How to Get Yourself Fit for Golf

To play golf well, you need a certain level of physical fitness (despite what some critics might say). To get fit so that you can effectively play golf, you need to work (and stretch) those muscles!

Structure governs function

Your physical structure affects the way you play golf. If your range of motion is like the Tin Man’s, your golf swing doesn't look very athletic and could actually rust. You need to address problem areas with physical conditioning.

Here are five areas you can address to help your golf game:

  • Balance

  • Control

  • Flexibility

  • Posture

  • Strength

Several things can cause structural imbalances. Typical factors include inherited body characteristics and the natural aging process. Imbalance can occur over a long period of time from consistent thumping of the golf ball.

See a health and performance expert who's specifically trained to work with golfers.

Physical training improves structure

In order to change your body structure and improve your ability to play golf, you benefit most by following a specific sequence of physical training:

  • Release: Perform specially designed stretching exercises at low intensity but for a prolonged duration.

  • Reeducate: Reeducate your structure by doing specialized exercises aimed at improving posture, balance, stability, and control.

  • Rebuild: Last, you undergo a program of rebuilding exercises, or strengthening exercises designed to solidify and then reinforce your physical structure and dynamic swing motion.

Exercise programs must be golf-specific

If you start an exercise program that isn’t designed around your personal physical weaknesses, isn’t tailored to the special demands of golf, and isn’t designed to accomplish your personal performance goals, then the chance that the exercise program will help is nil.

Go out and find a specialist to perform an initial physical performance evaluation, and then design your program from his or her findings. The elements of the evaluation should include at least the following:

  • Health history of past medical problems, pain problems, injuries related to golf, and so on

  • Tests to identify postural, structural, or biomechanical imbalances that may interfere with your ability to swing

  • Balance assessment

  • Muscle and joint flexibility testing

  • Muscle strength, endurance, and control testing

  • Biomechanical video analysis of the golf swing

  • Golf skills evaluation (measurement of current swing and scoring performance potential, including elements of the swing such as clubhead speed and swing path, as well as driving distance, greens and fairways in regulation, handicap, and so on)

  • Goals assessment (evaluation of performance goals, purpose for playing golf, and deadlines for reaching goals)

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