Golf Fitness Best Practice: Continue Your Training Regimen Throughout the Playing Season

Bob Forman is the Health and Fitness Director at The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, North Carolina and authors a golf fitness website at www.golffitcarolina.com.

Bob Forman on the importance of continuing your training regimen throughout the playing season:

One thing you don’t want to neglect is your golf fitness program during the golf season. It’s very important that you continue with the exercises, as they will keep your body in balance throughout the playing season. The golf swing, just like any other one-sided, repetitive activity, will eventually create imbalances in the body. These imbalances can cause misalignments in the musculoskeletal system, which often lead to acute and chronic pain and injury. These anatomical deficiencies can also hinder our ability to play golf well. There is a strong correlation between muscle deficiencies and swing inefficiencies that morph into poor swing mechanics, loss of distance and poor playing performance. To avoid this, you need to stick with your customized exercise program or get started on one. The golf-specific stretching and strengthening, when properly designed for your specific needs, will keep the musculoskeletal system in balance no matter how many rounds you play each week. You might not have as much time as you do during the off-season, but you should understand the importance of keeping the fitness regimen in place year-round, even if you need to modify it a bit. For example, if you feel the strength training component makes you sore or stiff for an upcoming round, go lighter with the workout or hold off on the weights entirely the day or two before you play. The same could apply to any cardiovascular component you may be doing. Stretching, on the other hand, should be maintained throughout. Plan ahead. If you’re a weekend golfer, you may want to hit the higher-intensity workout early in the week and taper off as the week goes on. The goal is to feel fresh and ready to go when you tee it up. The last thing you want is to be dragging your butt around the golf course because you’ve been exercising too much and/or too hard.

Bob Forman on the business impact of continuing your training regimen throughout the playing season:

Adding a round or two of golf each week to the current activity pattern may overtax the body. Keep an eye on signs and symptoms that you’re doing too much. Some of these include fatigue or lack of energy, the inability to sleep, performance issues on the golf course, a lack of enthusiasm to play, decreased appetite, muscle/joint pain or injury. The key is to listen to your body and gauge the frequency, duration and intensity accordingly. Consult with your certified golf fitness instructor as to the best plan for you. If you’re not currently involved with a golf fitness program, there is no time like the present to get started. A knowledgeable golf fitness instructor will be able to design and supervise you through a sensible exercise progression. Once in season, you’ll want to work with your trainer so you don’t overstress your body at a time when on-course performance is vital to meeting your playing goals. Remember that the corrective exercises should be implemented first before phasing in golf-specific strength, balance and power exercises. For many, that usually means flexibility and range of motion exercises, which shouldn’t hinder your game. Maintaining your golf fitness regimen during the playing season is a very wise and productive decision, not only from a performance perspective but from a health standpoint as well. Keeping the body in balance promotes efficient movement patterns, which play into better efficiencies of the swing and inhibit those triggers that can lead to acute and chronic injury.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email bob@golfitcarolina.com.

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