You practice at the range, you take the occasional golf lesson and you even go to the gym. You are doing everything you can do to Play Golf Better! I congratulate you on your commitment to becoming a better golfer.
But is the time that you are spending in the gym helping or hurting your game?
Are the strength exercises you are doing in the gym going to make you a better golfer?
Golf is a total-body athletic event. Almost every major muscle in the body contributes to the golf swing and should be enhanced using physical training. Strength and power in one muscle group are useless unless they can be applied to the complicated movement patterns required of the golf swing.
Even if muscle groups such as the shoulders, legs, forearms, or back possess sufficient strength on their own it will not benefit you on the course if your brain cannot apply that strength to the rotational patterns involved in the golf swing.
Both of the exercises below are pushing exercises. But the one just below is executed in a seated position with a supported spine. (how many sports are played sitting down?) Not golf! Most exercises that are done seated do not require the core or trunk muscular to work.
Training the trunk or core has been recognized to be the key to improving sports performance because the trunk transfers force from the lower body to the upper body. The object of the seated chest press exercise is simply to make the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and back of the arms stronger and/or larger.
The pushing exercise above requires stability in the foot, hip, torso, and shoulder in order to push the weight on the stack as well as resist being pulled backward by that same load. It requires a strong torso or core. For this reason, single-joint movements that isolate specific muscle groups are considered non-functional, whereas multi-joint, standing exercises that integrate muscle groups into movement patterns are very functional.
“The strength required of a sport or physical activity is specific to the movements involved in that activity and the speed at which that force must be exerted.”_Brett Cohen
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In order for your brain to move your body in coordinated, consistent and powerful motions that are required of golf, the muscles have to have the right blend of flexibility, endurance, strength, and power. That means that the exercises you choose must train the body to perform in coordinated sequences of movement.
“The focus of sports training should be on the creation of efficient movement patterns that come from a strong balanced base. These are the powerful, fluid movements you see performed by the best athletes in each sport. Efficient movement patterns are only possible if mobility and stability are balanced on both sides of the body. Body balance is a key factor in elite training programs because it’s necessary for achieving optional strength, flexibility, and stamina.” __Grey Cook, Athletic Body In Balance
Brett’s Bottom Line:
Golf may be the most difficult sport in existence. Other professional athletes outside of golf, as well as countless amateurs, strive to have a better game by trying new clubs, taking more lessons, and trying a myriad of swing training to improve the overall handicap of most golfers. With the current wave of sophisticated technology in golf equipment, golf performance, as measured by overall handicap and driver distance has only improved marginally, if at all. Your body is the most important tool in golf.
The realization is here that golf is a sport, not just a game, and you should be in good overall athletic condition to play and improve to your best level. Using machines to increase strength in the weight room will not translate into improved golf performance.
If you are going to the gym you might as well be performing exercises that will help you to reduce the risk of injury from play and practice as well as enhance playing performance.
“If you want to be the best, there’s no way you can get away without being an athlete. You have to be working out in the gym. Otherwise, someone else is and someone else has a whole set of advantages you simply don’t.” __ Justin Rose
“If you want to play better golf and feel better while doing it, you owe it to yourself to use an exercise routine designed to help you become more mobile, flexible, and strong__Jason Glass, Titleist Performance Institute Faculty
“At age 78 I wanted to reach my fitness limits so I could bring my game back to where it was 10 years ago. After 3 months of training I have already begun to ‘shoot’ my age, which was my goal going back 2 years.” – Hank
To get started on your Fit For Golf Program just give me a call and schedule your FREE Strategy Session. I guarantee, you will Play Golf Better!