How to Exercise to Improve Your Golf Game and Lower Your Score

Every golfer wants to improve and get better. Even the recreational golfer wants to hit the ball further and lower his scores. Golf provides a great way to relax, strengthen friendships, close business deals, and even earn money if you happen to be good enough. Getting better can be approached in several different ways that range from lessons to expensive equipment. Conditioning takes a back seat and is often neglected altogether.

The most common way to lower your score is to get professional lessons and practice. However, this may cause some potential injuries if the body is in a de-conditioned state. According to Paul Chek, 90% of peak muscle activity is used when hitting a golf ball. In comparison, bodybuilders using heavy weights will only lift 90% of their maximum a total of 4-6 times.

How many times do you strike a ball during a round? I imagine it ranges anywhere from 40-60 times! That’s over 10 times what a bodybuilder does for similar effort.¬†As the round progresses whether you realize it or not, you are less physically prepared to maintain proper posture and strength levels than when you started.

The average golfer takes up the sport at an advanced age where their physical status has become de-conditioned. The consistent thought on golf over they years is that it is a game of touch and skill. Golf has not been generally accepted as being an athletic endeavor until recently (think Tiger and the young guns on tour today). The simple fact is that golf is a very athletic sport and requires a functional exercise program, stretching regimen, and joint mobility work.

Conditioning must be a part of your golf program if you are serious. In addition to improving your score, it will also improve your health!

I caution you to be very careful when choosing a strength and conditioning program. Most folks will seek the help of a personal trainer or go to the bookstore for help. Most golfers going down this path will notice they can walk from hole to hole much easier but their score hasn’t improved much. Why is this?

The problem is that most trainers and books are still focused on bodybuilding techniques which focus on increasing muscle mass. Golf is a functional exercise and a training program can not be written using bodybuilding principles. Bodybuilding is not focused on precision timing, control, accuracy and skill. Bodybuilding is designed to get big and look good for judges. Bodybuilding has no place in golf functional fitness.

According to Chek, golfers utilizing bodybuilding principles have sedated their nervous system’s ability to organize and synchronize complex multi-joint movements.

When you train like a bodybuilder your brain has not made any strides to improve balance and coordination of your muscles. Your muscles will also be out of balance because bodybuilding dictates abnormality. For a golf swing to be smooth, our golf swing chain must be synergetic (all muscles working in complement and support of each other without any muscle imbalance).

Treat yourself like an athlete and choose a program that is scientifically designed to create smooth synergistic golf swing.

Christian Henning, NASM-CPT
Oklahoma City Personal Trainer

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