Golfers struggling to improve their game, traditionally seek advice and coaching from their ‘club pro’. Golf professionals look to improve a players swing, grip and shot selection amongst other technical components of the game. Ongoing coaching however, can be expensive, and at times prove physically and mentally fatiguing. In some cases, this can have a negative effect on a player form on the course. The absolute relationship between improved physical conditioning, and improved performance in sport is very well documented, golf is no different. Interestingly enough, when you take steps to improve your golf fitness, you are also likely to find benefits in many other areas of your day to day life.
Although genetically we all have different levels of flexibility, it is accepted that as we age our mobility decreases accordingly. Old injuries can result in a noticeable reduction in flexibility and can lead to an increase in aches and pains. Needless to say, for a long, strong and consistent golf swing, having an optimal range of motion through the hips, shoulders and spine is essential.
While improving mobility and strength will likely lead to improved golf performance, it will also improve the day to day quality of life, easing those activities that at one stage were getting harder and harder.
Having a dysfunctional kinetic chain can dramatically increase the risk of injury in any form of sport, with the biomechanics involved in a golf swing it would have to be said the risk of injury would be even greater. The single most common complaint amongst golfers of all levels is lower back pain, which happens to be a fundamental component of the kinetic chain. When muscles are in a weakened state, a person is far more vulnerable to injury. An activity as simple as bending over to pick something up can cause sharp pain or lead to more serious on-going issues. Injuries, in particular lower back pain, can make it extremely difficult to carry out many of life’s basic activities. Needless to say, after injuring your back, a good performance on the golf course is out of the question.
As with any other part of the body, your lower back and core spinal area will always benefit from strengthening. Resistance exercises in particular, stimulate not only muscle strengthening but an improvement in areas such as bone density and metabolic conditioning. As your back plays such a key role in golf, exercises aimed at improving your game will also involve improving your general health and fitness. Golf specific conditioning should involve resistance exercise across a full range of motion ensuring your back becomes as strong and as flexible as possible. Importantly, learning practises that will help you avoid further injury and dramatically reduce levels of back pain.
Typically, most golf fitness programs make use of exercise equipment and techniques that will help you improve physical strength and flexibility. As your body becomes stronger, it will also become more efficient. Simply put, you will be able to do more, for longer. Without question, someone who tires easily and struggles to carry out what most people would regard as simple tasks, would be a perfect candidate for a golf fitness program. Aside from being able to complete 18 holes of golf without feeling weak and exhausted, enjoying increased energy levels is sure to have a positive impact on someone’s lifestyle.
It has been well documented that exercise and other forms of physical activity cause the body to release chemicals called endorphins, these endorphins create positive emotions and can aid with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It can be very hard to get the motivation levels up to join a gym or take part in other exercise programs, however, using the improvement of golf performance as a primary focus may be enough to stimulate the motivation to exercise.
Butch Harmon, who is well known for coaching some of the best golfers in the world put a huge emphasis on strength and conditioning amongst his students. In fact, Butch was one of the original ambassadors for the MedX Core Spinal Fitness System. The MedX Core Spinal Fitness System has the unique ability to safely provide a varied resistance across a full range of motion, making it perfect for not only improved golf performance, but reducing lower back pain and the risk of injury.
An exercise physiologist is a university trained, allied health professional that specialises in clinical exercise. Typically, an exercise physiologist would work with someone looking to improve their athletic performance as well as day to day function and reducing chronic pain and risk of injury. An exercise physiologists expertise is perfect for someone looking to improve their golf fitness.