This is a guest post by John Praino, Co-Owner of Training for Warriors Mahopac
Spring is finally upon us!
Spring is a time for new beginnings, new flowers start to grow, trees begin to fill with leaves and people start to take part in outdoor activities. One of those popular activities is golf!
How did your golf season go last year? Did you get better or was it an inconsistent mess?
Are you going to have a new fresh start to your golf season?
Are you Golf Ready?
I figured out how you can get Golf Ready and have a more consistent and successful golf season!
Golfers often seek to improve their game by buying new equipment, playing more golf, or taking lessons. Although these are some possible solutions, there are many times our golf game is not a reflection of our skill as a golfer or the equipment we use. It is actually a reflection of our body’s physical limitations.
How can someone expect to drive the ball further or have a consistent swing when his or her body lacks the proper foundation to swing the club and play the game?
My Approach to Being a Better Golfer:
When Tiger Woods debuted in 1996, a component to the game rarely talked about emerged: physical conditioning for your golf game.
Since then, the idea of working out to become a better golfer was something that became common.
My question is, how do we work-out and what parts of the body do we train to play better golf? What exercises and muscle groups help the golf swing? Can certain exercises and muscle groups hinder the golf swing? Is there a different routine for different types of golfers?
In my opinion the average golfer doesn’t need to be focusing on accute muscles and movements via sport-specific, complicated exercises.
You want to be a better golfer?
Get stronger. The end
Recreational golfers don’t need to complicate things. You simply need a workout routine that incorporates the right kind of strength training and flexibility exercises that will give you that extra edge to stay in golf shape year-round.
If I’m being specific, rotational power is the key to improved golf performance. To hit a golf ball with power and accuracy, you need to strengthen the muscles used to putt, drive, and swing. The keys would be to strengthen your legs, abdominals, hips, back, arms.
Here’s a good idea…
Strengthen your ENTIRE body. Just get in better shape!
For golfers, I emphasize a full-body approach developing strength of both bones and muscles, which can of course come from a comprehensive weight lifting program.
The bottom line is this: By developing stronger muscles and bones throughout your entire body, you will increase fitness and play better. A simple, safe and short routine will accomplish this task.
When you start a strength training program you are adding resistance to your body (muscles, tendons, joints and bones) in the process making them stronger.
Strength training has many benefits. For instance, if you suffer from low back pain like so many golfers do, strengthening the hips, core and low back will help reduce the pain that you get as you go through the course. You can accomplish this with simple exercises like squats, deadlifts, pushups, planks, weighted carries, sit-ups crunches and various other core exercises.
Here are some other key reasons why focusing on strength will improve your golf game:
- Better Balance
- More Strength
- Boosts confidence
- Decrease body fat levels
- Reduce incidence of Injury
- Positive effect on bone density
- Better sleep: exercise enables a better sleep pattern to develop
- Decreased stress: you are doing something for YOURSELF
- Range of motion and flexibility increases
Strength Training Misconceptions:
Unfortunately, golfers have traditionally avoided weight training for muscle strengthening and injury prevention.
Many feared that it would reduce their joint flexibility and decrease their club speed.
These assumptions are completely untrue.
Let me just debunk a MYTH that I hear all the time from most athletes that play Baseball (FYI I played baseball in HS, College and Semi-Pro).
When they inquire about strength training here’s the question:
“I need to stay loose to be able to swing and throw, I don’t want to be muscle bound, doesn’t working out with weights make you tight”?
THE ANSWER IS NO!! It takes a whole lot of dedication nutritionally and in the weight room to put on muscle and get totally jacked up. If you follow a comprehensive strength program that includes flexibility and mobility the end result will be a leaner, stronger, more flexible, better golfer. Would you sign up for that?
How You Should Get Started:
If you’ve never lifted weights or it’s been a long time since you’ve lifted weights don’t let that stop you, if you find a qualified coach (like the one’s here at Training for Warriors Mahopac) they should explain each exercise, progress you through the workout and build your confidence.
The basics of setting up a program:
- Start slowly. This will decrease your chance of injury and soreness.
- Start with single sets and work your way up to multiple sets.
- Use the correct weight amount. Using too much weight will increase your chance of injury because your form will suffer. However if you’re not using enough weight your muscles will not be challenged and you won’t experience the desired benefits of weight training.
- Give your muscles time to rest and recovery. You should wait at least 24 – 48 hours before you train the same muscle group once again.
Weight training doesn’t have to be boring
Switching up your routine monthly is the perfect way to receive strength gains and to decrease boredom. Keep your routine interesting by using the machines, free weights, bars, bands, kettle bells, med balls and even your own body weight.
My best advice if you want to have a better season is not to complicate things. Get started on a solid program now and have fun out driving all of your buddies!