You’ve read this a couple times before, “Who wants to hit the golf ball shorter? None of us, right? This 5 part series will explain what golf conditioning is and how warm-up and cool down, stability, mobility, strength, and power can enable you to be happier and more successful on the golf course.
Importance of Strength Training for Golfers
When we think of a sport that uses a lot of strength we might think football or wrestling. But what about golf? Do golfers need to be strong to increase performance on the course? The answer is yes! But let’s dive deeper into the type of strength you need to add yards to your tee shot or prevent yourself from getting hurt.
True strength, when thinking about weight lifting, is the ability to lift heavy objects for only a few repetitions. Great for football player or wrestler like I mentioned earlier. But when you think of the physical demands put on a golfer’s body when they swing, that might not be the best way to train. Stability and elastic pulse power, according to Dr. Stuart McGill, are key factors when you break down the movement of the golf swing. So where does strength fit into this equation?
We as golfers need to be FAST. And to be fast we must have a base level of strength. Here is the equation that illustrates that…
POWER = WORK ÷ TIME
To make this as simple as possible, let’s think of WORK as weight you lift when strength training. TIME would be the amount of time it takes to lift the object. If we can lift weight, or work, very quickly then we will get a high power output. That’s the ultimate goal. To have the ability to lift weight we must participate in some sort of strength based program.
The implements we use as golfers weigh between 2lbs in the sand wedge and .7lbs in the driver. Not that heavy, right? So let’s get realistic here…as golfers, we don’t need to be squatting 300lbs or deadlifting 350lbs. Remember a lot of what makes up a sound golf swing is stability, mobility, and pulse power. The key takeaway here is strength training is a necessity but the reason we strength train is to ultimately gain power!
Examples of good strength based exercises are lunges, planks (plank with shoulder tap shown), and pull-ups. These moves can be done with or without weight…it depends on your ability and fitness level. 10-15 repetitions of these exercises would be a great starting point. Once you master these moves without weight or band assistance you can move to a lower repetition count like 5-8 and add weight. Give these a try and you will notice an improvement not only in your strength but also in your power.
Here’s to better golf!
Joseph Rosenthal CSCS, TPI
Kinect Sport & Fitness