Core Golf Fitness Exercises To Improve Your Golf Game

The words core training, golf fitness, and improving your golf swing have become common words in golf. It is well known the number of professional golfers utilizing a golf fitness program to improve their golf swing. Addition to this well-known situation a common word has become connected to the phrase golf fitness. This phrase has become a buzzword in the world of golf. Unfortunately many do not understand the phrase and the relevance it can have on the golf swing. The phrase is core training. Core training can be a great benefit to your golf swing as a part of comprehensive golf fitness program.

Unfortunately many amateur golfers are unsure of the exact definition of core training and the relevance it may or may not have on a golf fitness program. The core is a reference to an anatomical area of body. The core is the anatomical area of your body from above the knees to below the chest. It includes all the muscles, nerves, and bones within in this anatomical region of the body. It must also be noted that the core includes all the neuromuscular structures on the front, side, and back of your body. For example, your lower back muscles are a part of the core as are your abdominals.

Core training is an integral part of a comprehensive golf fitness program because this is the anatomical area of the body where the majority of the golf swing occurs. For example, the golf swing requires you to rotate around a fixed spine angle. The majority of muscles allowing rotation to occur around a fixed spine angle are found within the core region. The golf swing requires a full shoulder turn to execute correctly. The muscles allowing the shoulders to rotate are mostly found within the core region of the body. These are just a few examples providing a reference between the biomechanics of the golf swing and the core region of the body.

Understanding the connection between the biomechanics of the golf swing and the core should begin to shine some light on why core training can be beneficial to the golf swing. Overall, the golf swing requires certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to execute correctly. If the body lacks the required levels within these physical components the golf swing will be difficult to execute correctly. Knowing that a large portion of the movements in the golf swing occur within the core region, it becomes obvious developing these physical components become necessary in order to improve your golf swing.

The key component of core training in relation to the golf swing centers upon the principle of cross-specificity training. Cross-specificity training implies the exercises within the core program train the body to the positions, movements, and requirements of the sport. A core training program beneficial to the golf swing must train the body specifically for the anatomical positions, movements, and actions encountered on the golf course.

The goal of cross-specific core program is to develop a transfer of training effect. The majority of fitness programs and many core programs do not address the needs of the golfer relative to improving flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power. A cross-specific core program will provide the foundation for a better golf swing. Just because a program is labeled a “core program” does not necessarily mean it will be beneficial to improving the golf swing.

Once the golfer understands the concepts of cross-specific training, transfer of training effect, core, and the biomechanics of the golf swing. You can begin to piece together the components of a golf fitness program. Outside of providing the foundation for the golf swing through providing the golfer with the needed levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to efficiently execute the golf swing. A golf fitness program can also improve a golfer’s swing.

One common area of desired improvement for most any golfer is increased distance. Increased distance in the golf swing is equated to increased clubhead speed. And increased clubhead speed is directly related to the golfer’s power outputs. Increasing power within the golf swing is connected to both swing mechanics and the body. The coiling and uncoiling within the golf swing directly affects the power outputs generated. In addition the body has a direct affect upon power development in the golf swing. Power in relation to the body can be defined as the ability of the body to create the greatest amount of force in a short amount of time.

If the golfer increases the ability of the body to generate more force, what will be the result within the golf swing? The golfer is more powerful, an increase in clubhead speed will occur, and the golf ball will probably travel farther. Interestingly enough improving power outputs by the body in relation to the golf swing, centers upon developing greater power outputs by the core region. Again, the golf swing is a rotational movement centering in the core region of the body. Increasing the force outputs of the muscles in the core can invariably improve the power in your golf swing. This again is only one example of where core training and golf fitness can improve the golf swing. Many additional areas of improvement can occur when the golfer develops the body correctly for the golf swing.

Understand the biomechanics of the golf swing require certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to execute correctly. The golfer requires minimal levels of these physical components at the very least to execute the golf swing correctly. The core is an anatomical region of the body where much of the movements within the golf swing occur. A core training program can be beneficial to improving the golf swing if the exercises within the program are cross-specific to the movements, positions, and physical requirements of the golf swing. If the core program is not cross specific to the golf swing, the benefits may less than optimal. Realize a comprehensive golf fitness program includes core training to develop the body around the golf swing. Such a program can improve the golf swing in areas like clubhead speed. And remember just because a program is labeled “core” does not necessarily mean it will improve your golf swing. The exercises within the core program must correlate with the movements of the golf swing.

