Deep Freeze for Golfers April 04, 2016
DEEP FREEZE™ POWER IN MOTION™ PRE-GOLF TREATMENT
Pre-Treatment for Golfers:
In any pre-event treatment, we are looking to prepare muscles and joints for their sporting activity. This means the session will be shorter in duration, so we don’t sedate the muscles or compromise joint stability.
As your clients prepare to play golf, they will find starting off with Deep Freeze Power in Motion Turbo Recovery Body Wash Gel wakes the body and assists in introducing circulation as they prepare for their pre-warmup. We recommend to leave the shower gel on 3-5 minutes before rinsing. Immediately after the shower, a total body cool down proceeded by a sensation of increased circulation will occur. When working with the cryotherapy principle, a short duration of temperature change will create increased circulation. The wash can also be used on areas of concern for a more localized effect.
A synergistic approach will be defined by the use of Deep Freeze Power in Motion Pain Relief and More Gel to prevent or ease pre-existing discomfort.
Before you start the treatment, discuss with your client any concerns or areas of focus for your pre-event approach.
30 Minute Treatment or Less:
This is not a full body treatment. Bring circulation to the muscles and joints of concern by applying the Pain Relief Gel where warranted. The pressure should be firm and broad not focusing too much attention on any one area. Remember, you do not want to relax the muscles. You are looking to increase circulation for better performance.
After addressing any areas of concern, focus on bringing circulation to areas of potential overuse due to the repetitive motions golf produces. Start with the hips and muscles with pelvic attachments, then address quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, ankles and feet.
Finish the session by addressing the shoulders and neck. If you have experience with range-of-motion techniques, this could be a good opportunity to provide increased joint flexibility and awareness. If you do apply stretching techniques, they should be done gently with increasing circulation being your primary goal. Stretching does have the potential to destabilize the joint if done too aggressively or for too long just prior to the event.
For pre-event treatments, adhere to the “less is more” approach.
The Fitness Approach:
The fitness approach will build upon any pre-golf body treatment. If your client has already showered using the Deep Freeze Power in Motion Turbo Recovery Body Wash Gel and treated injury prone areas ( examples: low-back, shoulders) with Deep Freeze Power in Motion Pain Relief and More Gel, then the focus for a majority of golfers will be improving range of motion in restricted areas.
Many of our clients like to believe better equipment will help improve their game, but fitness professionals know that, the most important “club in the bag” is the golfer’s own body. Restrictions at the ankles, hips, upper back, wrists, shoulders, and/or neck may make it more difficult for your client to perform the optimal swing while potentially creating a pattern for injury.
Once a general warm-up is complete, a more targeted approach addressing restricted areas will help prepare the golfer for a day on the course. There are a variety of specific drills your client can perform in a brief 10-minute routine while standing on the range. Of course a full movement analysis will help you determine the areas of interest.
For the golfer who has very little restriction, stability may be the greater concern. Utilizing the combination of Deep Freeze products will increase circulation to aid the general warm-up. After the general warm-up, your client will want to focus on exercises designed to activate stabilizers in the hips, shoulders and any other areas of concern. Simple exercises may be performed directly on the range, possibly using a mini-band and/or a golf cart, along with other small aids.
For long-term, pain-free improvement, it’s suggested golfers participate in targeted fitness training in coordination with a PGA professional along with the assistance of a therapeutic body worker.
Recovery (Post) Treatment for Golfers:
We have all worked with active or athletically inclined clientele who could be categorized as “Weekend Warriors.” With this population, we are often treating sore muscles and joints and see a need to educate on the importance of prevention and being proactive in increasing range of motion (ROM) and flexibility. Our goals should be to assist our client’s recovery while helping minimize pain in order to produce a higher performance level. Since we cannot do this alone, you will find the Deep Freeze product line a formidable partner.
The Deep Freeze cool therapy will bring a new dimension into cryotherapy supporting your muscles and joints (From the Greek where Cryo = cold and Therapy = cure). This well balanced formula will reach a greater depth of absorption while focusing on cooling and then encouraging micro-circulation to assist in enhanced performance and recovery.
Treatment (60 Minute):
This treatment will go under the category of Deep Tissue or Sports Massage or related techniques. It is essential that the pressure applied is within the client’s pain threshold. You will have some clients who are tight and stiff and others who irritated a pre-existing condition which has compromised muscle and/or joint function.
We would recommend using a client intake form prior to starting the session which will assist you in fine-tuning your approach.
Have your client shower using the Deep Freeze Power in Motion Turbo Recovery Body Wash. This will better prepare them for muscle recovery. We recommend using the Body Wash on arms, back and legs but keeping it away from sensitive areas. The body will be challenged by a noticeable cooling effect which will assist in energizing and awakening the recovery process.
By this time, you know your areas of concentration. This would be appropriate time to apply the Deep Freeze Pain Gel (do not apply this product near the eyes or the face).
If you have clients with reduced muscle and/or joint function, I would suggest building their confidence by working on surrounding areas with less sensitivity. Your pressure should be well within their tolerance with the intention of increasing circulation without them feeling the need to contract against your pressure to guard themselves.
