GOLF FITNESS AND CONDITIONING
By: Jeff Paluseo
Fitness and conditioning are relatively new topics to the golf world. Until Tiger Woods jumped on the scene, fitness was judged by whether you walked the course or took a cart. On the PGA tour for example, prior to Tiger Woods, Gary Player was the only professional golfer to preach and display the benefits of strength and conditioning.
Today Tiger Woods has not only showed the benefits of a strength and conditioning program, he has made great fitness imperative for any player on the PGA tour who wants to compete with him. As a result, today's touring professionals are not only serious about their fitness; they are constantly trying to find ways to improve it. Tiger Woods set the fitness bar high, and it continues to go up every day. You should consider it for your game too.
What are the results you can expect from a golf conditioning program?
1. Increased Power resulting in longer drives and more accurate shots
2. Improved Flexibility resulting in improved Swing Mechanics and lower scores
3. Fewer Injuries and related pain
4. More Stamina to play at your best longer and for many, many years
I know you may be thinking do you really need to be fit to play golf? Of course the answer is NO; but if you want to play your best and maybe beat your buddy, win the club tournament, or some day join the tour, the answer is definitely YES. Today conditioning should be an important element in the game of all golfers.
To improve your game fitness, your conditioning program should be targeted at improving your power (core training), stability, flexibility, and endurance. Strength training, stretching exercises, and cardio vascular endurance training are also important.
Physical conditioning is critical to every major contributing factor in your game including swing mechanics, stamina, mental acuity and good judgment. The ability to continue through a tournament or even a round of golf in peak form is a competitive advantage for any golfer. How about you? Let's get started.
The muscles of your core are the powerhouse and the foundation of your golf swing so proper conditioning will make a huge difference in the power you get from your long shots. Good core strength also allows you to have more endurance so your short game is more precise and controlled. The core exercises work the muscles of the abdominals, back and hips. Many other muscles attach to this area so the midsection is considered the foundation of all movement. Exercises to consider for strengthening your core are: (Hip bridge / Hip lifts, Front and side Planks, Medicine ball rotational throws)
Golf and mobility or flexibility, go hand in hand, and you need to spend a bit of time on range of motion for the perfect swing. If your muscles are tight and not flexible you will have reduced range of motion and a short swing. Today's professionals have amazing range of motion and fluid swing, in large part because of flexibility in the shoulders, torso, and hips. Foam Roll exercises targeted at the: butt (glut, glut medias), lower back, thoracic spine, and hips (lat anterior hip), all work well to improve mobility.
Your stability is improved as you strengthen your core. However you should also consider the following stability exercises: Planks front / side, stability ball roll in, roll outs and suspension trainer pikes.
The final consideration is endurance. As you got through your exercise routine, as a side benefit you are also working to improve your overall endurance. However you need to also focus on improving your cardio vascular conditioning as well. As the great Green Bay Packer Coach Vince Lombardi once said, "fatigue makes cowards of us all." Translated to the course, it simple means when we hit the back nine we're out of gas.
You might consider the following exercises: jogging, walking, or an intense aerobic program.
Of all the endurance exercises walking is the best and most closely approximates what you do on the course. How many times have you run on the golf course? Not many I'm sure; but you do walk. I suggest walking at least 30 – 45 minutes three to five times a week. You should walk at a rate of speed that is faster than your normal walking pace. If you do this on a regular basis you will be surprised how good you feel at the end of a round.
Is conditioning important when you play? I hope you agree that it is; and that you start your conditioning program to day. If you'd like a personal analysis of your conditioning or if you would like a program developed for your personal goals please complete "Contact Us" form and we'll be in contact with you. You'll find the tab on the left.
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