As I write this Richard Johnson is leading the European Tour's 2010 Nordea Scandinavian Masters being played in Sweden. Yes, it is only Saturday, but he will be playing in the final paring along with K.J. Choi on Sunday and will be cheered on by his home country crowd.
Richard is one of the PGA Tour Pros that frequents the GolfGym/D1 Academy
in Jupiter, Florida. Richard will often ride his high-tech bicycle over 20 miles to the Academy where he puts in a very intense hour or so. After a brief rest he hops on the bike to head home. He is a very strong, very dedicated athlete.
Following are two exercises that he does to work on balance and rotational strength.
In this exercise Richard is working on his balance with a balance ball
. Start by getting comfortably balanced on your left foot. Raise your right foot behind you and put the toe of your shoe on top of the balance ball. I recommend having a wall or pole close by to help stabilize yourself if necessary.
Focusing on one point out ahead of you on the wall or the floor, bend your left knee slightly. Get in balance and extended your arms out in front of you and your right leg behind you on the ball. Hold that posture for a few seconds. Return to the start position and repeat 5 times. Perform the same movement pattern on your right side. Balance? Oh, yeah!
This next exercise is called the "Russian Twist". The Russians coined the phrase because they realized the benefit of developing balance and stability in the lower body while initiating separation and rotation in the upper body. Start in a very balanced posture on the balance ball in a firm "table top" position (a straight line from your knees to your shoulders). Be sure to have your shoulders in the middle of the ball while holding a dumbbell or medicine ball in your hands.
Start with your hands straight above your sternum holding the weight. The two pictures show Richard rotating to the right and the left. Keep your gaze forward as you rotate just like you would when swinging your club. Notice how Richard is rotating way up on his shoulders to each side. Keep your hips up (table top) to engage your abdomen, hips and glutes. Perform 10 - 15 repetitions to each side. Rotation? You bet!
Good Luck to you on these exercises and to Richard on Sunday.