Why fitness for golf?

Every golfer is different — limb length, body type, flexibility, stability, genetic loading, lifestyle, food habits, type of musculature, etc. Each needs to be treated as a special case in every aspect.

Single-leg shoulder press.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

The sport of golf in many ways is very similar to cricket, where there is a huge mind and body sync. They both are anaerobic activities that involve very explosive movements in a relatively short period of time. Rotational speed to generate power with perfect balance and stability is the key factor in golf fitness.

Every golfer is different — limb length, body type, flexibility, stability, genetic loading, lifestyle, food habits, type of musculature, etc. So individual golfers’ movement mechanics need to be assessed thoroughly before embarking on a sensible strength-training programme. Since there are many variables in this game, one needs to be mindful in the choice of exercise, tempo, sets, reps, load and recovery. Each golfer needs to be treated as a special case in every aspect.

Myths about golf fitness

  • Mimicking a golf swing in the gym to get the neural path laid for better golf fitness
  • Static stretching to loosen up before a game or practice session
  • Stiffness caused due to weight training
  • A weighted golf club swing prior to a game
  • Age bar for fitness

Benefits of fitness in golf

  • Injury prevention due to increased torque and velocity
  • Control over swing velocity
  • Reducing fatigue due to various factors
  • Increased stability and balance
  • Increased focus through proper breathing
  • Increased durability of the golfer

Plank single-arm cable row.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

 

Causes affecting the game

  • Lack of core strength and stability
  • Imbalance between upper and lower body strength
  • Inadequate flexibility in hips and spine
  • Not enough strength in legs and thighs to support swing
  • Overall lack of abdominal strength
  • Lack of arm and wrist strength and flexibility
  • Bad overall posture

A golf workout should attempt to fix those problem areas by focusing on the arms, wrists, hips, back, legs, thighs, and abdominal and core muscles.

Basic assessment before deciding on a fitness regime

  • Pelvic tilt and rotation test
  • Overhead deep squat test
  • Trunk rotation test
  • Toe touch test
  • Wrist extension

TRX spinal rotation.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

 

Components required

  • Motor control
  • Rotational speed and power
  • Base balance and stability
  • Core strength and stability
  • Aerobic fitness
  • Mobility and flexibility
  • Muscle endurance
  • Proper recovery protocols

The golf swing is a very complex and complicated movement pattern that requires a very stable base with total control to transfer the power to the ball.

Many golfers are not able to make an effortless swing and power transfer due to various reasons. Some may have good strength or muscle mass, but are unable to make use of it because of a lack of functional control and a relaxed motion.

Both technique and fitness are like a binocular vision. Fitness has to complement the technique.

Golf swings are very athletic in nature. Every major muscle in the body is used in a specific sequence to enable the golfer to hit the ball solidly and with power.

Proper golf workouts will allow better muscle mobility, which, in turn, will allow better movements as the golfer makes the swing.

Hip and spine rotational flexibility, torso strength and good flexibility in the legs are key to a better and faster swing.

Cooling down is as important as warming up after any sport to prevent injuries, which, in turn, will allow you to play more golf in the end.

Specific strength programme

  1. Plank single-arm cable row
  2. Plank plate slide
  3. High-low pulley chops
  4. Eccentric squats
  5. Single-leg shoulder press
  6. Somax
  7. Single-leg dead lift
  8. TRX spinal rotation