This blog was originally posted on Jonathan Nadler’s website here.
Golfers should be proactive in regards to their physical fitness. A regular exercise routine can improve a golfer’s performance and reduce his/her risk of suffering from an injury.
Golf injuries occur often, for both professionals and amateurs. A recent study showed that over the course of two years, 60% of professional golfers and 40% of amateur golfers had suffered from golf related injuries. Golf injuries occur when the player: lacks flexibility, is not well conditioned, has a poor swing, or is playing quite frequently.
Strength training, stretching, and increasing stamina can all help reduce risk for injury and even improve one’s game.
The different muscle groups all serve certain purposes when it comes to playing the game of golf. Legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals) produce the power, which is then transferred to the core (spinal erectors, abdominals, obliques). The subsequent swinging action is directly related to the chest and arms (pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, biceps, triceps, forearms). Golfers must also have strong neck muscles, because these muscles ultimately control head position and eye focus. Some fundamental exercises to train these muscles include: leg extension, leg press, leg curl, front plank, side plank, bench press, triceps kickbacks, and lateral raises.
Flexibility is key in golf. The muscles and joints of a golfer should be able to move without affecting one’s swing. The same muscles that are being strengthened should also be stretched. In order to prevent injury, stretching should be performed after the muscles are warm, perhaps after a brief walk. Some effective stretches include the: side stretch, hamstring stretch, neck stretch, and the forearm and wrist stretch.
In order to maintain stamina on the course, improve overall health, and contribute to the success of strength training, golfers must partake in some form of cardio. All cardio is dependent on the ability of the player. Some basic types of cardio include: brisk walking, jogging, swimming and cycling.
Adopting a regular exercise routine of: strength training, stretching, and cardio can help a golfer tremendously. Improving overall physical fitness will not only help reduce injury, but it can improve performance as well.