Fitness Program Not Just For Golf Enthusiasts
Posted May 31, 2006 8:55 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — When you think of physically fit athletes, golf probably is not the first sport that leaps to mind. However, elite golfers excel because they know fitness is their key to success.
Dr. Thomas Windley, of the University of Pittsburgh Golf Fitness Lab at the Pinehurst Resort, helps golfers improve their game. The program is the result of a five-year study of the physical attributes that set elite golfers apart from everyone else.
Windley measures the flexibility of the arms, shoulders and hips. He looks at the golfer's balance control. From the data, each golfer gets a tailored eight-week training program.
"The end result of all of that is not only improved performance in golf, but with the strength, flexibility and balance improvements in overall health and conditioning improvement in the golfer," Windley said.
An eight-camera motion analysis system uses near infra-red technology to track a person's golf swing. The improvement in both strength, flexibility and balance learned in the golf lab can pay great dividends both on and off the golf course. That is good news for many seniors who face a high risk of injury from falling down.
"Well, if you have better balance, you have better strength and flexibility of the lower portion of your body, you're much more likely to reduce your risk of falls," Windley said.