Golfers are only recently becoming aware of the importance of Golf Fitness to their game. Rather than focusing on traditional measures of fitness like aerobic conditioning aka ‘cardio’, or traditional measures of strength such as max effort bench press and squat ability, golfers should be more interested in the following:
- Mobility in key joints and areas of the spine: Ankle, Hips, T-Spine, Neck
- Stability in key joints and areas of the spine: Foot, Knee, Pelvis, Core, Scapula
- Flexibility in the calves and hamstrings
- Glute activation
- Core engagement
- Internal and External rotation of hips and shoulders
- Rotary Stability
I’m sure there are more attributes to be added but the point is that Golf Fitness is about ‘readiness’, not about looking a certain way or being able to lift a set amount of weight. You only need enough proficiency in each area as to not limit your ability to create the right movement pattern for a golf swing. There is no need to have super joint mobility, it just needs to be adequate. Being ultraflexible by itself will probably not help your game, but having flexibility problems WILL hinder your ability to make a free swing and to generate speed.
The fact that most golfers who are reading this sit at a computer for a good portion of the day speaks to the need for postural awareness all day long. There is a concept called the 23 to 1 rule that personal trainers and strength coaches are familiar with. The one hour in the gym is supposed to make up for what the client is doing the other 23 hours of the day. There are ways to improve that ratio so that the time outside of the workout can be productive as well.
Here are some great videos addressing some key topics in golf fitness
TPI guys talk scapular stabilization
Pilates for Golf from Mindy Boysen-The Spine Twist
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Dr. Gary Wiren is a pioneer of Golf Training Aids as well as being a Master member of the PGA of America as well as a GOLF MAGAZINE World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame member. Please visit his site Golf Around the World for good values that will make a difference in your game.