Prepping For The Golf Season With “Before The First Swing”
This week, I started a month’s worth of physical training sessions at Body Specs. Skip Bunton, MS. ATC. has developed a fitness program called “Before The First Swing” designed to help golfers improve power, mobility and stamina.
If you have been to Washtenaw Golf Club in the last year or so, you probably have seen Skip’s Body Specs banner flying outside the former club gym/swim house. During the pandemic, Bunton “rightsized” his business, moving from a large warehouse to the Washtenaw GC building. It is a good place to emphasize his affinity with golfers.
In my first Before the First Swing session, Skip walked me through my personalized program, which as this point is largely a series of stretches specifically designed to address the creeping — but perhaps not inevitable — tightness that comes with age.
What’s neat about the BodySpecs program is that it comes with an online account where I can access videos of the exercises, log time-on-task, and follow my own progress.
The website even has a built in timer.
Over the last several days, as I’ve repeated the stretches Skip prescribed, I’ve found the videos to be invaluable. They’re short — 45 seconds or so — but are on a continuous loop. It is like following along with an exercise video — if that video was tailored to one’s specific needs.
Two of the initial things I’ve found interesting about Before The First Swing are the emphasis on unbalanced weight and extension.
In several of the activities, one foot is set higher than the other on a block (I use a small footstool) as you move to turn and extend. In a similar vein, there is a “multiplane thoractic” stretch in which weight shifts from one foot to the other through a turn.
That same “multiplane thoractic” also emphasizes extending as you rise out of the initial downward turn.
I have weekly sessions with Skip at BodySpecs set up over the next month. In between, I’ve set aside time five times a week to work on this at home. After the initial weeks of work to increase mobility, I am hoping to drop back a day or two to go into maintenance mode. I’ll keep everyone updated as I more forward.