By: → Sean Cochran

Golf Fitness Exercises To Help You Drive The Golf Ball Straighter

This is probably a burning desire of most every golfer on the planet. The desire to drive the golf ball farther and straighter, allowing us to lower our golf scores on the golf course. One of the keys to driving golf the straighter and longer is a golf fitness program. This type of a training program incorporates exercises to improve your golf swing.

An amateur recently sent me an e-mail describing how he is driving the golf longer and straighter than ever before. He plainly states the reason for the improvement is directly connected to a golf fitness program he implemented 10 weeks ago.

Here is what he had to say;

“Sean, Thought I’d drop you a note to let you know I am still enjoying the BioForce workout exercises and I’m getting closer to the goals I set 10 weeks ago.

I still track my workouts and I am encouraged by the progress I see, not only on the chart, but also with my swing. As a reward for my efforts and progress, I bought a new Ping Tour wedge. Why a wedge?

Because I can already see I am hitting my drives consistently much straighter –

This, of course, is giving me more distance and great enjoyment.

And, I am much more consistent with my pitches and chips.

So, a good wedge that will give consistent distance and allow me to try different types of shots to expand my skills seemed like the right reward.

The only thing I am unsure of is “am I pushing myself enough? Could you please have a look at my workouts and advise the best schedule for me to meet my goals.

I know I haven’t pushed myself on some the exercises like Side Holds as I should have; the result being no progress with this.

For my initial goals I have 5 weeks to go, if I miss these then Mid-May is the next deadline I have set.”

Colin

Colin, let me first congratulate you on your progress, determination, and results you are seeing. It is because of your hard work and dedication to the golf fitness programs your golf game is improving.

I always like to say; “I have the easy part, all I have to do is teach you, and the hard part is following through with what I teach you.” I tip my hat to you.

Before I answer your question about “pushing yourself”, I would like to make a note of your goal setting. Goal setting is extremely important. I know Phil and almost every athlete I work with sets goals. On one hand, it allows you to measure yourself and see how you are progressing.

I think all amateur golfers do this to some extent. Aren’t we all trying to lower our handicaps, make more birdies, and overall improve our golf game? The answer is yes, and on some level, we set goals to measure our progress. Additionally goals have another benefit.

It provides a “mark” to achieve, keeps you focused, and provides a sense of accomplishment when met. We as golfers often set goals of lowering our handicap to single digits, drive the golf ball 280 yards, or not make any three putts. These are all “marks” we are trying to hit, and these “marks” are essentially goals.

Once the goals are set, a plan can be put in place to reach those goals. For example, if the desire is to lower your handicap to single digits, part of the plan may be practicing at the range three times per week. On the other hand, if the goal is add an additional 20 yards to your drives, part of the plan may be the implementation of a golf fitness program to increase your flexibility, strength, endurance, and power.

I will also say at times goals are not met, and that is okay. If a goal is not met, it provides us a point to reflect, make adjustments in our current program, and set new goals.

Additionally, Colin you bring up a very good point on how much should you be “pushing yourself” on the exercises. We all probably are aware that in order to improve in any task, golf swing included, we must put forth an effort. How much is very important, and this is of the up most importance in relation to golf fitness exercises.

Let me first say there is a very fine line between the correct amount of exertion and too much exertion. Too much exertion can lead to poor exercise technique and a possible injury. Too little exertion will limit the benefits received from your golf fitness program.

A term I use as a guideline for the correct amount of exertion on each exercise is: “Perform each exercise to your own level of tolerance”.

Essentially this states every exercise you perform should be done with the;

1) Correct technique

And

2) Performed for the number of repetitions in which you can maintain proper exercise technique.

This requires you to “push yourself”, but in addition maintain an awareness of your exercise technique. For example with the golf fitness exercise Side Holds, once you set yourself up in the correct position, you should “hold” the position for the amount of time you can until your technique falters.

This guideline can be followed for almost every golf fitness exercise. Another golf fitness exercise, the Jack Knife should be performed for as many repetitions with the correct technique. If you find your technique starting to falter this is the point at which you stop.

To summarize, we know a golf fitness program can assist a golfer in driving the golf ball longer and straighter. In the bigger picture longer and straighter drives is a goal. In order to achieve a goal in the sport of golf, a plan must be put in place. The plan can include golf fitness exercises as part of the steps for us to meet that goal. Additionally, when we talk about any golf fitness exercise the correct amount of effort must be exerted, but not exceeded. Following the guideline of “perform every golf fitness exercise to your own level of tolerance” will help you maintain this fine line of effort.

