I was in horrible shape. How could this be? I was still hitting 300 yard drives…

It turns out that the only muscle groups which were in semi-okay condition were the ones I used for golf. All the others were as powerful as a hamster. Very humiliating. I couldn’t even do 10 curls of 20lbs with my left hand. The only thing I could do is hold a plank for 3 minutes, so that help explained why I could hit the golf ball hard.

The other problem was I smoked (and still do…and hate it like hell) and got tired walking more than a few holes. If they were uphill, I’d be wasted by the time I got to the green. You cannot make a good putt when your heart is hammering in your chest and your eyes are crossed.

Do you see where we are going with this week’s column?

That’s right… fitness. But not just fitness for young people – who should be fit naturally if they are normal (Haiz… yes, I know. Most kids today consider fitness being able to text with both hands), but rather fitness for those of us who are over 40. Well over 40….

For the record, a workout isn’t an evening of lifting beer mugs…

First of all, the single most important thing to do before you set out on any fitness programme is to go and get a complete health check from a doctor. A real doctor. Not like the one Trump used to provide his health check. Honestly, didn’t that guy remind you of the scientist in “Independence Day”?

If the doctor gives you a clean bill of health with no blood tests, see another doctor.

You need to do this to make sure you don’t accidentally hurt or kill yourself. Yes, you CAN actually kill yourself with exercise if you have a heart condition, or some brain aneurysm waiting to pop if you boost your blood pressure / heart rate up too high.

Now that you’ve done that and got a clean bill of health, get yourself to a good gym. Yes, they cost more than the corner, no aircon, weights made of concrete type of place.

At your age, you want to be with professionals who know what they are doing and let them create a programme especially for you. Find a good trainer who understands your goals.

There is a myth that weightlifting is bad for golf. Unless you take weightlifting to an extreme where you’ve bulked up like Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), it shouldn’t impact your golf. However, one important note about weightlifting… remember to stretch afterwards. Weightlifting WILL start to restrict your movements if you don’t keep stretching afterwards.

Some weightlifting routine are better for golf than others and it’s important to remember that golf uses “inside” muscle groups more than others. This means the inside of your thighs and forearms, as well as your core muscles (stomach) and back.

An excellent way to work out is yoga. Yes, I said it. Forget about it being a “pussy activity”, trust me when I tell you it will kick your ass six-ways from Sunday. If you’re self-conscious about it, download a programme called “DDP Yoga” which is the one most of the WWE guys use. It’s more of a “manly” yoga programme.

Either way, if you want to play better golf, get your body in better shape.

Hey, if I can do it, so can you. VNS


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