To most of us, golf is a leisurely sport that does not require a great deal of physical conditioning…..or does it? If not, why are professional golfers involved in exercise and conditioning programs? And why are there more and more golf specific conditioning classes or programs being offered? The reason is golf is a physically challenging sport, and in order to play it properly, you should prepare your body for it.
Golf season is here! Now is the time to prepare your body for the rigors of golf!!! Improving and working on your flexibility, balance, core and extremity strength, and endurance can help your game.
Flexibility: You need flexibility in your trunk, arms and legs in order to develop a consistently smooth swing that will also be more powerful and accurate. When muscles are tight around your hips, back or shoulders, your swing plane will be thrown off, causing compensatory movements in your swing that may lead to a visit to the pro shop to purchase balls for the ones you lost!
Balance: Maintaining balance during your golf shots is important as well. It is easy to stay balanced on the driving range where you are usually hitting from a flat surface. But out on the course, your ball may land on an uneven surface causing you to adjust your stance and reposition your club. Having good balance during these types of shots will prevent the extreme hook or slice from occurring.
Core strength: Without a stable core (upper and lower trunk), not only is your swing at risk, your back is as well. Strengthening your core can prevent back injuries that may occur during your swing. Being able to properly activate your core musculature will lend to better balance and accuracy, as well as more power during your swing. Poor core control lends to erratic shots because the muscles cannot control your body’s momentum or mechanics during your swing.
Upper and lower extremity strength: Your legs serve to provide a stable base for your entire swing as well as to give you power during your shot. When these muscles are not conditioned properly, the “base” becomes unstable and you lose both power and accuracy. Arm strength is important at the wrists, elbows and shoulders. Wrist strength allows for proper follow-through at impact. Elbow extension strength is important for the lead elbow in order to drive through the ball with power and consistency. Shoulder strength is important for being able to generate rotational power throughout the swing plane as well as being able to lift the club in the first place.
Endurance: A round of golf is generally 4-5 hours long if you are playing 18 holes. Between the number of swings you take, the varied terrain of the course, and the amount of walking you do, you need to have good overall endurance to play the game effectively the whole round. Participation in a conditioning program will allow you to have the endurance you need to play the game at your best!
Reddy-Care Physical Therapy offers a Golf Fit Class with our new Kinesis Technogym. Private one-on-one sessions as well as group sessions are available with the Kinesis Technogym at our facility. Give us a call at 516-829-0030 if you are interested in any of these available sessions or if you have any questions about the many benefits of the Kinesis.