The 8 Keys to Golf Fitness Success
When Tiger Woods hit the professional golf scene, everyone took notice. Not only because of his great skill on the golf course, but because of what he did off the golf course to prepare his body to perform at the highest physical level ever seen in professional golf. When British Open Champ David Duvall was questioned as to why he began working with a personal trainer to transform himself physically to improve his golf game, his response was simply, “Because Tiger does it, and I need to keep up. " As you’ve probably heard and read many times since, serious golfers everywhere are hitting the gyms to improve their golf game with better physical conditioning. In fact, if you’re serious about your golf game and you’re not doing any physical conditioning off the golf course, you are in the minority.
So where do you start if you’ve never exercised before? If you really want to be a successful golfer, you must follow these 8 principles which are The 8 Keys to Golf Fitness Success.
1. Increase your dynamic flexibility. While performing typical stretching exercises can improve static flexibility, the extreme range of motion performed during a full golf swing requires dynamic flexibility beyond the static range. That means you need a properly designed and individualized exercise program to increase dynamic flexibility where YOU need it.
2. Increase total body strength. The body will only function at a level as strong as its weakest link. If one area of your body is weak, then your performance on the golf course will be limited. For instance, weakness in the left hip will cause a right-handed golfer to slow down his swing earlier than desired which will reduce power. That means shorter drives.
3. Increase your core strength. Your core is the area of the body from the chest to the knees. This is the area where you generate all your stability, strength, and power used in the golf swing. A few stomach crunches just won’t cut it. Doing exercises on one of those big Swiss balls won’t do it either. You must train the core while standing on your feet. You don’t play golf lying down do you?
4. Increase your power. Power is your ability to demonstrate your strength faster. That means swinging the club faster. A faster club head speed means longer drives. All the technique work in the world won’t help if you don’t teach your muscles to swing faster. Speed-strength and explosive exercises are a must in this case.
5. Hit fewer balls at the driving range. Most golfers just plain enjoy hitting golf balls so they buy bucket after bucket of balls hitting as many as 200 balls during one practice period. Hitting so many balls without proper rest between each swing accelerates fatigue and increases the likelihood of an inconsistent swing or a swing fault. You need to rest at least one full minute between full swings. Remember practice does not make perfect…practice makes permanent. If you swing poorly in practice, you’ll swing poorly when you play.
6. Avoid excessive aerobic exercise. Here’s where a lot of trainers just don’t understand the science behind the physical preparation for playing the best golf. Performing aerobic exercise to increase endurance could be robbing you of your driving power because it’s the wrong kind of endurance for golfers. Aerobic fitness is NOT a limiting factor in your golf performance.
7. Individualize your program. You won’t make progress on someone else’s exercise program. Tailor your golf-conditioning program to your needs and your performance on the course will improve.
8. Hire a qualified professional to create your personalized golf-conditioning program. An experienced fitness professional can identify your specific needs and design an effective golf-conditioning program which will save you the time and the frustration which goes with random, poorly designed, “cookie-cutter" exercise programs.
What should you expect from your golf-conditioning program?
1. You become more teachable. Oftentimes, a golf instructor must give you advice or a swing fault correction to compensate for a physical limitation such as a lack of flexibility or poor core strength. This is also a great way to get injured. By eliminating that limitation with a proper golf-conditioning program, you can now follow your instructor’s advice directly without compensation and without the risk of getting hurt.
2. Your consistency will improve. Have you ever hit that perfect shot and then followed it with what may have been the worst shot you ever hit? Who hasn’t? A proper golf-conditioning program will improve consistency by optimizing your flexibility, strength, and power to reproduce your ideal swing consistently.
3. Your drives will be longer. Increasing your strength and power increases your club head speed and stability. In other words, if you hit the ball harder, it goes a lot farther.
4. Your golf endurance will improve. Have you ever just “run out of gas" at the end of your round? A properly designed golf-conditioning program will allow you to play your 18th hole as strong as your first.
5. Your scores will improve.
Kevin Valluzzi is the owner of his own in home personal training business and the author of “ReDesign", a 13 week weight loss/exercise program. To check out his new book and subscribe to his free monthly newsletter, visit his web-site at: http://www.thefitnessleader.com .