Top 3 Myths About Golf Fitness

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What Myths Have You Heard About Golf Fitness?

The off-season is upon us and this is the best time to take advantage of time away from the golf course.  Now that you’re spending less time on the golf course, you can spend more time on actually improving your game.  Sure you can keep working on your putting stroke and your swing mechanics.  But this is really the best time to get in the gym to work on mobility, strength, speed, and power.  I’m sure you’ve heard or even believe some of these myths that still surround golf fitness and performance.  Well, I’m here to dispel the top myths about golf fitness so you can be your best on and off the golf course next season.

Guy Swinging Golf Club On Fairway

Golf Fitness Myth #1 – Strength Training Will Make Me Stiff

This is probably the biggest myth I’ve heard from most golfers.  Golfers are afraid that if they start lifting weights, they will begin to get stiff.  As we all know, stiffness in the golf swing is not very good.  I want to be the first person to tell you this, strength training does not make you stiff.  In fact, there are multiple studies that have been completed and have found that strength training actually improves mobility.  There was a study done in elderly patients (ages 77-97) where participants did strength training 2x/week for over 2 months, which resulted in improved mobility and muscle strength (Krist et al., 2013).  A review of multiple studies found that eccentric strength training (focusing on the lowering  portion of a lift) is effective at improving lower body mobility (O’Sullivan et al., 2012).

Now this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t work on mobility.  If you only ever strength trained and never worked on mobility, you will most likely get stiff or remain stiff.  But all good golf performance programs should include mobility and strength to make sure you remain balanced in all areas.

Golf Fitness Myth #2 – “I’m too old to get stronger, mobile, powerful, etc.”

If you’re getting older and losing strength, quickness, and mobility, it’s totally normal to think you’re too old to get any better.  But, I want to let you know that’s not the case whatsoever!  Of course, you won’t be able to get back to the levels you were at when you were a teenager or in your early 20’s, but you can still make significant improvements from where you’re at today.  In fact, avoiding strength training as you get older is probably even worse than you think.

As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass, strength, and power.  With this continued loss of muscle mass, strength, and power, mundane tasks such as getting out of a chair or going up a flight of steps becomes increasingly hard to the point of where you might not be able to do it without help.  A 15 year study found that adults over the age of 65 who strength trained 2x/week had, “46% lower odds of dying for any reason than those who did not,” (Kraschnewski et al., 2016).

If you have plans to play golf well into your “golden years” it’s imperative that you strength train.  Let’s think about it this way.  If you plan to play 2 rounds per week with 2 range sessions per week, a 15-handicapper will make about 625-640 swings per month.  If you want to be able to make that many swings per month remaining pain free and at the top of your ability, strength training should be of the utmost importance to you.

Golf Fitness Myth #3 – I Have To Mimic The Golf Swing In My Fitness Routine

Physical therapist holding a band for a patient doing a glute bridge on treatment table

You may think you need to recreate the golf swing in the gym to get the most out of your strength training.  However, this could not be further from the truth.  There are main movements that your body does to perform most of it’s everyday activities, including the golf swing.  These main movements include: squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling, and carrying.  It may not seem like you do all of those things in the golf swing, but trust me all of those movements happen in the golf swing in some form or another.  By becoming proficient in these main movements will undoubtedly transfer over to your golf swing and everyday life.

Now, there is a continuum of training where I do believe doing exercises that look “golfish” will be beneficial for someone.  However, I don’t believe people should be doing “golfish” exercises until they are good at doing the main movements mentioned above.

I hope this article was helpful to rid your mind of any myths you may have regarding golf fitness and performance.

If you’re looking to get started on your own golf performance plan, you can schedule a no-obligation call or in-person appointment with me for no charge at all to get started.  I want to help you move better, get stronger, and swing faster, so you can be your best on and off the golf course!

In the meantime, here’s a link for 9 workouts that I made specific for golf performance.

If this was helpful I would love to know, feel free to send me an email.  If you have more questions or any other comments, I’d also love to know.  You can send me an email directly at joe@puredrivephysio.com and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

References

Krist L, Dimeo F, Keil T. Can progressive resistance training twice a week improve mobility, muscle strength, and quality of life in very elderly nursing-home residents with impaired mobility? A pilot study. Clin Interv Aging. 2013;8:443-448. doi:10.2147/CIA.S42136

O’Sullivan K, McAuliffe S, Deburca N. The effects of eccentric training on lower limb flexibility: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2012;46(12):838-845. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090835

Kraschnewski JL, Sciamanna CN, Poger JM, et al. Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? A 15year cohort study of US older adults. Prev Med. 2016;87:121-127. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.02.038

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