|Even For Golfers...It Pays To Be Fit!
by Mindi Boysen
Here is a quiz for all of you...
Describe the characteristics of a runner’s body type...football player...basketball player...women’s softball player...
Well, paradigms are a-changin! Ask anyone on the street now about the best golfers and the names of Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Mickelson, Duvall, or Tiger will almost always be mentioned. These men (and many women, too) are leading not only the pack of baby boomers passing 50 this year, but the younger generations as well when it comes to staying fit to succeed in this sport.
General Exercise—an area of the game often ignored by amateurs
Forever looking for that magical move that takes strokes off your score probably leads you straight to the driving range to hit a few hundred golf balls. Sure! Practice makes perfect, right? Any Arizona Diamondback or Phoenix Sun would agree that throwing pitches or shooting baskets repetitively improves consistency. The difference is that other sports have required serious off-season and pre-season training drills to help prevent mid-season injuries for years. Now golfers are catching on!
What’s the bottom line?
The leg and hip muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals) are responsible for power production and initiate the golf swing..
The midsection muscles (erector spinae, abdominals, and obliques) transfer force from the legs to the torso to accelerate even more.
The torso muscles (pectorals, latissimus dorsi, and deltoids) produce the actual swing action and play critical role in club head speed.
The arm muscles (biceps, triceps, and forearm flexors/extensors) are responsible for club control and largely determine club head accuracy.
Now that you know that, here’s what you do ...
Examples of exercises include: Leg Press, Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Push ups, Pullovers, Lateral Raises, Bicep curl, Tricep extension and abdominal crunches.
A Free weight program with lighter weight and more repetitions might include: Back extensions, trunk rotations, abduction/adduction of legs and arms, internal/external rotation of shoulder girdle, wrist flexion/extension.
The basic flexibility exercises that address the muscle-joint actions most relevant to golfers are standing or seated hamstring, lower back, and upper back and shoulder stretches.
There are many “free weighted” and inexpensive pieces of equipment that can be very valuable when training muscles specifically for golf. Examples include SPRI Exer-Tubes, Stability balls, Medicine Balls, and “The Golf Gym” tubing system developed by Gary Player himself. For price information, call SPRI Products, Inc. at 1-800-222-7774.
If you are an avid golfer and still not convinced that a little extra training can actually improve the power behind your golf game... remember Happy Gilmore? A Golf Pro had to step in and fine tune his golfing skills, but the muscle behind that drive came from Hockey Training!
As with any exercise or fitness program you start, it is always wise to obtain the professional services of a certified personal trainer for guidance on correct form when performing any exercises.