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Dr. Nick Curry is a chiropractor that is also certified through the highly esteemed Titleist Performance Institute as a medical, fitness, and junior golf wellness professional.  He is the owner of Integrative Health and Sports Performance in Bellbrook and serves at the Team Chiropractor to Wright State and Miami Universities.  To Visit their Website or call 937-848-8500
The importance of Sleep in Recovery

Golfer_SleepingGolfers ask me all the time, ‘what are the best tools for recovery?’  Everyone wants to know all the new and greatest gadgets and tools to help with recovery.  This list can get lengthy and expensive as there is no shortage of different “recovery” tools on the market.  Foam rollers, trigger point balls, NormaTec compression boots, MarcPro, massage guns, hyperbaric chambers, saunas, float tanks….I could go on for a while.  We offer a lot of these tools in the office to help with injury recovery and most do have a lot of benefit. However, most aren’t really necessary for everyday recovery unless you are competing at a very high level. 

The three questions I follow up with when asked about recovery tools are; ‘How’s your sleep? How’s your hydration? How’s your nutrition?’  Very few people say that all 3 are great.  Most people can’t even say they do well at just one of those.  Using recovery tools and not sleeping, eating, and hydrating well is like taking supplements but still eating fast food for every meal.  I know we all want that magic bullet to help, but the best tools are sticking to the basics.

If there was one recovery tool I think most people should invest in it would be the Whoop band.  For the past year I have been wearing a Whoop band and really getting into tracking my recovery and sleep habits.  You may have heard of Whoop through watching the PGA and LPGA tours as many of the players wear the band.  It has made headlines from detecting COVID in Nick Watney before he had symptoms, the first PGA player to test positive on tour, to the talk of the optimal recovery Justin Thomas had the weekend he won The Players.  Some of the most important data that the Whoop tracks is everything related to your sleep habits, the type of sleep you are getting, and your HRV (heart rate variability).

I would love to bore everyone with talk about HRV and all the research about how important it is at predicting readiness and recovery.  But let’s get to the point.  Better quality sleep equals better HRV.  So what do you need to do to get better sleep?

Good sleep starts with your daytime behaviors:

  • Be Active
  • Drink water (½ your body weight in ounces)
  • Avoid afternoon caffeine
  • Don’t eat too close to bed time 

Lock in your pre-bed routine.  Here are some suggestions of sleep-promoting activities to think about including in your bedtime routine:

  • Stretching
  • Meditation or relaxing music
  • Mindful breathing
  • Blue light blocking glasses
  • Reading or journaling
  • Don’t use a screened device in bed 

Create the perfect environment for optimal sleep:

  • Total darkness
  • Cool temperature (ideally 68 degrees or less)
  • No noise

Whoop_FinalOne of the most, if not THE most, important thing you can do for better sleep is to maintain sleep consistency.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps maintain your circadian rhythm.  Better sleep consistency increases time spent in REM and deep sleep (the restorative stages of sleep) and also improves sleep efficiency. 

Try making some of these changes to get a better night’s sleep and better recovery.  If you really want to track all your data and find out what actually works for you the best then check out Whoop.  Get a free WHOOP strap and your first month free when you join with my link

