Golfers may not have been the first athletes to come to mind when thinking of athletes who work out in the gym or practise golf strength and conditioning, but they ought to be by this point. The truth is that ideologies have evolved recently, and it is now understood how crucial strength training and conditioning are to developing into a world-class golfer.
There are several strength and conditioning programmes available that won’t necessarily result in a lower score, but they will unquestionably improve your body’s flexibility, rotation, and hip rotation while you play.
Importance of Strength and Conditioning for a Golfer
In any sport, strength is one of the fundamental requirements for athletes, and golf is no exception. You need a lot of strength to swing the club more effectively and hit the golf ball farther. Players with greater physical strength typically have an advantage over rivals.
Clubhead speed and distance are directly correlated with strength and conditioning. Yardage is the distance in yards at which the ball lands on the ground from the point of impact, and clubhead speed is the velocity with which the clubface impacts the ball. In other words, the ball should fly farther the faster the clubhead is moving at the moment of impact.
Short chipping and putts are the primary examples of golf shots that don’t necessarily require a lot of physical strength. However, a player will benefit from golf strength exercises and training programmes when it comes to long drives, playing out of the rough, and sand trap shots when the ball is plugged.
Priorities of Golf Strength Training
Golf strength training has a specific set of priorities to fit the sport and enhance in the most suitable areas. The top priority is to increase one’s capacity for producing force, the most obvious example being the force the club exerts on the ball during play. The player’s muscles, particularly the larger ones in the shoulders, torso, hips, and thighs, are the source of this force. You can acquire a good shoulder turn in your golf swing and allow your hips to fully rotate by strengthening these muscle groups.
Increasing a player’s explosive power is another top aim. This is necessary during strokes because every swing requires a huge energy burst from the top of the club’s upward swing to the point of impact with the ball and back up to the top in the opposite direction, commonly known as the follow through.
Golf Physiotherapy and its Changing Role
A lot of what is presented as golf strength training programs has a therapy-focused angle. This is because many golf injuries are related to the overuse of muscles. In the past, the role of physiotherapists used to be to deal with the issues caused during golf games and so in most cases, golfers went to physiotherapists only after they were injured and not before.
Nowadays, physiotherapists and other golf conditioning coaches are now moving to a prevention-by-training rather than cure-after-injury approach. Therapists are also exploring strength and conditioning to develop techniques for reducing injury. There is enough research to support that overuse injuries can be reduced by as much as half with strength training.
Injury Prevention Through Golf Strength and Conditioning
As many golf injuries result from overusing muscles and joints, injury prevention should also be viewed as a very important benefit of engaging in strength and conditioning training for golf. Exercises that increase joint stability and supportive rehabilitation following joint damage can be used to address this.
As the pivot for a club swing during a golf shot, the shoulder joint is the main area that is moved rapidly. Because of this, many exercises target strengthening and flexing the shoulder joint to reduce fatigue and, more importantly, the risk of injury.
Hip Exercises for Golf
The hip muscles provide a significant amount of the force needed to strike a golf ball as far as feasible. Additionally, the hips serve as a link between the lower and upper bodies, both of which exert a lot of force throughout a club swing. These factors make maintaining healthy and active hips essential for becoming a proficient golfer, which is why golf hip rotation exercises and hip stretches are now a typical element of a golfer’s physical preparation.
The hip hinge, which is the transition from an upright posture to a bent golfing posture, is the focus of several hip workouts. Exercises aimed at achieving the proper hip hinge are quite beneficial for players who can move their hips. Physically, the best way to prevent injuries from adopting the hip hinge position for an extended period of time is to have a neutral body curve that is neither excessively straight nor too severe.