Continuing down the golf fitness path, today I think it’s appropriate to discuss the proper way to train your muscles to impact various aspects of your golf game.
I mentioned previously that going to the gym and working through a “generic” workout routine won’t have a very substantial impact on your golf game. Well, the same rule applies similarly to the types of training you apply to your routine.
What I’m saying is that, once you determine the muscle groups you want to focus on, you also need to decide what your goal for the workout is. If strength is applied to golf without specificity, your golf game won’t improve.
There are three areas that you can focus on, muscular endurance, muscular strength and muscular power.
Muscular endurance is the bodies ability to perform sub-maximal, or less than an all out effort for an extended period of time. Endurance is important in golf because a golfer swings repeatedly during a round, especially me! 🙂 Even though there’s adequate recovery time between shots and swinging a club isn’t especially strenuous (unless you’re trying to kill it and hit the ground..) a golfer may hit more than 200 shots during a round. It’s especially useful on the range, where a golfer will hit a large quantity of golf balls in a relatively short period of time and most of the strains and sprains result from a lack of muscular endurance.
Muscular strength is the body’s ability to produce maximal force regardless of the duration involved in doing so. To simplify, imagine if you had to hold a piece of drywall above your head so your dad could nail it, if you had good muscular strength, you could do this all day long, regardless of how many times dad smashed his thumb, if you’re like me, after about 30 seconds you start complaining about how heavy it’s getting. 🙂 In golf, certain muscles groups use considerable strength levels, these muscle groups are the ones responsible for maintaining certain positions during the swing. Strength is needed to maintain golf-specific posture, balance and control.
Muscular Power is the ability to move as rapidly as possible or to overcome a resistance in the shortest possible time. This is crucial and the most important factor for generating club-head speed and control. In golf, power is created by a rotation of the shoulders, trunk, hips and legs combined with activation of the arms and small-muscle groups in a counter-rotating movement. In resistance training, power will yield you the most benefit from your golf swing.
The key to building a solid workout routine is to implement the right proportions of muscular endurance, strength and power with focus being whichever area you’re seeking improvement.
Hope you’ve enjoyed it and as always if you feel something I’ve written is incorrect, please leave a comment so we can get it squared away.
Just as a side note, from a golf fitness prospective, hitting balls on the range won’t really help you achieve increased distance.