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 working out with John after many years of trying many different fad diets that didn't work for me. I also have a problem with my lowerback. I really wanted to try something different and the idea of one on one training appealed to me. My initial goal was to strengthen my back and lose some weight. I have been very successful with my fitness program so far and cannot wait to achieve more of my goals. Right now I am very surprised how strong I am and would have never dreamed that I could do all the things I am doing, especially with the back problems I have had in the past. I could not be happier with John and my workouts are challenging and fun at the same time.


    - Susan Rider