It’s time for a #TrainingTips post and today we’re talking about Golf.
Yes Golf, now I’m sure this game may not be everyones bag so this article may not be of much interest to you. Personally I really enjoy the game, I’m not very good but I still love it nevertheless. But I’m not here to try and recruit you all on to the course nor bore you with Golf jibber jabber. My aim however is to highlight the need for physical preparation.
Golf has been, and still is viewed as a sport that requires little to no physical preparation or conditioning to become competitive at either amateur or professional level. However when the physical demands the body is placed under are examined as well as the common trends in injury and the mechanisms that are at the root of their causes, it is clearly evident that physical preparation and conditioning is not just advised it is absolutely essential.
Walking from tee to tee with your clubs is the easy part, it’s the golf swing itself where all the high demands on the body are. The golf swing is a hugely complex full body movement that requires flexibility, mobility, strength, power, speed and the skill of accuracy to contact the ball in the right way to achieve your desired out come. But I’m sure you already knew that, but did you know that during the downward phase of the golf swing the ground reaction forces can be a great as 1.5 to 2 times your body weight. And if you think that is a lot, compressive, shearing and rotational loading forces in the lower back during the golf swing have been recorded up to 8 times body weight.
I can pretty much guarantee you take anybody who you know who plays golf and expect them to handle 1.5 to 2 times their body weight in the gym, it’s not going to happen let alone 8 times. This is where the need for physical preparation and conditioning is needed, overuse injuries are extremely prevalent due to the body not being able to cope with these forces placed upon it.
To train and prepare for golf can be a very individual thing where each persons technical and physical weaknesses need to be identified to enhance performance and reduce injury risks. But that is something far beyond this article.
However I can impart some useful guidance to you. Traditionally many golfers focus on improving flexibility hoping this will improve their game, but flexility is only one piece of a very complex and technical puzzle. Strength and power training is often over looked due to a misconception that this type of training will be detrimental to their flexibility, but in reality can actually yield the greatest efficacy when it comes to being on the course.
A golfer in the gym should concentrate on a good dynamic warm up focusing on all key joints and in particular the shoulders, thoracic spine and hip mobility. Developing a solid foundational base in the all the basics is advised first, so exercises like:
Once the basic foundations are in place power development can be accessed. Learning to olympic lift is key benefit to power production and ground reaction force development as well as rotational power exercises. Here are some great examples:
- Hammer throws
- Tornado ball rotations
These suggestions are just a broad over view of what should and could be included into a golf specific training programme. There are many more additional training modes and methods and assistance exercises that can be incorporated to develop an all-round athletic ability. What I’m trying to get across to to you is that it is hugely important that you prepare your body to cope with the demands that you wish to place upon it. Golf isn’t viewed anymore as the older gentleman or women sport, which is largely due to the high profile athletes like Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods.
Hope you found this interesting, have a great weekend guys.
Stay strong and live, love and laugh!