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Trainer Paul Gozbekian: Stretching Before Golfing Makes All The Difference

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(Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

(Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Although personal trainer Paul Gozbekian is a fitness guy first and a golfer second, he still has some great tips for you before heading out onto the course.

Gozbekian is a member of the Titleist Performance Institute and he joined Hardy on the latest edition of The Golf Club to share some training methods on how to both improve our game and minimize the risk of injury.

Although it’s recommended, most players don’t have the time to stretch for an hour before a round, hitting all the different muscle groups and what not, but if there’s one muscle group to focus on it’s the lower body.

“Most of us grab our bags, check in and go to the driving range or putting green. You might have a golf cart with your or near a bench, so get your body into a deep squat position. Do some things like toe touches. It’s really just opening up the hips and opening up the body. Do some arm swings and get your arms above your head. You wanna do some twists and stuff like that, but it’s more the squatting and side lunges that will enable our body to twist and turn.

“It’s the hips and upper part of our spine that need to be as mobile as possible, and doing those things will really help our game.”

From his experience, Gozbekian notices that golfers who don’t stretch don’t start playing their best until the middle of the back nine, so taking the time to stretch beforehand can really make all the difference with your score.

“The guys that don’t warm up, it’s typically the fourth or fifth hole before they’re actually feeling loose. If you get to the course as early as possible and spend that half hour, ideally a little bit more, on the first hole you’re ready to go.”

“You’re crazy with even that half an hour. I’m telling you right now, we’re all pressed for time. We don’t have that kind of time! But I gotta tell ya, the things you talked about, it really does make a difference,” said Hardy. ” I think just getting your blood moving, and getting those big muscles going first it does wonders.”

The hour stretch, and even the half hour warm up is unrealistic for most of us like Hardy just said. However, it’s not necessarily the amount of time spent stretching, it’s just the fact that you’re taking the time to stretch that’ll pay dividends.

“Even if you do 10 minutes of stuff you’ll notice the difference. I know it’s a pain in the butt to get out there and do this stuff early on, and a lot of guys will look at you like you’re nuts laying down on the ground, squatting and lunging, but I say, ‘Just wait until we get out on the course.'”

Gozbekian cited the number that 50 percent of golfers experience lower back pain, and he believes those statistics are far too low. Poor mechanics, little to no exercise and bad dieting all lead to injuries. Poor nutrition, even on the golf course, can be a detriment.

“You really have to start with fluid intake. If you look at my version of the food pyramid, water’s gotta be the most important thing. If you’re getting up early in the morning and playing an early round, start with about 12-16 ounces of water.

“When you’re out on the course active, moving around and taking practice swings, you should be drinking about 8 ounces per 20 minutes of activity. We’re drinking things like coffee, soda, beer — which is fine, but where’s the water in between?”

Listen below for the full discussion for more training tips with Paul Gozbekian:

Paul Gozbekian Interview

The Golf Club

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