After working the areas of greater sensitivity, you should focus on the areas where muscular imbalances are created due to repetitive motions that golf produces.
• hips/lower back
Neck and Upper Back:
Treat for possible head forward position and restricted neck rotation.
Look for anterior shoulder muscles being over-contracted and posterior muscles being over-stretched. You will also often find shoulder rotation out of balance due to the repetitive motion from being either right- or left-hand dominant.
Hips and Back:
In golf, you will find some basic guidelines:
• For the lower back, spine rotation should be between 2-5 degrees to maintain core stability. You will find most of the rotation coming from the hips.
• The upper-back should rotate from 35 to 50 degrees. The better golfers are able to compartmentalize hip, core and shoulder rotation for greater power with less effort.
• In your approach, you should keep in mind the rotational guidelines in order to support optimum performance and longevity of your client..
To have a longer-lasting effect, the strengthening components and functional movement patterns of your client should be addressed by a qualified professional. Our muscle structure needs to support the functional movements to minimize injury, increase power and over all well-being.
To address the neck, upper back, shoulders, hips and back from an exercise perspective, assume no underlying pathologies exist. We’ll tackle the neck, upper back, and shoulders together.
Neck, Upper Back, and Shoulders
Forward head posture and poor shoulder mechanics may be remedied overtime by focusing on a combination of deep neck flexor strengthening exercises, such as supine or standing neck packing drills, standing posture drills, stretching exercises for the anterior shoulders and chest, exercises promoting thoracic spine mobility, and by strengthening the muscles of the upper back while optimizing scapulo-humeral rhythm.
Areas of the body identified as restricted by your movement specialist and/or therapeutic bodyworker will find significant relief when using Deep Freeze™ Power In Motion™ Pain Relief and More Gel prior to golf or any workout session. The unique ability of the Pain Relief Gel to relax muscles while increasing blood flow can significantly improve range of motion thereby improving workout results, golf course comfort and prevent injury. Engaging in an exercise program, especially like the one suggested below geared towards improving range of motion and strength is likely to require the breakdown of scar tissue. Blood flow is paramount in remolding soft tissue and the removal of scar tissue. Pain Relief Gel will enhance blood flow while masking unwanted discomfort during the remodeling process.
One exercise great for strengthening the deep neck flexors is the supine chin tuck. While your client is lying face up on a treatment table, place a folded or rolled towel behind the head, then instruct them to press the back of their head into the towel by tucking their chin. An effective cue is to ask the client to create a “double chin.” Repetitions may be completed dynamically or isometrically.
The standing posture drill is another great exercise for remedying forward head posture. Find flat wall space and ask your client to stand with the heels, buttocks, shoulders, back of their head, and arms (supinated) against the wall. Just like in the supine chin tuck exercise, clients should place the back of the head against the wall via a chin tuck or the “double chin” maneuver. If a client cannot reach the back of their head all the way to the wall, place a small towel or pillow behind their head to prevent and upward cocking of the head. Posture may be held for 1 to 3 minutes.
While the tight muscles of the anterior shoulder and chest will be a target of a therapeutic bodyworker, it’s also great to work on range of motion between sessions. One great exercise is the foam roller chest stretch, which will greatly benefit from the application of the Pain Relief Gel. Simply ask your client to apply the Gel to the anterior shoulder/ chest areas and lie in a supine position lengthwise on a foam roller with the hips at one end and the head at the other. It’s best to keep the knees bent and feet flat on the floor or table for stability. Now ask your client to spread their arms apart as far as is comfortable with palms up and hold for 1 to 3 minutes. This drill may also be performed with the arms overhead in a “Y” position or while holding a golf club to target the pec minor.
Another fantastic stretching drill utilizing the foam roller is the supine thoracic extension exercise. Again, because range of motion is the goal, Pain Relief Gel applied to the thoracic spine area prior to exercise will improve results. Instruct your client, in a supine position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor or table, to place the foam roller perpendicular to the spine across the scapulothoracic region. In this position your client may then place their hands behind their head and lean back over the roller through the thoracic spine. It’s important movement during this exercise only comes from the thoracic spine. This may be accomplished by asking your client to contract their anterior core, maintain neutral pelvis, and by “locking” the ribs down towards the pelvic girdle. The stretch position may be achieved dynamically or held for 1 to 3 minutes. It may also be wise to position the foam roller in multiple areas along the t-spine.
The approach would not be complete without exercises targeted at strengthening the upper back. Exercises promoting scapular retraction and resisted protraction are great for improving posture and shoulder mechanics. One-arm cable rows are an excellent option for teaching proper scapular retraction, while push-ups performed with exaggerated protraction are great for teaching scapular protraction. This dual approach is likely necessary to improve both mobility and stability in the scapular region while also promoting long-term postural health.
