August is National Golf Month – Vertex Fitness Can Help with Golf Sports Conditioning
If you plan to hit the links during the beautiful remaining days of summer, consider improving your game with sports conditioning boosted by the strength training regimen offered at Vertex Fitness. Peter Draovitch and Wayne Westcott have a great book on this topic called “Complete Conditioning for Golf” that gives a thorough look at each aspect of sports conditioning for golf. While practicing playing the game itself is an important component to improving, there’s a lot that can be done in the studio or gym as well to increase strength and physical ability beyond what you can do by only playing. According to the book, “Playing golf, unfortunately, is not the best means for getting in better shape to play better golf. Instead, you will make much greater progress by specifically conditioning your cardiorespiratory system” (Draovitch/Westcott, pg 7). You can improve your flexibility for a full swing, strength for distance and control, and postural stability to give you a consistent swing plane. Improving these markers of fitness is what we help our clients with every single day.
Sports Conditioning for Stamina
Your stamina and mental endurance is a big factor for a great golf game, as you’ll need to avoid fatigue while walking 18 holes and maintaining power and focus. You will also need stamina to avoid injury with the repetitive nature of golf swings, which can be improved via physical conditioning. Sometimes called aerobic conditioning, sometimes called cardiorespiratory endurance, this is what impacts your ability to do more work, burn more calories, and recover better. We recommend a high intensity strength training session lasting about thirty minutes like the kind we practice at Vertex Fitness. Optimal results seem to be gained with about three sessions per week, but you can see some benefits with just one weekly session.
Sports Conditioning for Flexibility and Balance
Your joint flexibility can also be improved with resistance training, give you a longer golf swing and an increased club head speed. Joint flexibility dictates the safe ranges of motion for your swing, and improving it can prevent injury. In our studio we practice resistance training using the full range of motion using controlled and deliberate movements, rather than explosive or jerky movements that can cause injury. By increasing your strength along your entire range of movement, you can help ensure that you don’t lose power in your swing or hurt yourself by trying to overextend.
Strength training can also help you combat the natural conditioning imbalance inherent with practicing the game of golf, since you use one side of your body differently than the other. By focusing on form and proper posture, we help to ensure that your body gets an even workout.
Sports Conditioning for Strength
Unlike sports that require sustained, frenetic action, golf is characterized by periods of low intensity and slow pace punctuated by high energy, explosive movements. The golf swing places significant stress on your shoulders, elbows, and wrist joints, as well as producing high torque forces on your lower back and hips. Strengthening your body overall will give you more power to create longer drives and limit your exposure to injury from the explosive movements. The goal is to generate more power with less effort, giving you a smoother swing and greater club head speed.
The nature of your muscles is to require ever-increasing stimulus in order to change. Since you can’t easily or significantly change or control the resistance offered by hitting a golf ball with a club, it is much more effective to practice a strength training program to provide your muscles with the increased resistance they need to adapt by getting stronger. In other words, by practicing your swing alone, it is possible to maintain a certain level of strength, but not to increase it. For that, you need to offer your muscles more resistance.
To help your golf game, come talk to a professional trainer to find out how we can help you improve your overall strength and stamina.