Many associate golf as a rich man’s sport and do not know that it is more than just swinging the club and scoring all 18 holes. I get different kind of questions with regards to improving golf games. As a personal trainer, clients often ask me how they can improve their ‘swing strength’, improve the distance at which they can hit the golf balls, etc.
Here’s a quick and some general solutions that I do with my clients during my personal training sessions with them.
1) Strengthening exercises, for example, helps to improve strength, power and flexibility in golf.
2) Having flexibility is important and keeping your body moving through a full range of motion reduces the injuries that would occur. Pro golfers know that a successful golf swing requires mobility from the hips, thoracic spine, feet and ankle. Thoracic spine, also known as‘t-spine’ runs from the mid-back of the shoulders to the top of the hips.
Exercises for golf can be divided into two categories:
- Strengthening ExercisesImprove mobility, power and strength to the joints responsible for the rotational movements of the gold swing and to train the muscles to coordinate and move effortlessly.Just like most sports that involves using an implement in their sports (tennis, baseball, badminton, etc), strength and endurance to move along the the transverse plane is extremely crucial if you’d like to be at the top of your game. See the diagrams below – transverse plane movements are movements along the horizontal plane that involves rotation. Based on what I see here in Singapore, the personal trainers who are also body builders themselves, do insufficient transverse kind of exercises for their clients – not only that the benefits are for sports, but they are essential exercises to create efficiency in movement, and hence function.
- Flexibility ExercisesIt is a range-of-motion exercises to gain general flexibility and properly stretch out and loosen up before the tournament.
Here’s some examples that I do with my clients that you can also do yourself (or with your trainer) with regards to this. Feel free to goggle them to find out more on how to do these exercises.
- Standing medicine ball rotations
To train mobility of t-spine and hips, rotate to your right and allow your left foot to rotate to point towards your right as you rotate left-allow right foot to rotate to your left. Rotate both sides for 10-12 repetitions and repeat 2-3 times
- Lateral Lunges
To improve range-of-motion, make sure to work in the hips by pushing your tailbone back as you lower over your leg. Perform 10-12 repetition on alternate legs and repeat 2-3 times.
- Standing wood chop
To work your back, hips and shoulders, use a medicine ball or a dumbbell and perform 10-12 repetitions and repeat 2-3times
- Dumbbell PNF Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (shoulder flexibility/stability)
Two sets of 10-15 repetitions of each exercise every day
- Crossover stretch for hips and thoracic spine
Hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times
- Hip Flexors
Hold for 20-30 seconds, alternate legs and repeat 2-3 times
I’ve mentioned above that we should work on the transverse movement – the reason why I placed it up high in the priority list is because too many people do less of it, and it needs to be addressed. To progress from there, tri-planar exercises and movements are crucial – this joint movement kind of exercises will enable your body to work in harmony with each other, instead of parts. You may want to check out Fraser Quelch’s ‘The Planar Training Method’ to learn more about this.
You’d want focus on your joints and planes of motion for these kind of exercises, not individual muscle groups as with the classical strength training that we’ve been doing.
Engage your core
You could also try the ‘Drawing-In Manoeuvre’ which is an inner musculature of the torso. The easiest way to perform is to lie flat on your back, relax and perform diaphragmatic breathing. Your stomach should rise when you inhale and fall when you exhale. When your stomach falls, hold that contraction as this is the basic form of stiffening your torso in preparation for work.
Cardio fitness for golf?
Tiger Woods once said that ‘fatigue affect your focus and cause you to make bad decision’ in his book ‘How I Play Golf’ It is important to have good cardiovascular conditioning and stamina to be able to withstand throughout the game. Stability offers a golfer to maintain the spine angle throughout the swing and develop strength from the core region of the body outward. A strong trunk allows forces to be transferred from the legs to the upper body. His personal trainer works him thoroughly through all planes of motion.
By having strength and flexibility, a golfer is able to make better judgement during his game and correct his posture and strength for a successful swing.
If you need assistance in this area, feel free to give me a call or email me for further information 🙂