Golf Fitness Tips For Getting You And Your Golf Game In Shape
In my opinion, one aspect of their game that many amateur golfers overlook is fitness. Golf fitness is a rapidly expanding field that practically all of the top PGA Tour professionals have discovered. Many of us "weekend warrior" golfers could benefit significantly from a well designed golf fitness program that will not only translate to an improved golf game, but improved quality of life as well.
Combining golf and exercise really isn't anything new, but it has become significantly more common with the new breed of golfer. Gary Player and Greg Norman are frequently referred to as the initiators of the golf fitness movement, but current pro's such as Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Rory Mcilroy truly have taken their exercise routines to a entirely new level.
What golf fitness isn't, however, is going to the gym and performing a bunch of random exercises. In order to properly train for golf, you need to target all of the key muscle groups plus work in movement planes that mimic the golf swing. There are a wealth of exercises out there that can be a benefit to golfers. Learning exactly what you need to do prior to beginning your workout program should be priority number one.
There are numerous reasons why performing golf-specific exercise can help your game. They include:
- Increased power for longer drives
- Improved endurance throughout your entire round
- More flexibility and range of motion
- Better posture
- Resistance to injury
And that is just naming a few!
Improving all aspects of your swing will obviously help your game but combining that with a proper workout routine will really take you to the next level. Being able to hit the ball further combined with improved control and muscle endurance can only lead to a better game.
Strength Training For Golf is essential for developing strong, yet lean muscles. The last thing that golfers need is to become bulky! There are very specific guidelines that you need to follow in order to properly train for golf. While there are certain time where you want to perform lower repetitions with higher weights in order to increase power, many of the exercises that you need to perform will fall in the 10-20 repetition range. This allows you to develop not only strength, but endurance as well.
There are also specific muscles groups that you want to target. You upper body program should focus on the pecs, mid back, and rotator cuff. Your core is obviously very important as well since it is the producer of much of your power. These exercises should emphasize multiple muscle groups as well as trunk rotation. Finally, a strong base is needed so lower extremity emphasis should be placed on the glutes, quads, hamstring, and calves.
No weight training program is complete without a good flexibility exercise routine to compliment it. Flexibility is one thing that practically all of us lose as we age and this loss of range of motion can wreak havoc on our swings. It causes us to compensate leading to altered mechanics, loss of power, and possibly a higher risk of injury. Your golf flexibility program should include two components: at home Golf Stretches and an on the course warmup. Each one has its own purpose though both are essential to your golf fitness program.
One aspect that ties both strength training and flexibility together is posture. Posture is something that is very commonly overlooked yet can have huge implications on your swing. Muscle imbalances are actually quite common but most people are completely unaware that they are present. There are some very common faults that are seen in golfers and correcting them will allow for a more efficient golf swing.
While golf is not the most physically demanding sport, it is highly repetitive and injuries do occur. These Golf Injuries can be related to any number of factors but swing mechanics, posture, flexibility and strength are some of the main examples. Tendonitis is very typical injury and while it may not be that severe in the grand scheme of things it is a condition that can sideline you for an extended period of time. Learning exactly what you need to do to combat these injuries is extremely important.
*Andrew Renaud DPT, CSCS is an orthopedic physical therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, and certified Golf Fitness Specialist. His website, Golf Fitness And Training Tips, is designed to help you improve your game though proper education regarding fitness and training strategies