Last, with forward head posture and suboptimal shoulder mobility/stability, we often see weakness in the lower trapezius. While there are many exercises available for strengthening these muscles, a great way to ensure proper activation is the one-arm prone “Y” drill with the active arm hanging off the side of the treatment table. This will help the client focus on engaging the lower trapezius to elevate the arm versus using the larger muscles of the deltoid. If the client does not feel the lower trap engaging, the exercise is being performed incorrectly.
It should be noted optimal posture is vital to shoulder health. Once improvements in kyphotic posture are noted, exercises focusing on scapular depression and elevation will be necessary to ensure injury-free function long-term.
Hips & Back
For recreational and elite athletes alike to continue playing injury free golf, the proper mobility/stability relationship is necessary between the hips and back.
As already seen, the upper back is capable of greater rotation than the lower back, and if we restrict the mobile upper back, we will find unwanted movement in the lower back, potentially leading to injury.
One great exercise for maintaining and improving the rotational ability of the upper back is the quadruped thoracic spine mobility drill. To perform this movement, instruct your client to assume an “all fours” position on the hands and knees. This may be done on the floor or treatment table. Now ask your client to place one hand behind their head. The object is then to rotate the upper back up and down as far as possible. The key is to make sure movement is taking place in the upper back while the rest of the body remains stable. It helps to use the eyes to follow the elbow of the hand behind the head. This is a dynamic drill and may be performed for 10 or more repetitions on both sides and for multiple sets if necessary. A great place to insert this exercise into an exercise program is after the foam roller thoracic t-spine extension drill. Previously applied Pain Relief Gel will aid in improvement of the rotational ability of the upper back, which will ultimately prevent unwanted movement in the lower.
To stabilize the lumbar spine during the golf swing, proper core strength is needed to maintain posture. Planks and their variations are great exercises for developing core stability. Rather than attempting to hold planks for several minutes, focus on creating total body tension over a shorter period of time as this will be more effective in training the body’s core musculature to resist unwanted movement.
Movement may be added to planks as the standard versions are mastered. One great example of a plank promoting stability of the lumbar spine and mobility in the hips is the prone plank with lower body mobility. To perform this exercise, ask your client to assume the arms-length push-up position. While creating tension throughout the body, the client is then asked to tuck a bent knee toward their chest, and then rotate their bent leg across the mid-line of the body without losing their stable position. This exercise should be performed on both sides for 10 or more repetitions and multiple sets as needed.
The hips may require a multi-faceted approach focusing on both mobility and stability. Many clients will present with limited hip internal and/or external rotation. For them, improving mobility first is key. A great exercise to help improve hip internal and external rotation is the hip drop exercise. Simply ask your client to lie supine with legs bent either on the floor or treatment table. Then ask them to spread their feet and knees wider than hip width apart. Dynamically, the client will then begin to drop their knees side-to-side in a controlled fashion while maintaining a wider than hip width position. This drill may be performed for 10 or more repetitions for multiple sets as needed.
Those with great hip mobility, or those clients who have now achieved great hip mobility, may require hip stability. While there are many exercises to address hip stability in the golf swing, one great exercise is the lateral band walk with torso rotation. This exercise will be performed in golf posture and is fantastic at helping golfers prevent sliding and swaying in the golf swing. Simply place an elastic band of appropriate resistance around your client’s ankles and ask them to walk laterally. Each time they take a lateral step and their lead foot makes contact with the ground, instruct your client to rotate, with arms crossed over their chest, into the lead leg without letting the hips slide or sway. This rotational action forces your client to load into the glute complex as they should during the golf swing without unwanted lateral movement.
After your workout or a round of golf, use Pain Relief Gel as needed to alleviate soreness and speed recovery. Deep Freeze™ Power In Motion™ Turbo Recovery Body Wash Gel is also a great addition to any total body recovery system. Optimal recovery allows for more frequent, less taxing play and exercise. And don’t forget the importance sound sleeping and nutritional habits. Work as hard on your recovery as you do on your game.
In closing, optimal athleticism for golf is achieved by promoting the body’s natural design of alternating mobile and stable joints. Correct posture is vital and a variable approach via therapeutic bodywork and exercise is necessary to achieve the desired outcome.
Bruce Baltz is the founder of SpiriPhysical LLC and Co-Owner & National Director of Education for Deep Freeze Team LLC and a licensed massage therapist in NY and FL . He is an internationally recognized educator with over 35 years of experience in the fitness and bodywork industry. Bruce is the current Chair Elect for NCBTMB.
Kevin Caldabaugh is the Fitness Director at John’s Island Club, the NSCA State Director of Florida and the President of the Club Spa and Fitness Association (CSFA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Florida and master’s degrees in human performance and sports management from the University of Florida and California University of Pennsylvania.
All of Deep Freeze Team LLC Treatments are designed for health care practitioners with experience in the demonstrated modality.
DISCLAIMER: The practice of Deep Tissue Healing and Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) without proper training from a practitioner qualified to teach these modalities can cause injury. Therefore, SpiriPhysical LLC, Bruce Baltz and Deep Freeze Team, LLC jointly and severally, cannot and shall not be held liable for any injury or other consequence resulting from the practice of Deep Tissue Healing and Active Isolated Stretching(AIS).