Stop Lunging Forward
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In light of a recent member question, I thought it would be fun to do a product review for the DownUnder Board. This tour-inspired (and proven) training aid has received a lot of attention recently and is currently in use by a host of pros, including Brandt Snedeker, Brendon Todd, and Harold Varner III.
And while I am not always a big proponent of training aids, I am a fan of this product, especially for a certain (and rather large) subset of golfers. If you are considering this tool or are just plain curious, be sure to first review these training "do's and don'ts" to make the most out of your practice.
Tags: Standing Up, Sway, Member Question, Intermediate
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This video we're going to do a review of the Down Under Board.
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So one of our members was asking about the Down Under Board.
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And so we got one here at the Academy.
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I thought I'd talk through where I find it helpful and what you want to be careful with
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if you get one and start using it when you practice.
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So the Down Under Board is really simple.
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It's a piece of plastic that's a standard width.
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And basically the whole concept here is you're going to squeeze to try to help engage some
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of your inner thigh muscles.
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So by squeezing the board, you're going to engage your adductors.
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Your adductors are on a similar neurological loop with your deep ad muscles.
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So by squeezing your adductors together, you can get your abs on that combination helps
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create a little bit better rotational pivot.
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So if you're prone to a lot of sway, slide, if you're prone to kind of moving into
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your toes, the board can be really helpful.
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Now when you're using it, when you're getting set up, you'll notice when I set up here,
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I'm squeezing my heels into the board.
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One common issue that I see is golfers will get set up and try to get their feet totally
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square to the board, which would be perpendicular to the target line.
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Now very few golfers have enough hip flexibility that they could have their foot perpendicular
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to the target line and still get into a full finish.
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So you'll see when I get set up, there's a little bit of space between the toe of my
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right foot, but there's a lot of space between the toe of my left foot.
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My left foot is turned out.
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Some 20 to 30 degrees.
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So I'm going to be squeezing between my heels.
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Now that's kind of doubly important because the adductors actually connect closer to
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the, some of the adductors run deep and posterior, close to the hamstring muscles.
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A lot of golfers are too to dominant, which puts their activation in their quads.
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By squeezing the heels, that actually helps take away some of that quad-dependent.
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So that's one main reason that I like this board.
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I think it's a pretty cool tool for getting more of the backside muscles and the
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inner thigh muscles activated, which helps shut off the quads.
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One of the other things you have to be careful of is how hard you squeeze.
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So if I squeeze my heels a little bit, that's all I need in order to activate the inner thigh muscles.
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If I squeeze them a ton and if I keep them squeezed during the whole backswing,
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unfortunately, that's going to shut off my glute muscle on this right side.
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So similar to like when you contract your bicep, it sends a signal to relax your tricep.
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When you contract your inner thigh, it sends a signal to relax your glute medius,
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one of the glute muscles on the side of your body.
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And so that could limit what I'm going to feel at the top of the swing and how well I'm going to be
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able to push off during transition.
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If I run through how I'm actually using the board, I want a low level of activation, like on a
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scale of 1 to 10, maybe 10 or 20%. Just enough to kind of squeeze the board and get it there.
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Now I'm going to use that right up until about here, in which case,
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I don't actually have to think of shutting it off. I just have to think of not increasing or not
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squeezing because as I turn into the glute, I'm naturally going to lose some of that activation
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unless I were to forcefully try to keep it. So I've got it a little active here at setup
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and then I'm going to let it wane a little bit during the backswing, especially at the top of the swing.
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Now the other thing I like about the board is just having something to help standardize your setup
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is a good thing. And so this can help with getting a consistent stance with. Now
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the stance with with this board is typically a little bit wider than I personally would set up with
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most of my irons. So it does take a little bit of adjustment that way. But I can also use the sticker
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or I'll put a piece of tape to indicate where the ball position is going to be. So I'm going to
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just off the logo just forward of center, something like that. I can also use this line on the
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board to help with my alignment and getting used to seeing what my feet look like when they're square
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with the amount of my natural kind of foot flare turnout. So that's kind of some of the nuts and
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bolts. Now a couple of the situations where I like to use the board. I like to use the board
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for golfers who tend to have a sway more from the ankle where they really tend to roll into the
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outside of the heel. By squeezing it often it will make them feel very stuck at first. But if you're
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used to kind of going out here it gives you a new awareness of feeling the inside of the foot.
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So sway from the ankle. I like it for helping with sway from from the hip. And I also like it
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for golfers who tend to kind of thrust that foot in towards the golf ball. When I'm squeezing
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my inner thigh it's going to tend to keep me a little bit more centered and it will
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require a lot less of this quad or ankle push. And I'll have to get more of this down swing release
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movement happening from my hips. But because my ad doctors are on and my deep core is on it's actually
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easier to get my my hip muscles involved. So I do like it. As with any training aid I would alternate
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between let's say I do five balls with it and then I'm just going to step back and I'm going to try
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and recreate that same feel with or without the board. So going back and forth between
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little squeeze of the heel and then just kind of feeling my ad doctor's squeeze with my deep ad.
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So make sure you don't squeeze too hard. Make sure you let the squeeze relax at the top of the swing
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and make sure you don't have your toes totally flush along the sides. If you do that I think this
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can be a really good tool for helping develop a little bit more consistent or stable lower body
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part this body. It's out of little squeeze.