By: → Sean Cochran

Keep Your Golf Swing In Shape All Year With A Golf Fitness Program

Some PGA Tour players have been playing for a couple of weeks in Hawaii and California. Others like Vijay and Ernie have been playing on the European Tour. Regardless of how many tournaments the pros have played this year, they have been working on their games for more time than most of us realize. Make no mistake about it: in golf – or baseball, football, basketball or any other pro sport – there is no longer an off-season.

So while this may be the first official shot of the season for some, the training process to get ready to make that shot has been quietly going on for months.

The amateur can learn a great deal from the professional golfer. Many parts of the world it is not possible to play golf year around, but there are ways to keep your golf game in shape all year long. Professionals know how to do it and so can you.

Realistically, there is very little time to take a break and do absolutely nothing for professional golfers. While every pro is different, there is a generic blueprint most will follow. After the pro finishes his last golf tournament, they take a little break. A few weeks off to give the body and mind a little rest. Every pro athlete needs that time to just recharge and give the body – both physically as well as mentally – time to recover. The PGA Tour season is one of the longest in sports and even though they may not play every week, it’s very taxing on the body and the time off is essential to ensure positive results when we begin training for the next season.

I would recommend the same recipe for the amateur. Regardless if you are able to play year around or not, take a period of at least 2 weeks to put the golf clubs in the closet. The break away from the game will do wonders. You may even find after you return you are playing better golf and shooting lower scores.

Following the rest time – and like I said, it’s longer for some, shorter for others – its time for the tour player to begin ramping up for the next season by physically improving the parameters of the body for the upcoming year. Just like any other golfer – from the Sunday hacker to the scratch golfer to the club pro – the professional golfer will work on trying to increase flexibility, balance, strength, endurance and power.

The amateur during this time of the year (usually the winter when snow is on the ground) can implement a golf fitness program. A golf fitness program will entail developing the physical capacities of the body around the golf swing. The program will look to develop flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power in relation to the golf swing. This is the first step for the amateur to keeping their golf swing in shape all year long.

The amateur during this time of year can also implement swing drills into their training program. The professional may or may not incorporate swing drills into their program at this time year. But for the amateur I recommend it, why? This is the time of year in addition to developing the body for the golf swing. The amateur can work on swing faults that hindered their scores the previous season.

The swing drills can be simply performing “mirror drills” to work on posture and the phases of the golf swing.

You should start putting drills this time of the year. If you are lucky enough to live in a region you can play golf year around, a couple short sessions at the range every week is a good idea. I would recommend the range sessions be kept short and focused on fixing the “problem” areas in your golf swing. The important point is the off-season is a time the amateur can take advantage of working on both their bodies and their golf swing

Professionally when the PGA Tour season approaches, we begin what is essentially the preseason. This is when the player starts to practice the fundamental mechanics of the sport. If it’s a golfer, he’s on the range working on his swing, if it’s a pitcher, he’s throwing getting ready for spring training. Physically, we’re still training the body, but we tone it down while the player fine tunes his game. But make no mistake about it, even though working on the golf game is 75 percent of the focus of this pre-season training program, we’re still working on the basics of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance and power training.

The pre-season for the amateur marks the time of year when the snow is beginning to melt and the “itch” to play golf comes around. I would suggest the amateur follow a similar program as the professional during this time of year. Start spending more time at the range. Working on all aspects of your golf game. Continue with your golf fitness program, but you may want to back off it a little as a result of the increased practice time. Again, keep in mind the body swings the golf club and we must keep the body in shape to do so.

The pre-season program of increased golf practice and a little less golf fitness continues with the professional golfer until their first tournament. This marks the point when we shift to an in-season golf fitness program. The golf fitness exercises don’t stop, but we back off on the intensity. The program doesn’t change much. We’re still focused on flexibility, balance, strength, endurance and power, but the amount or volume of work is much less to accommodate the physical and mental strain of competition.

Four days of tournament play can take a toll on the body. As a result, we must back off on the amount of golf fitness training. The amateur during the golf season is probably in a little different of a situation. They are probably not playing 4 competitive rounds of golf per week plus practice. At most, they may be playing 2-3 rounds per week with a couple practice sessions. As a result of the lower volumes of golf they can spend a little more amount of time with their golf fitness program.

