Golf Fitness 101: Train Properly for Golf Improvement
Have you been wanting to improve your fitness? Have you been hoping to lower your scores by working on fitness related to golf?
We have a great tutorial for you today so cover those questions and bring you solutions. For starters, yes, you can improve your golf performance by improving your fitness.
Why do you think Professional Golfers are so good at golf? They have incredible fitness that allows them to generate power and control in their golf swings.
The majority of pro players have great strength that allows them to hit the ball really far and make the course easier. Wouldn’t you rather hit a wedge into the green for your approach shot than a 4 iron?
So let’s focus on a few of the reasons improving fitness may help you:
- Power – being able to hit longer distances
- Control – muscle control that helps you control your swing
- Flexibility – all the bending and twisting that a swing requires
- Prevent Injury – golf exerts a lot of energy on muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints
- Stamina & Endurance – remaining strong the whole round and not fatiguing which could result in poor performance or injury
Quick Tip: 6 Golf Exercises to Build Muscle
Muscles & Relation to Golf Swing
To be honest, almost all of your muscles are somehow used throughout the swing. The back and torso twists during the swing, the hands and arms control the club, and the legs drive power to the torso and arms.
Your face muscles even work when you grimace from exerting power into your swing and golf ball ha! Let’s look into what muscles are used for the different motions in a golf swing.
- Key Muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Chest Pectorals, Core, Latissimus Dorsi (Back), Forearms
- Abdominal Obliques – help rotate the torso
- Core Abs – generate power and stability
- Back – the driving force in the golf swing that helps the arm move towards the body, rotate, and extend
- Gluteus Maximus – thigh rotation and lower body stability
- Pectorals (Chest) – help shoulder muscles and rotation and are vital for smooth golf swing
- Forearms – golf grip and supporting wrists
Golf Strength Building
Now let’s talk strength building the proper way for a golfer.
The golf swing is a motion that requires fluidity and flexibility due to all of the twisting and turning of the body. You don’t want to get jacked in the gym and struggle to turn and rotate in the golf swing as a result.
Instead you should be doing strength and power building lifts that make your muscles more dense and improve bone and ligament strength.
Strength lifts require short bursts of heavy weights. You don’t want to lift high reps and light weight because this is what inflates the muscle size and bulks you up.
You also won’t make near the strength gains you’d normally see from heavy lifting if you lift lighter weights instead.
Strength Lifting Tips:
- Reps 1 -6
- Sets 3-5
- 80% or so of your 1 rep max
- Rest a few minutes between sets to allow muscles to recover
- Proper form to prevent injury
- Compound lifting not isolation
The biggest takeaway is compound lifting and full body lifting. You want your whole body to be equally worked and you want to avoid muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances can result in injury.
Overall, be smart and lift with caution. You don’t want to lift with improper form and injure yourself because this will only delay your return to the golf course and cause your skills to diminish during the time off recovering.
RESOURCE: Golf Fitness Program with PDF Downloads
Golf Flexibility & Injury Prevention
Before you can begin practicing it’s critical to stretch. With all the different muscles you use in a golf swing it is very easy to pull a muscle and sideline you for a few weeks.
Stretching increases your flexibility and allows you to make better turns in your swing which can ultimately add some distance to your clubs.
The following are several stretches recommended for you to do when you get to the golf course each day or from home as well:
Toe Grab- Bend over and touch your toes with legs staying as straight as possible for 10-15 seconds. This will stretch your hamstrings out. You commonly do this on the course without realizing it when you pick up your ball from the hole.
Slow Twists- Extend your arms out on each side of your body and twist in each direction multiple times to loosen up the back while keeping your feet planted and lower body still.
Arm Circles- Extend your arms out on each side and move them in a circular motion forwards for your first set and backwards for your second set.
Shoulder/Chest Stretch- Hold a club out in front of you horizontally with a hand on the grip and another hand near the head of the club. Raise it over your head behind you to stretch out your chest and shoulders.
Wrist Stretch- Hold a club in the center of the shaft with one hand so that equal lengths of the club remain on each side of your hand. Now rotate your wrist from palm up to palm down and back several times then switch hands. Your wrists are easily injured in the swing so make sure they are warmed up and loose as well as your back.
You can also add some light weights and do weight-stretching to add-in some strength building as well to your flexibility training.
Stamina & Endurance
Have you ever gotten through several holes and all of a sudden felt fatigued and tired?
This is no fun when it happens because the rest of the golf round you have to deal with a fatigued swing and the results are usually poor. You can go from a good round to a bad round if you fatigue before the finishing holes.
To prevent this and help you last the entire 18 holes here are some Stamina & Endurance Building Tips:
- Jog a few miles each day or week for cardio stamina
- Practice rounds of golf where you walk instead of ride a cart to build stamina
- During official rounds, try to use a cart if you’re allowed so that you save energy and don’t have to exert energy from carrying clubs
- When lifting weights don’t lift to fatigue as you’ll train your muscles to fatigue. This will also cause longer recovery periods which is no good.
- Eat healthier & shed a few pounds
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