Archive 
 
The Importance of Sleep in RecoveryThe importance of Sleep in Recovery Golfers ask me all the time, ‘what are the best tools for recovery?’ Everyone wants to know all the new andgreatest gadgets and tools to help with recovery. This list can get lengthy and expensive asthere is no shortage of different “recovery” tools on the market. Foam rollers, trigger point balls, NormaTeccompression boots, MarcPro, massage guns, hyperbaric chambers, saunas, floattanks….I could go on for a while. Weoffer a lot of these tools in the office to help with injury recovery and mostdo have a lot o...
The X Factor - Torso RotationThe X Factor - Torso Rotation One of the first tests we take golfers through during the TPI assessment is the Torso Rotation Test. This test looks at the golfer’s ability to rotate the upper body independently from the lower body, or dissociate. This is an important skill for properly sequencing the backswing and generating a good separation or coil. This is the “X-Factor”, creating the whip-like action in your swing and one of the key factors in power generation. For the test, start in a normal “five-iron posture” and then cross your arms across yo...
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)MUSCLE ACTIVATION TECHNIQUES (MAT) Many of you may have become familiar with Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) this past year or so. Although the technique has been around for years and utilized by us on the healthcare side, it has become very popular in the golf world due to the success of Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson is a huge advocate for MAT because it has helped him not only stay healthy but also improve his power and performance. MAT is an exercise method that tests for individual muscle weakness and when found, activates them through a simple technique to restore both t...
Hip Hinge Advanced ProgressionsHip Hinge Advanced Progressions The hip hinge is one of the most fundamental movements for normal activities of daily living but also extremely important for the golf swing. The hip hinge involves a controlled bending at the hips by pushing the butt backwards and keeping the spine straight, followed by extension of the hips (thrusting the butt forward) to come back upright. The most common exercise that involves the hip hinge is the deadlift. Done correctly, the hip hinge is very physically demanding. It involves mobility, flexibility, and strength throughout the entire body....
Single Leg BalanceSINGLE LEG BALANCE The screen that we hear the most groans with during our golf fitness assessments is the single leg balance screen. Almost every golfer knows that they are going to be bad at it. The funny part about it is that it is probably the easiest fitness characteristic to get better at, quickly. The screen measures your overall balance and highlights any proprioceptive imbalances from left to right as well as overall “core” stability. Our bodies use 3 internal control systems to help maintain balance throughout the golf swing: eyes, ears (inner ear), and...
Staring a Strength ProgramStarting a Strength Program Last week we talked about things NOT to do when starting a strength training program. If you avoid making a lot of those common mistakes then you will probably be on a good path with your program. So now that you know what not to do, let’s talk about the easiest way to start a basic strength training program. Assess, Don’t Guess You will always hear me say an assessment is the first step when working towards any goal. Can you start a program without an assessment? Sure. But entering into a fitness program without an a...
What Not to Do when Starting a Golf Fitness ProgramWhat Not to Do when Starting a Golf Fitness Program Guessing, Not Assessing Not assessing your weaknesses and strengths is one of the worst things you can do during a training program. If you are going into a workout without a clear goal for the day, month, or even year then you are not getting the most out of your workouts. There are benefits to exercise for general health but if you really want to improve your golf game then you need to know the areas that need to be worked on. Having a professional take you through a TPI screen is a great place to start. Imprope...
Pull StrengthPull Strength We have spent the last month talking about speed and power production and how to incorporate that into a training program. If you watched the US Open this past weekend, you saw how advantageous strength and power can be. The style of play where you just hit it as far as you can and deal with whatever lie you have hasn’t been very well received by traditional golfers, but we can see that it can clearly be effective. Sure, power is great for hitting the ball farther, but just as important (or more important) was the strength to hit out of that thick rough. Ev...
Elbow-Wrist Release PowerElbow-Wrist Release Power The last power source we like to develop iswrist and elbow power. Wrist releasespeed has been shown to be very important in adding power to the swing. The wrist can actually create power in 3different directions. It can extend,rotate and hinge. The most powerfulgolfers utilize all three planes for speed and power. The elbow can also be used as another link inthe chain of power, and is commonly used by the long drive tour players. To incorporate the elbow link, the playerwill have to bend the elbow at the top of the backswing. This allows th...
Arm Chopping PowerArm Chopping Power The ability to deliver explosive speed withthe arms is one of the most important aspects for power in the golf swing. We call it the Arm-Chopping motion, becausethe arms need to start up over the trail shoulder and explosively fire downacross the body to over the lead hip. Many players tend to eliminate this power source by trying to keep theirarms pinned to their chest during the downswing. This may help improve accuracy but it willdefinitely limit power development. Here are some examples of exercises weincorporate to develop arm-chopping power: χ...
