I found a really cool golf fitness product while at the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show, it’s called a FIT for Golf training ball. It’s a six pound medicine ball with eight different exercises illustrated on the ball. The FIT stands for “Fitness Illustrated Training.”
During my visit, I met and spoke with co-creator of the FIT for Golf training ball, Mr. John Ondrush. John’s been in the golf fitness business for over 15 years and has trained professional and amateur golfers alike. Last year he was the official trainer and physical therapist for the 2009 US. Open. In other words, John knows his stuff. Here’s what he had to say about the FIT training ball.
“…bottom line is that from a pro golfer to an amateur golfer we all need to make the same movements and get into the same positions. We wanted to come up with a simple fitness product that is going to be able to get everybody to exercise golf specific muscles. Not only are the exercises for golf fitness, they have a direct correlation to the top eight common swing flaws.
The number one swing flaw is loss of posture. 75% of amateurs lose their posture, so an example of an exercise to use to correct this would be the five iron drill. The five iron drill is setting up in address position, staying in that position and slamming the medicine ball up and down using your muscles and maintaining that spine angle, where most golfers are lifting up and moving.
There are three physical components relative to the golf swing to make the golfer better. Whether your Tiger, Ernie, or Phil, the three components are stability, balance and flexibility. The FIT for golf ball and these exercises are going to incorporate all three of those components into your workout program in eight exercises. No poster, no video, no illustrations that you have to look at and follow, it’s all right here on the ball in front of you and you can take it anywhere.
Every Exercise is going to help every component of your swing and it’s also going to get you into shape. If you’re not in shape, your game is going to suffer because when you physically fatigue, you mentally fatigue and we all know that golf is 90% mental. So, we’ve come up with a product that’s really going to help every area that the golfer needs to physically play the game better.
Golf pros are putting this in their shop and they’re actually using it as a training aid. So if there’s an instructor that can’t get a guy to load into his right side, he will tell the golfer to do the step and load drill which is stepping into your right side and loading. That golfer never knew what it felt like before to get to that right side and load and now they’re saying “wow” holding the ball, it’s accentuating the movement and they gain a better understanding of what that feels like. They do the exercise enough times, muscle memory will step in when there’s a club in the golfers hand.
So after 15 years of training golfers I took my eight most popular exercises and my eight most common swing faults and integrated the exercises with the swing faults and made a stupid simple program that anyone can follow.
If you happen to have one of these swing faults we tell you to concentrate on that exercises and do that one three times more than you do the other exercises on the ball. That’s what the pros are doing and they’re realizing that a lot of swing faults are due to a physical restriction in the golfers body.
With these exercises, just doing these simple exercises will help strengthen, stretching out the right muscles and giving the golfer the balance they need to be more physically capable to play the game and this is the direction the game is going.
Equipment and instruction can take you so far, but as Tiger says “the most important piece of equipment is your body and if your body doesn’t work, nothing else is going to happen.” There’s where we’re moving with this whole thing. Whether you’re a 30 handicap or a 2, whether you’re 90 or 19 you can take this ball and get through the work out program and it’s not that difficult and it’s ten to 15 minutes.
If I do this exercise Program, how soon will I notice improvement?
Depends on how often you do the exercises. If you do it one day a week it’s going to be two months, two days a week a month & half. My suggestion is a three day a week program and you’re going to start seeing considerable results within a month to six weeks, because your body is going to start remembering what muscles it needs to turn your back swing, what muscles it needs to shift your weight and what muscles it uses to stay and maintain posture.
With every exercise we’re working on the three components, strength & stability, flexibility and balance.”
Yeah, I’m pretty psyched about this product.
John gave me one at the show to try and review. I’m on a 30 plan, working the exercises five days a week and after working with it for three days, I have some good expectations.