Athletes who are serious about their sport or who want to get more enjoyment out of it and reduce their risk of injury should lift weights. Golf is a rotational sport that requires torque to generate speed, power and direction. Golf athletes must train in order to optimize their playing skills and reduce their risk of injury. But simply going to the gym and lifting a few weights will not get you where you want to be.
Considerations for Training
Golf is an explosive sport that places a premium on good core strength, speed from being loose and flexible, and having strong legs. A good golf strength-training program takes each of these attributes into account and focuses some of the training time on developing these areas of need.
Cardio training for golf is different than the training needed for other sports such as tennis or basketball. A golfer needs to have the stamina to walk the 18-hole course, yet none of this distance is walked at what could be classified as high-intensity. Instead, the goal for your cardio training for golf should be to ensure that once you’ve walked up to approach the ball, you are not so out of breath that you cannot effectively hit the next shot. This requires low-intensity distance training, such as power walks or jogs.
Training for golf strength requires that you first establish a solid base before embarking on golf-specific strength exercises. Bench press, leg press, squats, seated row and abdominal crunches are all exercises that can be a part of your basic strength program. The key is to develop strength in each of the major muscle groups important to your golf game–legs, chest, back and abdominals.
Golf-specific strength training requires you to focus in on using your muscles together, not in isolation. This type of strength training allows you to incorporate functional strength that is directly transferable to your golf game. Rotational strength movements such as lunges with an upper-body rotation, and standing oblique rotations with a cable machine or resistance tube are exactly what you need. Also, developing power, which is described as combining strength with speed, is vitally important to improving your performance. Exercises such as medicine ball throws for your chest and back, and medicine ball oblique toss and catch for your abdominals are excellent ways to address your upper body power needs.
Never stretch cold muscles. A good warm-up, which is one that raises your heart rate, increases your respiration and produces a light sweat, should be performed before a pre-workout stretch routine. Many experts recommend that your pre-workout stretch routine be what’s called a “dynamic” one, which means that you actively move a particular limb through its full range of motion. Your golf game requires this type of flexibility. Post-workout stretching is important as well, and this type of stretching should be the static stretching where you stretch a target muscle and hold the stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds.