Golf Strength and Conditioning
Golf Strength and Conditioning
A relaxing walk with friends in nature, helping to promote fitness, mobility and coordination or a physically and mentally demanding challenge, shocking your body by applying around 180kph of rotational forces through your joints.
Both of these statements are true. Golf has a huge number of benefits for our health and well-being. It does allow us to achieve mental wellbeing by spending time in nature with friends, getting in our 10,000 steps to maintain bone density and achieve a healthy body weight. It does promote mobility, fitness and strength, along with being mentally challenging and so enhancing brain function. But at the same time, the forces that we are applying to our body are mind-blowing and how many times a week do you swing your golf clubs?
The movements that are most likely to create pain in your lower back are rotating and flexing of the spine. Whether it’s hitting your driver or picking up the ball from the cup after sinking your putt, golf requires us to do both of these things many times over. If we want to continue to play golf, we had better prepare our bodies the best we can for the stresses we choose to apply.
I am totally supportive of the game of golf but whether your aim is to turn pro or to still be playing when you are 90 years old, you need to look at what approach is best to primarily keep you on the golf course injury free and secondly help you to play your best golf and hit the ball further and with more accuracy.
Mobility is the most important aspect to focus on. Without this, our daily function, never mind the nicety of playing golf, will be severally restricted. We are born with all the mobility possible but as we age we gradually lose this.
Secondly, we need stability. Mobile joints are great but there needs to be some stability in order to set a solid base from where we can move from.
And that leads us on to the final ingredients - strength and power. We need these to safely meet the challenges of daily life and to help us lower our handicap and beat our golf buddies hands down!
Practice, practice, practice…will only get you so far. Swing coaching will direct you, regular practice and playing will establish the coached movement patterns but what if your physical condition is holding all of this back? Maybe if you were in better physical condition, your golf would be in better condition too?
Developing a well balanced and correctly functioning body will help prevent injury and pain and also allow for optimal performance in both everyday life and physical activities. The body performs best from an anatomically sound position. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons should all apply equal forces on joints at rest so not to exert uneven stresses that move the body out of alignment and may result in pain and reduce performance.
Only by carrying out an in-depth muscular and skeletal assessment is it possible to identify imbalances such as weak or tight muscles and reduced or excessive spinal curves.
The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) in San Diego is a golfer’s equivalent of Disneyworld! You can go through a 3D swing analysis, practice putting on the equivalent of the Augusta National’s greens or try to get up and down from one of Scotland’s famous pot bunkers. A large number of the world’s best players regularly visit for testing and practice. TPI have also developed a number of education courses to train people in areas such as golf strength and conditioning. I recently attended one of these courses.
I am now TPI certified to carry out an in-depth physical assessment relating to your golf swing. Part one consists of multiple alignments, range of motion and strength tests. This is then followed by an analysis of your swing. We can then compare the results from part one to your actual swing and explain why you have your swing characteristics. This will then allow us to put a programme together aimed at preventing injuries so you can continue to play golf and enhancing your mobility, stability, and power so you can continue to improve your game.
If you would like to book for a golf conditioning assessment, please email Ian at email@example.com.