One of the best things you can do to improve your golf game, and to prevent injury is to get your body fit for golf. When we talk about golf fitness, we are talking about your flexibility, mobility, stability, strength, power and endurance. All of these components are interconnected to one another.
To improve your mobility, you have to improve your stability, to improve your stability, you need to improve your strength, to improve your power, you have to improve your stability and strength. To improve your golf endurance you have to improve the efficiency of your swing. Because we live in a world where we do a lot of sitting we lose much of the mobility and stability in our body. No only with this make having a great golf swing more difficult (and golf is hard enough already) it will increase your risk on injury (back pain)
When golfers of all ages come to see us, we give them a golf movement screening. In this screening we can isolate the weak links in mobility, stability and strength. From the information we get from the screening, we put together an individualize fitness program for the golfer.
Mobility and Stability is one of the areas we will talk about. Stability is crucial to having the mobility to make a proper backswing, and creating power to hit the ball as far as you can. There is a saying “ you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe”. In golf, you can’t hit a great shot if you are unstable, if you, it’s luck or happens by accident.
Mobility is the combination of normal joint range of motion and proper muscular flexibility. This is a must for proper golf mechanics and to prevent injury. Mobility allows the body to move in all six degrees of motion, giving the ability to perform any motion without having to sacrifice stability. Mobility allows the generation of Elastic energy between muscles and therefore establishes a base for efficient power production (hitting the ball far)
Stability is the ability of any system to remain unchanged or aligned in the presence of a change of outside forces. There are areas of our body that are defined as stabilizers (such as the lumbar spine) that are asked to stabilize the body, Stability is created by combining three things
I will use another example for stability.
If you want to keep a bow of a bow and arrow stable as you pull the string of the bow back, you must have good balance, strength and muscular endurance. This is the same principal involved in creating a powerful golf swing. The ability to keep one part of the body secure (not moving) while stretching and contracting adjacent segments allows us to generate speed and maintain a consistent posture throughout the golf swing. That is stability.
With all this being said, through exercise and being active and participating in other sports will always help maintain our mobility and stability. If we are less active, then we will lose this. This is one of the reasons older golfers get back issues.
We want to enjoy playing golf as good as we can for as long as we can.
Ron Munvez is founder of Tri-Fitness & Performance a sports performance and personal training company. He is also certified by Titleist Performance Institute as a certified golf fitness Instructor