Top professionals are spending an increasing amount of time in the gym in a bid to get better. But what are the benefits of getting in shape? Our resident fitness expert reveals all
So you keep getting told again and again that golfers go to the gym now. “You need to be in the gym to improve your performance”. But what are the actual benefits of improving your golf fitness and how can it help you and YOUR game?
I wanted to highlight the BIG three things golfers can work on and achieve, in descending order.
Golf fitness: Move better
Movement is imperative. The way your body moves affects how you swing the club. It allows you to achieve optimum positions so you can swing efficiently and consistently. And it’s not just about how far you can move, but how well you move with control and stability.
You need to be able to control the positions you get into so you have an awareness of where your body is at any particular time. This adds to the skill of swinging the club effectively.
When we talk about movement relative to the golf swing, the BIG three areas where we need it are:
The t-spine (upper back) is where we need rotation in order to properly load the club going back. Without sufficient movement here a golfer may struggle to make a full backswing which can lead to other extraneous unwanted movements such as losing posture (stand up) or a reverse pivot.
The shoulders are the most mobile joint in the body, but it is stability of the joint that gives us the ability to move freely. External rotation is important because it allows us to set the club properly in the backswing as well as ensuring we can execute a full follow through of the arms in the downswing.
The hips are the power source in the golf swing. Without adequate rotation, flexion, and extension of the hips, the golfer will struggle to maintain posture, sequence the swing and use the ground to generate force and power.
Poor movement in any of these joints will likely lead to compensations in the golf swing that can affect consistency. And worse than that, it increases the potential to pick up an injury in areas like the lower body.
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90/90 hip elevated foot raises are a great way to strengthen the internal rotators of the hip. Why is this good for your golf?? 🏌️♀️ 🏌🏻♂️ Internal hip rotation allows you to load into your backswing and post into the leg 🦵 on your downswing. Having the ability to do this can reduce / prevent lateral movements – such as excessive sways and slides. Which can result in poor and inconsistent strikes ⛳️! These feature in our BRAND NEW online mobility programme, amongst over 100 other exercises that are aimed at making you MOVE BETTER, FEEL BETTER and SWING BETTER! Check out my bio for the link and a whopping introductory discount 👍 #itsallinthehips #stronghips #betterballstriking #bettergolf #golffitness #leeds #dynamicgolfOct 7, 2019 at 1:13am PDT
Golf fitness: Hit the ball further
We all want to hit the ball further and there is the old debate of whether we should look for more distance at the expense of accuracy.
I’ll let you into a secret, there is a way you can increase both.
Better movement can improve technique and allow you to use your body better but what will really help you gain clubhead speed is strengthening your core/trunk and lower body.
Recent studies have found that by increasing lower body strength (relative to back squat strength), you can increase your speed as it allows you to transfer more force from the ground into the club.
And with the correct training (no bosu ball monkey tricks) you can develop the core stability to control the increased strength and speed of force that come with swinging the club faster.
Increased clubhead speed = more distance = less club = more accuracy into flags = shorter putts = less putts = lower round
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🏌️♀️ Separation of the the upper and lower body is really important in the golf swing. 🏌🏻♂️The ability to rotate your torso independently allows you to generate coil in the backswing. 🏌️♀️Better separation and coil, allows better sequencing and elastic energy to transfer into the golf club. A great way to improve separation and trunk strength are these 1/2 kneeling horizontal chops. Once you master these (in both directions), try lifting the back knee off the floor to challenge your stability even further 🥵 #corestability #strongtrunk #separation #coil #golfswing #playbettergolf #offseasontraining #dynamicgolf #golffitness #leedsOct 15, 2019 at 6:24am PDT
Golf fitness: Reduce and prevent injury
I hope you’ll agree that this is THE biggest reason and benefit to golfers engaging in a training programme.
There is nothing worse than coming off the course with a sore back or having to drop two lots of ibuprofen each round just so you can get through it in as little pain as possible.
Pain not only affects your game but it can affect other areas of your health and wellbeing. If your body is weak or compensating for poor movement, playing golf can only make the issue worse. This often impacts performance or leads to an injury that will have you sidelined for as long as it takes to recover.
Strengthening and mobilising the correct areas of your body can help prevent this and provide longevity in your game and performance as you move into later life.
If you are really serious about your golf and want to enjoy the game more – or want to benefit from improving any of the key areas highlighted above – then use the winter to start getting your body in better shape.
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Single leg hip thrusts are another great exercise for golfers that struggle with lower back pain. As a single leg exercise they challenge your weaker side, allowing you to develop the strength and stability in both sides. Again as with the bridges, keep your spine neutral, anterior core engaged and squeeze the glute 🍑! #strongglutes #singleleghipthrust #reducelowerbackpain #stronggolfer #playbettergolf #dynamicgolf #golffitnessAug 21, 2019 at 12:17pm PDT
Rachael Tibbs is a TPI L2 certified golf fitness professional based in Leeds. She specialises in golf-specific strength and conditioning. If you want to find out more, you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter. Alternatively, if you want to start working on your golf-specific fitness, try her new online mobility programme aimed at getting golfers of all ages and abilities moving better and playing better.