If you’ve played at Washtenaw Golf Club in the last couple of months, you may have noticed that that old swim house/exercise facility has a new resident: Body Specs! Ltd.
The man behind Body Specs is Skip Bunton, who has more than 27 years of experience in physical therapy and sports performance. Bunton has twice been voted one of the Top 100 Trainers In America by Men’s Journal, and three times as “Best In Ann Arbor.”
I stopped into Body Specs one day after a round at Washtenaw to see what it was all about, and was immediately taken by Bunton’s infectious enthusiasm. Bunton invited me to come back a week later for a free session.
In my session, Bunton guided me through a series of exercises specifically designed to help with the golf game.
The routines are part of Bunton’s “Before The First Swing” program. Before The First Swing was developed by Bunton from his years working to rehab sports injuries. It makes sense to me that if you know how to rehab an injury, you can also develop a program to prevent them in the first place.
Golf can put unexpectedly large demands on a person’s musculature and skeleton. Bunton told me that at one point, he showed imaging of a spine to a convention room full of physical trainers and asked them to identify the sport the person played. Most guessed football. None guessed golf.
Skip Bunton really put me through my paces during that hour. We started with a series of golf-specific stretches, designed to address hamstring, back and glute tightness.
Bunton says that the pre-round stretches most golfers perform likely are doing little good. Golfers move in specific ways, with weight shifts and transfers that ideally demand specific stretching movements. It is my completely untutored observation that Bunton’s stretches are made from a position that involves preset weight shifts.
If you look at the photos above, you’ll see what I mean. Each is performed with the feet at different heights and the movements going across the body.
Next, we moved on to some kettlebell exercises, including snatches for explosive power and side steps for stabilization.
I’ve been working with kettlebells since my gym shut down for COVID, so it was nice to get some input on this. My takeaway was that I need to do routines that not only incorporate lifting, but also work on weight shifts and turning.
Finally, we finished up with some rope work. Ropes are brutal.
If you’re in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area and are serious about improving your game, you might want to check out Skip Bunton’s Body Specs. We all are getting older; proper training can help us keep at the game you love for as long as possible. Skip Buton’s winning smile and enthusiasm will make that workout much more enjoyable than it otherwise might be.