Truck Rotary PowerTrunk Rotary Power The “trunk” refers to the combination of the pelvis and thorax. By monitoring the rotary speeds a player develops in those two body segments we can get a good indicator of what type of power they can ultimately generate in the club. The best way to measure these speeds is by analyzing a kinematic sequence with a 3D motion capture. Not only does the kinematic sequence give us the speeds being produced but it also tells us the order in which they are being utilized during the swing. If that sequence is out of order a lot of power can be lost in...
Vertical Thrust PowerVertical Thrust Power Have you ever noticed that many kids have a large jump during their downswing? The reason is because the jump (vertical thrust) is one of the first power sources developed in kids. The vertical jump is also a technique used by some of the most powerful golfers in the world. Despite vertical thrust power being arguably the greatest source of power it is one that is often neglected by golfers. We utilize some of the following methods to develop strength, speed, and power for vertical thrust: ● Skipping warm-up ●...
Developing Power in the Golf SwingDeveloping Power in the Golf Swing To develop power we first need to understand where power is needed. With any power source, you need to develop strength and speed in all areas. The four power sources that influence the golf game the most are: Vertical Thrust Power Trunk Rotary Power Arm-Chopping Power Elbow-Wrist Release Power Vertical Thrust Power Have you ever noticed that many kids have a large jump during their downswing? The reason you may see a jump is it is one of the first power sources developed in kids. If the other three power sources have not develope...
Low Back PainLow Back Pain Low back pain is the most common injury we see in golfers. It is estimated that more than half of you reading this article will have experienced low back pain that has affected your performance at some point this season. And at least 50% of you have missed 3-6 weeks of participation because of the pain. That is a big deal! The most common cause for low back pain in Tour Pros is overuse. I doubt too many of you are hitting more balls than Touring Pros. The most common cause of LBP in amateurs is mechanics. So here’s the best part, low back pain is very prev...
Golfer's Elbow vs. Tennis ElbowGolfer's Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow When these elbow injuries were being namedGolfer’s and Tennis Elbow there really wasn’t a whole lot of thought put intoit. Golfers actually get Tennis Elbow5-6x more than Golfer’s Elbow. So what’sthe difference? Tennis Elbow (lateralepicondylitis) involves an injury to the extensor muscles (backside of yourforearm and outside of the elbow) and Golfer’s Elbow involves an injury to theflexor muscles (palm side of your forearm and inside of elbow). For a long time these injuries wereconsidered to be “tendinitis&r...
Opposite Speed TrainingOpposite Speed Training One of the most common mistakes I see golfers make with their fitness programs is trying to be too “golf specific” and replicate the golf swing with their exercises. Most of the exercises to increase power and speed have nothing to do with a swinging motion. In fact, when we do include rotary/swinging movements we actually train in the opposite direction more frequently. This is a theory that was given the name “The Big Break Theory” by TPI Advisory Board member, Dr. Tom House. We have noticed that there seems to be a strong...
Upper Body Modifications for PowerUpper Body Modifications for Power The upper body generates the highestrates of speed in the golf swing. Therefore, any modifications that we canperform here will pay off big time in the long run. However, these modifications to greatlyincrease clubhead speed also come with a greater risk of reducingaccuracy. But right now we are justtrying to increase speed and power. Onceyou do that then you learn how to control it. If you go back and read last week’s article on lower body modificationsand thought those tips were completely different from what most teachingprofessionals...
Lower Body Modifications for PowerLower Body Modifications for Power When it comes to modifying swing mechanics for power, let’s begin by stating the obvious - the fastest way to increase your distance is to make solid center face contact on the club! So most players could easily pick up a few yards with just a standard golf lesson and proper fitting. With that said, we will discuss some of the techniques and swing modifications that have been shown to help generate more power. However, none of these will matter without solid contact on the club face. The lower body has the most modifications for power and can...
Shoulder Mobility CorrectivesShoulder Mobility Correctives Last week we went over one of the mobility screens for the shoulder. The ability to obtain adequate external rotation, and maintain it, is crucial for staying in posture during your backswing. We want to be able to externally rotate past your spine angle. If you are unable to reach that position in either posture you may have a mobility problem with your shoulder. If you are able to rotate past your spine angle in the upright position but lose range of motion when in your golf posture you may have a stability issue around your shoulder blade (scapul...
Shoulder Assessment 90/90 TestShoulder Assessment – 90/90 Test The 90/90 Test is one of the primary assessments we use to look at shoulder mobility, specifically external rotation. More importantly, we test the golfer’s ability to maintain that range of motion while in a golf posture. When we bend forward to get into a golf posture, we can lose range of motion in the shoulder if we don’t maintain a good, stable position of the shoulder blade. Reduced range of motion in the shoulder can lead to a flat shoulder plane or loss of posture, and cause us to get out of position on the ba...
