It wasn't until recently that the words training and fitness were used in the same sentence with golf. When Tiger Woods started to dominate the PGA Tour in the 90's, golf experts started to examine his physique and how it matched his golfing ability. Before Tiger, Gary Player was one of the pioneers of training to improve his golf fitness. Training for golf fitness should be set up to improve the golfer as an athlete. An increase in athleticism can improve a golfers ability to adjust to swing mechanics, perform at a high level and gain more distance with a certain club. (According to The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in an August 2007 study) Here are three basic movements to start with to introduce fitness to your golf game.
THE "GREATEST STRETCH IN THE WORLD"
1-2 sets of 8-10 repetitions on each leg
Use this dynamic stretch to increase mobility throughout your body and stretch muscles that are crucial in the golf swing and in golf fitness.
Coaching Tip: Start with a lunge trying to keep your back leg straight while dropping your elbow down inside your front foot. You should feel this in your groin and hip flexors. Rotate with the same arm to work on spine mobility. Place both hands back to the ground to straighten the front leg to stretch the hamstring.
SINGLE-LEG ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions on each leg. Use moderate weight that allows you to complete all repetitions.
This strength movement is used to strength your glutes, hamstring, and low back. Balance and ankle stability will also be targeted to improve your footing on your follow through.
Coaching Tip: Balance on one foot with a weight in the opposite hand. Keeping your back arched, slowly bend over at your waist, while lowering the weight towards the floor. Bend as far as you can without losing the natural curve that your spine has. Return to a standing position and squeeze your glutes together.
3-4 sets. Start w/ 15 seconds on each side, increase to 30-45 seconds
Holding a position like this helps to train the stiffness that your midsection goes through in the downswing of your swing. (1 photo)
Coaching tip: Lay on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other. Make sure your elbow is under your shoulder. Start the exercise by raising your hips from the floor, and holding a position where your body is in a straight line.
Start your golf fitness program with these three basic exercises 2-3 times per weeks!