A Physiotherapist’s Guide To Home-Based ‘Golf Fitness’ - Part 1
Getting yourself ready for a return to the course.
When it comes to golfers trying to improve their game, the automatic thought for most is to get out and hit some balls, “practice, practice, practice!”.
Whilst this is important, far too often golfers neglect to work on the key physical components that are required to carry out something as complex as the golf-swing.
As a keen golfer and also a specialist physio with an understanding of the biomechanics of the golf-swing, I have always found this quite strange…Golfers, personally have a greater ability to improve the physical components required for the golf-swing, when compared to trying to improve the technical components.
The benefits of home-based ‘golf fitness’
Improving the technical components of the golf-swing, whilst important, often comes at a higher cost due to the need to have professional golf lessons. Getting yourself into better shape to help your golf should be the first area you try to work on if you want to improve your game.
The concept of making your ‘own’ golf-swing ‘more efficient’, is more realistic then trying to swing like the pros…
Research (Doan et al, 2006) has proven that by engaging in a programme of golf specific fitness, club-head speed can be increased by as much as 7%. Driving distance can also be increased by an average of 15 yards, with no negative effects on accuracy. This evidence tells us that your game can therefore be improved, and from a physio’s perspective, the stronger, more flexible and more stable you are, the less likely you are to get injured too…
At present, whilst we are all being forced to spend more time at home and with golf courses closed, why not take this great opportunity to work on your ‘golf fitness’ at home.
Recommended ‘training tools’ required for home-based ‘golf fitness’
Home-based ‘golf fitness’ can be straightforward - you don’t need expensive equipment. It can be simple and very effective with specific, targeted exercises. For those looking to get started, here is my list of physio recommended ‘training tools’ that could help you to achieve your optimal ‘golf fitness’. My physio recommended list of items includes:
- Yourself (the cheapest and easiest product to find!)
- A resistance band
- A set of dumbbell weights
You will all be pleased to see that number 1 on the list is ‘yourself’. There are many simple and effective exercises you can do from home using just your bodyweight and no equipment. This means there should be no excuse for anyone looking for an ‘easy out’.
3 key physical components required for an ‘efficient golf-swing’
As a physio, I believe there are 3 key physical components that all golfers need to have at their optimal level in order to make their ‘own’ golf-swing ‘more efficient’. These are:
- Mobility (this article)
- Stability (click here to jump to 'Stability')
- Strength (click here to jump to 'Strength')
Each of these components play a significant part within the golf-swing. I have written these 3 key physical components in order of ranking. Without optimal ‘Mobility’, achieving ‘Stability’ and ‘Strength’ is much harder. Having less than optimal ‘Mobility’ is often one of the first reasons why your golf-swing begins to develop faults.
Phase 1 for home-based ‘golf fitness’- ‘Mobility’
Having poor ‘Mobility’, most commonly within your hips and thoracic (middle) spine, will often lead to swing faults like ‘Early Extension’, ‘Reverse C Finish’ and ‘Reverse Spine Angle’. These swing faults all produce less then effective shots like ‘slices’, ‘hooks’ and shots with a huge loss of power and distance.
My physio recommendation would therefore be to initially work on your ‘Mobility’ as a priority. This part is very straightforward and requires no equipment, just ‘yourself’ from the list of my physio recommended ‘training tools’.
Please click here view and download a PDF that I have put together with some simple golf ‘Mobility’ exercises. This would be my physio recommended starting point for anyone wanting to engage in a home-based ‘golf fitness’ training programme. This training programme should be completed 3 times per week, for a period of at least 2 weeks in order to improve basic ‘Mobility’.
Summary - Part 1
Home-based ‘golf fitness’ can bring many great benefits to your golf game. It can be simple and easy, and you don’t need much equipment except for a few physio recommended ‘training tools’.
Working on your ‘Mobility’ will act as a great starting point to home-based ‘golf fitness’. This is physio recommended, and if you can improve and maintain this component, you can then move onto the next phase of achieving optimal ‘golf fitness’ by working on your ‘Stability’ and ‘Strength’.
If you have any queries after reading any of this, then why not book a Remote Physiotherapy Consultation with me by clicking here. I can also offer a bespoke Golf Screening Assessment via video link too. Please click here for more information about what a Golf Screening Assessment entails, or to find more information about what other specialist physiotherapy services we offer to golfers at The White House Clinic.
Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 of my physiotherapist’s guide for golfers, where I will give an insight into developing the key physical component of ‘Stability’ for home-based ‘golf fitness’. This will include a further training programme using the physio recommended ‘training tools’ for home-based ‘golf fitness’.
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