The 19th Hole …The Gym
Golfing skills are an important aspect of golf, but in order to reach optimum performance you will need to include strength training.
Hours at the driving range will not develop muscular strength, power or endurance. However, a properly designed and executed strength training program will. Golf-specific strength training has helped golfers from novice to professional lower their handicaps, increase driving distance and reduce injuries.
My golf-specific program consists of 5 key components:
1. Developing core strength. Core strength will help you maintain proper body alignment throughout the swing and reduce or prevent lower back strain and overuse injuries.
2. Developing power in the legs and hips. Power in the golf swing is generated mainly from the hips and legs and is transferred to the upper body and finally to the golf club. More power results in more club head speed and greater driving distance.
3. Developing rotational power. Power is generated from the hips and legs, however, a golfer requires power through a specific plane of movement. The focus in training is through rotational movement that simulates the golf swing.
4. Developing flexibility in the hips and hamstrings. Flexibility of these muscle groups helps reduce strain and fatigue of the lower back, aids in prevention of overuse injury, and allows for proper rotation during the golf swing.
5. Developing upper body strength and endurance. Upper body strength will help you generate more club speed and increase driving distance. Endurance is critical to maintaining skill level throughout the game. When fatigued, a golfer will tend to lose mental focus and commit unwanted errors in his swing.
The days of simply playing and practicing are long gone. Today’s best golfers dedicate themselves to their strength training program to improve their game. If you want to be the best golfer YOU can be, spend some time in the gym and save a few strokes on the course.
Additional posts by Vicky Tringali, MS
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