Posted on Apr 12, 2022, 1 p.m.
While golf is a much more chilled-out sport than many others out there, keeping your golf fitness up is still important if you want to play your best game and stay injury-free.
But what exactly is golf fitness and how do you improve it? Here are our tips for getting fitter to have a positive effect on your golfing game!
What Does Golf Fitness Consist Of?
Fitness is fitness, right? Well, to an extent yes. But understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing in the gym is essential if you want to use your fitness to improve or excel in a particular sport.
Here are the elements that are important for golf fitness. While they’re necessary for most sportspeople to train in order to get the most out of their sport, they have some specific benefits to being trained when it comes to golf.
A large majority of the twisting movement of the golf swing relies on having a strong core. Your core is what anchors your upper body, allows you to swing hard and true with good form, and prevents injury from the turning motion.
This is the part that many golfers neglect. Just because golf is more about nuance and subtlety than it is about brute strength, it doesn’t mean strength training should be left out.
Did you know that the legs are the solid foundation of every golf swing? If they aren’t strong and grounded, you’re at a disadvantage. And did you know that your swing uses the chest, shoulder, bicep, and abdominal muscles?
Building strength and muscle with weight training isn’t just for footballers. Golfers can gain huge benefits to their game by incorporating this kind of training.
The average golf course is between 3 and 6 miles in length. While you won’t be walking all that in one go (ie. you’ll be having breaks in between), you still need pretty decent cardiovascular fitness to be able to keep up the stamina required to hit 70 or more swings per round and walk from shot to shot and hole to hole comfortably!
How Does It Help Your Game?
It’s all fine and well to know what and how you should be training to improve your golf fitness, but why? How does it actually help you to be a better golfer? Here are some benefits you’ll gain from improving your golf fitness.
The more muscle you build in both your upper and lower body, the more power you’ll have behind your swing. This will help you to hit the ball faster and further, which gives you a head start on any hole from the very first shot.
Don’t neglect to train your legs! As they say, “Strength comes from the ground up”, and having strong legs is vital to anchor you to the ground during your swing and allow you to transfer the power all the way through your body for more explosive results.
Don’t underestimate the importance of flexibility and mobility. Golf may not be the most hardcore sport out there in terms of movement, but effective and safe golf swings require a fluidity of movement that relies on flexibility.
In order to make sure you stay flexible, it’s a great idea to warm up comprehensively before any exercise. Pay careful attention to your form and your range of motion.
Incorporate regular stretching sessions into your schedule to keep those muscles limber! Dynamic stretching and yoga are both excellent ways to stay flexible.
Building muscle isn’t just for aesthetics. Strong muscles form a framework that supports your tendons, ligaments, and joints, resulting in fewer injuries all around.
Improving your flexibility also means that your range of motion is likely to be better, so there’s less chance of injuring yourself by forcing a joint through a movement that it can’t quite accomplish.
Golf fitness might not sound like an important thing, considering the sport is much more relaxed than most others. But you may be surprised at how focusing on core, strength, flexibility, and cardio can supercharge your game!
Implementing these kinds of training into your weekly schedule as well as your regular golf training can be of great benefit. If you keep excellent form and be consistent, you’ll soon notice the difference it makes to your golf game!
About the Author: Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who understands every element of the game… Including health and fitness. When he’s not on the course, he’s researching and writing for his website, Golf Influence.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Content may be edited for style and length.
Materials provided by:
Loock, H. V., Grace, J. M., & Semple, S. J. (2013). Core Muscle Activation and Activity Throughout the Different Phases of the Golf Swing. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 35(5), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1519/ssc.0b013e3182a5601b
MARSHALL, K. J., & LLEWELLYN, T. L. (2017). Effects of Flexibility and Balance on Driving Distance and Club Head Speed in Collegiate Golfers. International Journal of Exercise Science, 10(7), 954–963. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5685088/
McHardy, A. (2005). Muscle activity during the golf swing. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 39(11), 799–804. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2005.020271
Torres-Ronda, L., Sánchez-Medina, L., & González-Badillo, J. J. (2011). Muscle strength and golf performance: a critical review. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 10(1), 9–18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737887/