Golf Specific Training

Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 By: John Karesh

Can exercise improve one's golf game? That question has been asked of me several times, followed quickly by:

  • "What kind?"
  • "Will exercise or weight training alter my swing?"
  • "Should I just stick with exercise only for my arms?" 

When I work with a golfer, it is common that he or she will see an additional 30 to 40 yards on drives and more control of their irons in the short game. Golf training won't necessarily make one a better golfer, but it will aid tremendously in the basics. Here are tips for consideration:

1. Strengthen the legs. The quadriceps start the swing; the power you generate here is transferred through your body to the swing.

2. Strengthen the core. The power generated in legs is transferred to the core, which is comprised mainly of four muscles (low back, (spinal erector), low abdominal (transverse abdominus), internal/external obliques and upper abdominal (rectus abdominus). Don't simply blast through an "abs routine" and call it good.  The golf swing is an awkward motion for the body, so the more support you have in your core for your back and extremities, the better off you will be.

3. Upper body. Chest, upper back, shoulders, biceps and triceps all play roles and work together, as well. They provide stability and a conduit to transfer energy throughout your swing to the impact of hitting the ball. Rotator cuff exercises are helpful and can help prevent overuse injuries in your shoulders.

4. Flexibility training. It is extremely important, if you train properly with the strength-training exercises, most of your flexibility training should come. However, your hamstrings and hips probably should get some extra "love" as well. Consider some doorway stretches for your shoulders and neck.

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    I started training with John a little over three years ago. At that time, I was looking for a personal trainer who had the knowledge and commitment to help me achieve the results that I desired. I was not looking to lose weight necessarily, but rather to increase my strength and flexibility, as well as tone my body. I could not have found a better trainer. John works with your body instead of against it. He challenges you, but at the same time respects any boundaries you may have set for yourself. His motivation and continued support have made me a lifelong client.


    - Jennifer Yacobozzi