CHAMPIONS PGA TOUR star Dave Stockton demonstrates an accelerated swing exercise with the Instant Replay Torso Belt. Any excessive sliding will show itself as a loss of balance.

In Fitness Training, Do As I SAID

by Ralph Simpson

A day on the PGA Tour can be a long one for a player: morning warm-up and practice round followed by more practice at the range, in the bunker and on the putting green. There are meetings with agents and media, problems with clubs, problems with the hotel, dinners, etc., etc., etc. Add to this mix the time needed for fitness and/or injury treatment, and the whole day is gone.

Busy people can’t waste valuable time. In the world of fitness training, here enters the important training protocol of “Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands”, or SAID. Simply put, the SAID principle holds that your body will adapt specifically to whatever demands you place upon it.

If your goal is better balance, then the most important work for you is balance activities. Or maybe strength and speed of movement are your priorities. Components of your program need to specifically reflect these needs. The closer your training resembles your sport, the more directly it will enhance it.

Generally, fitness components are trained separately from a sport’s skill components. Enhanced fitness aspects are then added to the skilled maneuver on the range or the course. For instance, a specific treadmill protocol is used in the fitness setting to improve endurance and breathing recovery on the course. The power gains made with a medicine ball routine in the gym are translated to a more powerful swing on the range. Theses are results of SAID.

One of the big efforts in low back rehabilitation is to re-establish the timing between small muscles near the spine with body movements. Using the SAID principle in rehab becomes even more important as it speeds the return of skilled movement patterns. A new tool, the INSTANT REPLAY™ Torso Belt and tubing system has been especially helpful because it can deliver, in a controlled environment, all the necessary forces to stimulate a specific response to training.

In the photos, Dave Stockton demonstrates an accelerated swing exercise with the Instant Replay Torso Belt. Specific applications allow the tubing to assist the clearing of the lead hip as Dave swing through to a firm left side. Any excessive sliding at impact will show itself as a loss of balance initially with the system. In fact, any loss of control of the body’s center of gravity will be felt immediately as the system accelerates the torso through the swing. Reversing the system allows for resisted swing training.

So here is an activity that uses the swing pattern (high specificity), yet has easily controlled resistance to apply just the right demand upon healing tissue or motor learning. When swinging poorly, some TOUR players tend to get their hips through too fast. If this is the case, the system is attached to the shoulder girdle (not shown), instead of the hips, and accelerates or resists the upper body. As an adjunct to spinal rehabilitation, both methods are used effectively on TOUR hand-in-hand with the SAID principle.

Ralph Simpson is a certified manual physical therapist for the HealthSouth Player Fitness Centers on the PGA TOUR and CHAMPIONS PGA TOUR.