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SportsBarn North now offering golfer-geared exercises

SportsBarn North personal trainer Donna Dowlen is newly certified as a Titleist Performance Institute trainer for golf-specific exercises.

She is one of a few in the Chattanooga area with this golf certification. To obtain it she took a 16-hour workshop and an intense test. She will now help local golfers perfect their swing through using six Gravity Training System machines. To start in the golf training, Dowlen asks that people schedule a 30-minute preliminary session for $30.

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SportsBarn North personal trainer Donna Dowlen, of Hixson, shows the crunches and tricep pull-downs workout on the Gravity Training System.

“It’s a physical screening to evaluate your fitness limitations,” she explained. “I can find a tight or weak spot in the body that could be hindering the person’s golf swing and game overall. I can design a program for them to help overcome those areas of tightness or weakness. It should improve their overall golf performance. The Titleist certification gravity training helps mimic moves in a golf swing. It’s pulling and pushing your body weight.”

Dowlen said the personal training involves a lot of core-strength training. She teaches trainees how to do trunk rotations from low to high, hip extensions from low to high, standing balance trunk rotations, crunches and tricep pull-downs on the GTS machine.

“A lot of the participants are golfers, but I also train tennis players and people that just want to improve their physical fitness,” she said.

A Hixson native and Hixson High School alumna, Dowlen said she enjoys working where she grew up. She joined the SportsBarn team seven years ago. She welcomes all types of clients, from those new to working out to those who are physically fit; from athletes to those just wanting to maintain their balance in order not to fall, Dowlen trains them all.

She said she works with all her clients on balancing out the muscle groups they work. For example, Dowlen tells them that if they just do bench presses, their posture will be off because they also need to work their upper back muscles through back rows.

“I love my job,” she said. “I like teaching people new exercises and helping them reach a goal to improve their overall fitness. Motion is lotion for muscles and joints.”

Personally, Dowlen said she enjoys hiking for exercise in her spare time. In 2011 she hiked 500 miles, hitting her goal for that year. She also enjoys running for sport and competing in local running events.

“Muscles atrophy as you age,” said Dowlen. “As we age, we lose balance and bone density. Weight training is like a pie chart. One piece is cardiovascular fitness like rowing and walking. Another piece is weight training that builds your muscles up and keeps the joints moving and increases bone density. Another piece is flexibility through stretching. The final piece is eating healthy.”

She said she tries to fill her plate with colorful vegetables and good, clean protein sources like fish, chicken, beef or eggs.

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