4 Reasons Why Exercises for Golf Need to be Different

You don't have to be Sampson!

You don’t have to be Sampson!

I have read many so-called “experts” claim that all exercises benefit the golfer and there is no need for a specific program with exercises for golf. I couldn’t disagree more. The golf swing is a specific motion that places greater emphasis on particular muscles and more emphasis on golf flexibility, golf mechanics, and golf and power than brute strength.

4 Reasons Why Exercises for Golf are Different:

#1: A Golf Exercise Program Needs to Focus on a Full Range of Motion
Have you heard the term “muscle bound?” When describing a person as “muscle bound,” it is usually intended to refer to someone who has so much muscle that it restricts their ability to move through a certain range of motion. As muscles get stronger, especially if you are lifting heavy weight, their tendency is too get shorter or bulkier.

That doesn’t mean they have to get shorter, but  exercise for golfers needs to focus on exercising using the full range of motion. Long motions instead of short, restricted motion. This usually entails using a bit lighter weight.

For instance, if you are doing a pull up, it is important that you pull yourself all the way up and allow yourself to descend all the way down until your arms are nearly straight. If you are unable to do this, you can use a pull up assist machine that helps support your body weight.

In addition, a golf exercise program needs to be heavily weighted towards golf flexibility. Such as being able to rotate your neck side to side fully. But it is not as important to be able to rotate your head all the way up (look at the ceiling) or all the way down (look at the floor).

#2: A golf Exercise Program Needs to Focus More on Muscular Speed.
More specifically, rotational speed of the shoulders, forearms/wrists, hips and spine. There is an old saying that if you want to be fast, you need to train fast.

As a result, it is more important to be able to rotate fast than it is to be able to rotate against a lot of weight. The takeaway message here is to incorporate lighter weights that you can move with speed.

If you want rotational speed in your golf swing, you need to train rotational speed.

Weighted Golf Clubs?
That is why swinging a weighted golf club can reduce your swing speed. It is OK to swing a weighted golf club but research has shown that it needs to be no more than 15% heavier than the weight of your actual golf club….that’s not very much. Research has also shown that you will increase your swing speed by swinging a club (or golf swing related exercise) that is 15% lighter than your actual golf club too.

#3: A Golf Exercise Program Needs to Focus More on Low Back and Shoulder Stability to Prevent Injuries
Low back injuries and shoulder injuries are the #1 reason that golfers over 50 have to undergo major surgeries costing in excess of $50,000 as well as golfers sitting on the couch watching golf instead of playing golf.

Stabilization exercise is different than strength training because you need to train the quick response of special sensors around joints called “muscle spindles” and “golgi tendon organs” (aka GTO’s). We also refer to these as quick twitch joint protectors and are a focus of any physical therapy program to rehabilitate injured or unstable joints. These are special exercises that we have incorporated into all of our Age Defying Golf performance programs.

#4: A Golf Exercise Program Should Focus on Muscle Memory (the jargon term being Neuromuscular Training).
This is were physical therapy can play a unique role in improving golf performance. Physical therapists are trained in re-training movement patterns, that is, hard wiring movements and sequences of movements into the neurological system to make those movements habits.

Muscle Memory
Applied to the golfer, physical therapists can “hardwire” the pattern of an efficient, reliable, and powerful golf swing. This is a unique aspect of the Age Defying Golf Rx program. You will become a better golfer, you will add power, you will hit the ball more consistently.

Every week I see golfers on range hitting ball after ball with poor mechanics. Essentially, they are hardwiring a bad swing. The more they practice, the worse it gets.

Golf is not like basketball where you can get pretty good without the best mechanics as long as you practice. The golf swing is so dependent on mechanics that you have to get them right or you will never get better. Even if you practice like a maniac.

In conclusion, if you want exercise to improve your golf game, you need to exercise with these 4 principles. Our signature series program uses these principles and will make you a much better golfer. You can CLICK HERE to read more.

Age Defying Golf Rx – Our Signature Program
This Program Is For You IF….
Age Defying Golf RX

  • You are a golfer between 50-75 plus years young or young.
  • Carry between an 8 – 36 handicap
  • You want to improve flexibility, injury prevention, golf performance
  • You are willing to spend 15 minutes, 3 times per week to play your best golf ever.

 

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Thanks for Reading!

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist

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