HydrationHydration As the temperature increases, it’s important to keep up on hydration- especially when playing a round of golf. In order for our bodies to function, we have to replenish its water stores. After all, the body is made up of 70% water! By staying hydrated, you will be able to make better decisions on the course, decrease stress levels, and recover better between rounds. Dehydration on the course can happen more quickly than you may believe. It only takes 1-2% loss of body weight to start seeing the effects of dehydration. Think about how much energy you’re exerting...
Protein 1st ThingProtein should always be the first food on your plate Protein should always be the first food on your plate, as the word protein stems from the Greek word proteos , or “of primary importance.” Why is it so important? Protein is made up of twenty-four amino acids, some of which your body isn’t able to produce on its own. The only way your body is able to get these amino acids, is by taking them in through the diet. Amino acids are responsible for many functions of the body such as repairing tissue, boosting energy, improving metabolism, and increasing muscle m...
Sway - The Hip KillerSway - The Hip Killer A sway is any excessive lower body lateral movement away from the target during the backswing. If we aren’t rotating around the hip but moving laterally it will cause the pelvis to side bend and anterior tilt excessively which just loads the hip and dramatically reduces the intra-articular space in the hip. If you do this enough it will most certainly lead to hip complications down the road. Mobility restrictions with hip internal rotation, ankle eversion, thoracic spine extension/rotation, tibial internal rotation, or stability limitations in the hip...
Sprint Interval TrainingSprint Interval Training Even though gyms, and some courses, are closed there is still plenty that can be done to work on your golf game. We are offering some different programs to work on your game but today I wanted to talk about Sprint Interval Training (SIT). SIT is a type of training that can produce amazing results and can be done with little to no equipment right at home. I am going to lay out a sample workout but right now we are offering free at-home programming so contact us if you would like a built out program. Interval training has been proven to reduce body...
Two programs to get your game ready this Spring!Dr. Nick Curry will be offering two programs this Spring to help you get ready for the golf season. Both can be done remotely. The first is a Golf Performance and Fitness program and Virtual Assessment and the Second is a way to improve your clubhead speed. Using time tested training protocols, that can add at least a 5% to your swing speed in just 6 weeks. Act today!
The Perfect MealTHE PERFECT MEAL Each meal should consist of fresh, minimally processed foods. This includes protein, vegetables, smart carbohydrates and healthy fats. This is good information to know, but how do you turn these foods into a delicious meal? Flavors, seasonings and cooking methods are they key to making your meal perfect. 1. CHOOSE YOUR INGREDIENTS When choosing your ingredients, there are a couple of things to consider. First, what are you in the mood for? You’ll be more likely to enjoy your meal if it consists of foods you actually want to eat. Second, what is availabl...
Visual System Part 2 - VisualizationVisual System Part 2 - Visualization Visualization is a powerful tool, both positively and negatively. Can you visualize the putt dropping in the cup, or missing? Can you visualize your shot shape? Can you visualize your alignment? How accurate is your visualization? Visualization is the process of creating internal mental images, largely with the mind and partly with the eyes. While this is mostly a “mental” skill your visual system still plays a small role. You can only visualize images as well as you can see them with your eyes. If your eyes are out of f...
Nutrition for Injury RecoveryNutrition for Injury Recovery After an injury, the body works extremely hard to repairdamaged tissue through a three-stage process: Inflammation, Proliferation, andRemodeling. Inflammation is necessary to promote healing to the injured area,but too much can cause additional damage. How would we increase inflammation to the point of causingmore damage? Through diet! To prevent an increase in inflammation, we should eat foodsthat are anti-inflammatory such as olive oil, avocados, fish oil, flax oil,fatty fish, and nuts and seeds. It is also important to decrease intake of foodst...
Ankle MobilityAnkle Mobility The ankle is one of the most commonly overlooked areas when trying to improve mobility and flexibility. We talked about the overhead squat in a previous article, so check it out if you haven’t read it yet. Failing the overhead squat can be detrimental to your golf swing. There are two primary reasons I see golfers fail the overhead squat test - posterior chain weakness and lack of ankle mobility. Decreased ankle mobility, specifically dorsiflexion (bringing your foot towards your head), can be a result of a number of restrictions. The most common r...
Grip StrengthGrip Strength Grip strength is one of the best overall tests for total body strength. Numerous studies demonstrate a high correlation with grip strength and swing speed and golfing proficiency. Greater grip strength allows you to handle the forces transferred through the hands and wrists during the golf swing, which means less chance of injury and better control of the clubface. The average tour player can demonstrate over 50kg of pressure on the squeeze test, with the lead side being slightly stronger. If you ask the average tour player how much force they think t...
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