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Jul

21

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Golf Specific Fitness

Golfers often seek to improve their game by buying new equipment, playing more golf, or taking lessons. Although these are some possible solutions, there are many times our golf game is not a reflection of our skill as a golfer or the equipment we use. It is actually a reflection of our body’s physical limitations.

How can someone expect to drive the ball further or have a consistent swing when his or her body lacks the proper foundation to swing the club and play the game?

A different approach to improving your golf game.

Traditionally, most golfers believed there were a few key components to address for the building the ultimate golfer: instruction/shot making, equipment, mental preparation, and course management. When Tiger Woods hit the scene in 1996, two new components of emphasis emerged: physical conditioning and the team approach.

Since then, we have all become more accustomed to the idea of working out to become a better golfer. The question is, how do we work out and what parts of the body do we train to play better golf?

  • What exercises and muscle groups help the golf swing?
  • Can certain exercises and muscle groups hinder the golf swing?
  • What’s the optimum balance of flexibility (mobility) and strength (stability)?
  • How can someone assess this quality?
  • How and when do we implement all this knowledge?
  • Is there a different routine for different types of golfers?

According to Titliest Performance Institute (TPI) some of the most common swing limitations golfers have are:

  • Loss of Posture (64.3%) – any significant alteration from the body’s original set up angles during the golf swingFlat Shoulder Plane (45.2%) – when the shoulders turn on a more horizontal plane than the axis of the original spine angle
  • Early Extension (64.3%) – when the hips and spine start to go into extension or straighten up too early on the downswingCasting/Early Release/Scooping (55.9%) – any premature release of the wrist angles during the downswing and through impact
  • Over-the-Top (43.5%) – when the club is thrown outside of the intended swing plane with the club head approaching the ball in an out-to-in motion

Golf swing technique can easily contribute to these statistics, but some physical reasons may also play a part. These include:

  • Inability to separate the upper and lower body
  • Inadequate core stability
  • Lack of shoulder and hip flexibility, mobility, and/or stability
  • Lack of thoracic spine mobility
  • Lack of glute and/or abdominal strength
  • Wrist flexibility
  • Limited overhead deep squat

Prior to starting a golf fitness routine for the specific goal of playing better golf, a team approach should be implemented.

  • Budget time for golf instruction, if you are within the Loughborough area I can thoroughly recommend David Mee the golf professional at Longcliffe Golf Club.
  • Budget time for practicing golf shots in a relaxed state, either on your own, with a friend.
  • Budget time to do a golf specific fitness programme, either using 1:1 personal training with a golf fitness specialist, a TPI coach or using a specific training programme at your local gym. Training programmes are available via online personal training at Active Aims – www.activeaims.co.uk or email di@activeaims.co.uk

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