Essentially, the amateur can pretty much stick to pre-season volume of golf fitness training unless they are playing quite a bit. Just make sure the right balance of golf fitness training is in place in relation to your golf practice and playing. This is necessary so that you do not physically over-tax the body. Bottom line if you are looking to keep your golf game in shape and improving year around, I recommend following what the pros do; take a break at the end of the season, implement a golf fitness program, work on your swing faults during the winter, increase your practice time at the range before the season, and during the season keep a good balance of playing, practicing, and working out.

By: → Sean Cochran

Golf Flexibility Training Will Eliminate Tension In Your Golf Swing

Golf flexibility training has come a long way. There are many more golf flexibility training stretches that can greatly impact your golf swing. Simple golf stretches, that done daily will give you a huge return on investment (your time).

There is a big difference between ‘general’ flexibility training and golf flexibility training. Just take a look at the positions the body is in during the golf swing and you’ll see many potential golf stretches you can come up with on your own.

The most common area a golfer should apply golf flexibility training is the backswing, impact and follow through.

You might be saying, “well that’s the whole swing”.

Yes…you might think so, but I’m talking about creating a golf flexibility training program that incorporates golf stretches specifically for those positions of the swing. As mentioned earlier, just take a look at the position your body is in at the top of your backswing; impact; and follow through into your finish.

There are your stretches!

It’s not rocket science to come up with golf training programs regarding both flexibility and strength. You’ve just got to use your creative side and keep the golf swing in mind when devising these golf training programs.

Tension is the biggest “killer” in the golf swing…bar none!

Most amateurs, if not all of them (us) have tension in our golf swings. Tension robs you of power. This is a known fact! A tense muscle is a slow muscle. A slow muscle produces minimal speed and ultimately power.

The key to a powerful golf swing is minimal tension and effort equals maximum distance AND accuracy.

One quick way to improve this is with a consistent golf flexibility training program done daily. This doesn’t entail 60 minutes of your time and dozens of stretches. I’m talking about 6-8 key golf flexibility training stretches taking up no more than 15 minutes per day.

Can you handle that?

I know you can. If your golf performance is important to you, you’ll make the time to get the results!

And when you step onto that course and start making effortless golf swings that go farther and straighter than ever before, you’ll know it was well worth doing your golf flexibility training.

By: → Mike Pedersen

Hottest Thing In Golf Employment Today – Being A Golf Teacher

If you want to get involved in the game of golf, there are several ways to do it. Most people love to play the game during their free time. Others, however, love golf enough to want to make a career out of it. While lots of people are able to make a living by hitting straight drives, sinking long pressure putts, and posting low scores in the clubhouse, not everyone is blessed with that type of talent. Still, you do not have to be extraordinarily talented to get involved in the golf industry. One of the most popular and most rewarding forms of golf employment is the job of being a golf teacher. By having a great understanding of the fundamentals of the golf swing and a passion to teach others, you can be a great candidate to have awesome golf employment and make a difference in other people’s lives.

The game of golf has exploded in popularity in recent years and it seems that just about everyone wants to learn to play. By taking golf employment as a certified golf teacher, you can get a piece of the action and have a rewarding career. The teaching industry is growing just as quickly as the golf industry and because of that, new jobs are being created every day. At local country clubs, golf clubs, and municipal clubs all over the country, dedicated people are being hired based upon their enthusiasm and ability to teach. As a spin-off of this, the golf industry has created job opportunities for other people, including golf specific retailers, golf club repairmen, and even golf club fitters. All of these people are employed for a reason. The game of golf is reaching people like never before and it is about time you got a cut of the action.

As a golf teacher, your responsibilities will likely fall on helping golfers improve their game. Generally, you will have the chance to deal with young and new golfers in addition to those who just need a little reassurance. Those guys who are good enough to play professionally generally go to big-name swing coaches or a golf academy in order to get their training. Therefore, in the position of golf teacher at your country club, you will have a chance to make a real impact on a grass roots level. If this sounds like something that interests you, you should work on getting the necessary training.

As the industry has grown recently, the money available for golf employment positions has also grown. Good golf teaching professionals are able to charge a very good rate for their services. Generally, those looking to gain lessons and take in your expertise will have the resources to pay you well. ESPN has said that being a Sports center anchor is America’s dream job, but golf teaching professionals all over the country would probably argue against that adamantly.

Teaching golf is the top growing opportunity in golf employment. Whether you are interested in making money or simply in making a difference for other people, teaching will afford you that opportunity. The timing is great to jump into the industry as it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. With new television deals for the professional golf tours and golfers like Tiger Woods continuing to carry the game into the 21st century, it is apparent that there is an ongoing interest in the game of golf, and it is here to stay.

By: → Andy West