Let’s face it. Golfers are always looking for ways to get an edge in their game. One of the best ways to improve your golf game is through fitness training. So, with the arrival of the golf season, it’s time to work on your golf game both in the gym and on the greens.
Many golfers choose to fine tune their game by hitting the driving range and possibly taking a golf lesson. But there is another important step to consider—personal training in the gym with a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) golf fitness specialist. Golfers who want to improve their game and stay injury free should consider training in the gym now in preparation for hitting the greens this spring and summer.
Golf Fitness Training
Training sessions with a Golf Fitness Specialist include golf-specific and postural assessments. Your fitness professional will design training programs that integrate flexibility, core, balance, plyometric, resistance and sport specific cardiorespiratory training.
Depending on a client’s goals and fitness level, a 4- to 16-week program may be recommended. Studies have shown that as little as 8 weeks of training can significantly improve swing mechanics and golf performance by improving club head speed, decreasing golf trajectory errors, and reducing total golf scores.
Some golfers may choose year – round training, implementing an undulating program design so that they can peak during golf season. Using a periodization method of design, they work out in the gym more frequently in the off-season, and taper off some as they begin playing more golf outside.
A structured golf fitness program can also improve torso flexibility and rotational power. Strength and power exercises are shown to improve club head speed and driving distance.
Weight training exercises are designed for the whole body, as strong hands and arms are needed to deliver the club face squarely to the ball and the legs and torso need strength to maintain stability throughout the swing.
Injury Prevention as Part of a Golf Fitness Program
Injury prevention is another important reason to commit to personal training. Studies show golfers who practice often take as many as 300 swings per practice session which requires key levels of flexibility in the hips, legs and shoulders to be successful. Golfers also may swing the club as fast as 100 miles per hour.
This means that golfers are repeatedly exposing their bodies to high levels of forces and loads, and do so while moving through a large range of motion. To do this safely, the body’s musculoskeletal and metabolic systems must be properly trained and in balance to perform a mechanically sound swing time and time again.
As with all athletic activities, injuries can occur. More than 80 percent of golf-related injuries are from overuse. Common injuries sites for golfers include the low back, wrist, elbow and shoulder. For professional golfers the most common injuries occur in the low back, followed by the wrist and shoulder. For amateurs, the elbow is the most common injury site followed by the low back and shoulder.
Injury to the shoulder is often from a lack of flexibility in the shoulder capsule and weakness of the rotator cuff, which alters swing mechanics and can lead to cumulative trauma injuries. A comprehensive training program can help prevent such injuries as well as improve performance for the golfer.
In order for a golf swing to be as proficient as possible, the entire human movement system must possess proper amounts of strength, power, stability, flexibility and neuromuscular control. It is in this area that the fitness professional can have the most profound effect on golf.
~ Ann Krisher – Cornerstone Doylestown
NASM CPT – Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Golf Fitness Specialist
NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
NASM Senior Fitness Specialist
CLICK HERE for more information about personal training at Cornerstone.