Balance. Endurance. Mobility. Strength.
These are the cornerstones of fitness, and they're critical for a good game of golf. An individualized golf fitness program will evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in each area and address them through a personalized fitness plan aligned with your fitness and performance goals.
"The best quick tip in golf is to focus on your rhythm and balance." ~ Hale Irwin
The foundation of every great golf swing is good balance. If your balance leaves a lot to be desired, so will your swing performance. Because golf is played on an uneven playing surface, unlike most other sports, balance is a particularly important factor not only for uphill, downhill, and side-hill lies but for every swing you take.
Endurance is about how well your muscles perform in terms of fatigue under a specific repeated load, such as during resistance training, and how they stand up under a given load over an extended period of time, such as walking over a long distance.
"Endurance is one of the most important factors in playing consistent golf." ~ Greg Rose
Golf requires both types of endurance. You need to be able to swing the club repeatedly, and muscle fatigue will affect all aspects of your game. You also need endurance to remain on your feet for three or four hours while still maintaining a high level of performance.
Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its fully intended range of motion.
Over time, we ignore stretching and develop bad posture habits that decrease flexibility. The effects of poor flexibility may not be causing you pain or discomfort (yet!) but they can dramatically affect your swing and overall performance.
"If you are not flexible enough, you're not going to get the torque you need." ~ Mel Sole
Every single one of your major joints are involved in the golf swing, and flexibility should be a major focus in any golf conditioning program.
“In no other game must immense strength go hand in hand with extreme delicacy." ~ Arnold Haultain
Muscular strength is the force a muscle can exert against a resistance in one single maximal effort.
A powerful swing isn't about using your strength to swing harder, but rather the ability to use strength to
produce the sequential firing of muscles that provides the power for hitting the ball farther.
Resistance training will help strengthen your joints, muscles, and connective tissues to help them withstand repeated impacts of the club on the earth, which can cause injuries that commonly affect the hands, wrist, elbows, and shoulders.
Muscles & Joints
"The only thing you should force in a golf swing is the club back into the bag."
~ Byron Nelson
Wrists are particularly susceptible to overuse and impact injuries that affect the flexor and extensor tendons. A strong grip, built and maintained through strengthening the hand and forearm muscles, is essential for helping to prevent wrist injuries.
The elbow is the second most commonly injured area for golfers, next to the lower back. Golfer's elbow and tennis elbow result from repetitive movements and improper swing technique as well as a lack of strength in the forearms.
The most active shoulder muscles in the swing are the subscapularis (rotator cuff), pectoralis (pecs) and latissimus (lats.) A strength training regimen that balances the strength in these muscles is essential for preventing shoulder injuries like bursitis, tendonitis, and rotator cuff problems.
Back problems are the most common injury in golfers due to the powerful rotation and extension motion in the swing. Preventing back problems requires increasing the range of motion of the entire spine.
Inadequate hip rotation can contribute to a sway or slide swing fault, lower back pain, and knee and ankle problems. The hip joints need to move freely to hold up under direct loads and withstand wide rotational forces while bearing weight. The muscles around your hips – particularly the gluteus muscles – need to be strong to protect the hips from injuries due to repetitive twisting and pivoting and prevent a number of swing flaws.