Golf is a game that requires not only technical skills but also a degree of physical fitness. There isn’t just one aspect of fitness that can make a great golfer – it’s a culmination of all things, including strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance (to some extent). The importance of fitness in golf cannot be overemphasized, as it can help golfers perform better and most importantly, avoid injuries. I can’t say this enough as I have personally seen many golfers make the mistake of not stretching or neglecting their fitness only end up injured with golfers elbow or a horrible back injury.
If you are a mid-low handicap golfer looking to improve your fitness for golf, this article will give you the basics on how to achieve proper fitness for golf.
- Assess your current fitness level
The first step to achieving proper fitness for golf is to assess your current fitness level. This assessment will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses, which will guide you on what areas to focus on. Some of the factors you should consider when assessing your fitness level include strength, flexibility, and balance. There are some great training programs and app out there to help with this, but usually the best way to assess your current level is through a personal trainer.
- Strength training
Strength training is essential for golfers as it helps build muscle, improves posture, and increases power. Being strong (especially in the core) helps to keep you balanced when swinging hard. When strength training, some people will tell you to focus on exercises that work the muscles you use when playing golf. However, the golf swing uses SO many muscles that it’s hard to prescribe just a few exercises for strength training. Full body workout that focus on rotation, hips, core, and legs are often the best.A few strength training exercises for golf might include squats, lunges, bench press, pull-ups, and rows. You can also use resistance bands or weights to make your workouts more challenging.
- Flexibility training
Flexibility is also critical for golfers as it allows you to make a full turn in your golf swing. Tight muscles can limit your range of motion and make it difficult to perform a proper swing – and can lead to injury. To improve your flexibility, consider incorporating stretching exercises into your workout routine. Some of the best stretching exercises for golfers include hamstring stretches, shoulder stretches, and hip stretches. You can also consider taking yoga or Pilates classes, as these activities can greatly improve your flexibility and balance.
- Balance training
Balance is essential for golfers as it allows you to maintain a stable base during the swing. Poor balance can result in mis-hits (thin or fat shots) because your center of gravity will be hard to keep steady while swinging. To improve your balance, consider incorporating balance training exercises into your workout routine.Some of the best balance training exercises for golfers include single-leg deadlifts, single-leg squats, and balancing on one leg while holding a medicine ball. You can also use a balance board or stability ball to make your workouts more challenging.
- Proper nutrition
Proper nutrition is also essential for golfers as it provides the energy needed to maintain proper mental clarity and physical endurance. A balanced diet should include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the round by drinking plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol, as these can dehydrate you and negatively affect your performance.
- Rest and recovery
Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise when it comes to achieving proper fitness for golf. Overtraining can lead to injury and can also negatively affect your performance. Make sure to schedule rest days into your workout routine and get enough sleep each night. You can also incorporate recovery activities such as massage or foam rolling into your routine to help your muscles recover after a workout.
It is important to note that you should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new fitness program, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Additionally, it is important to tailor your fitness routine to your individual needs and goals. For example, if you struggle with balance, you may want to focus more on balance training exercises. If you are looking to increase power in your swing, you may want to incorporate more strength training exercises.
Finally, it is important to be consistent with your fitness routine. You are more likely to see results if you stick with a regular workout schedule and make fitness a priority in your life.
Achieving proper fitness for golf is essential for mid-low handicap golfers looking to improve their game. By assessing your current fitness level, incorporating strength, flexibility, and balance, maintaining proper nutrition, and rest and recovery, you can achieve optimal fitness for golf and improve your overall performance on the course.