This is a year around sport no matter what climate you live in. And, it is no secret that golf fitness is here to stay. Since Tiger Woods has proven to the amateur golf community that general fitness can lead to golf fitness, many have hit the gym as often as they hit the links.
The “what” and “when” can make or break a golf fitness program, especially if you are starting deconditioned or injured. Will your golf fitness elevate your golf handicap? Maybe, if you have enough golf skill. It will DEFINITELY increase your stamina and strength for reducing fatigue or injury during your golf season.
Titleist Performance Institute recommends that 7 fitness components are addressed in a golf fitness program: posture, balance, mobility, stability (combination of strength and balance), power, coordination, and endurance. As a certified Titliest Golf Fitness Instructor I have gone through 5 courses to perfect the evaluation techniques of the fitness components listed above. With the proposed program below all of these components will be addressed.
Mike Romatowski who contributes to TPI and trains at Core Fitness in Timonium, MD suggests 3 phases of training during the year (listed below). Periodizing your training is especially important if you live in cold weather and are unable to consistently swing a club during the winter months.
WORK ON: Rehab, Posture, Mobility, Stability, Balance
TIME FRAME: 3-4 months from Nov – Feb – IN OTHER WORDS, RIGHT NOW!
*Before you begin any fitness program, make sure you have addressed your injuries (Rehab)
Posture is actually the first step to changing and improving your ability to enhance your golf swing. If you don’t have good body awareness or enough flexibility to achieve good posture, club head speed or trunk separation gains decline. This can something that takes a lot of time to improve, especially if you have ignored it. Once you have sufficient mobility and acceptable posture, maintain it with stability exercises. If you have sufficient mobility and stability, you can address pure strength. The better strength base you build during off-season, the more power you can build during pre-season.
HOW?: Yoga, Pilates, dynamic and /or static stretching for posture, body weight functional exercises (with weight if ready) for strength and balance. Doing abdominal exercises will not necessarily give you stability. “Finding” your stability may require the assist of a healthcare or fitness professional.
WORK ON: Power and Coordination
TIME FRAME: 1-2 months in March and April
Power = strength x speed. If you were able to work through your injuries and mobility deficits so that you could build a strength base, you are ready for power training. With this type of exercise we are adding speed to our strengthening exercises. Golfers are often concerned with getting bulky and losing their swing mobility. If you follow a power training workout with some coordination drills, the power carryover onto the golf course will improve.
HOW?: Olympic weight lifting with low repetition and high resistance, plyometrics for power, speed drills for speed, agility drills for speed and coordination, TPI golf posture stability drills for coordination.
*Specifically: Crossfit, Insanity, P90X for power…but be careful not to overdo it and get injured prior to golf season. Many of these programs are too advanced for people who do not have a strength base.
WORK ON: Mobility and Endurance
TIME FRAME: 5-6 months May – Oct
During golf season you want to focus on not getting tight or fatigued. Since you fixed your mobility deficits during preseason, use this time to maintain it. Light cardio will maintain your endurance. Remember that cardio is purely raising your heart rate. If you continue with 1 or 2 sessions / week working on low load power exercises or interval training you will not only maintain your endurance, but also maintain power. Using the interval training as cardio will also control any weight gain.
HOW?: Yoga, Pilates, Moderate intensity cardio (running, cycling, rowing), interval training and Olympic lifting for maintenance only.
Still feel lost? Have injuries you are worried about aggravating with an aggressive program? Get into the clinic! Get evaluated with a physical exam, video analysis and personalized program. See info here for contacting me to get started ASAP. There are only 3 -4 months left before the season starts. Apppointments are conveniently located at Sundog Rehab in Rapid City.
YOGA FOR GOLF: http://ptsportswellness.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/back-pain-keeping-you-off-the-links/ GOLF EX FOR STIFF
YEAR AROUND GOLF CONDITIONING: http://www.ajga.org/media_center/coverstories/08_Stories/11-5-08.asp