Golf is a game that is all about technique. You don’t need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger in order to hit a golf ball for miles, rather you just need to know how to hold your club, how to relax your muscles, and how to carry through with the swing as though you are trying to slice through the ball entirely. In fact, if anything golf is more of a mental game – more people have been put off by a case of the yips than by a lack of muscle.
But that’s not to say that there’s no place for strength in golf. Working out can only enhance your game as it gives you the muscle to put behind that swing. Put it this way, while technique > muscle power, technique + muscle power > everything. On top of this, exercising and working out will also help to keep you generally healthy, to increase your stamina, and to help you play for longer without any hiccups.
The point to remember though is this: just as golf is a game of precision, strategy and patience, so should your golfing workout follow the same principles. This isn’t just going to be hours spent in the gym throwing heavy weights around, this is going to be fine tuning your body with precision to create the ultimate golfing machine.
The Muscles You Need
To do this, you need to identify first the muscles that you need in golf and then come up with a strategy to fine tune those specifically. In particular, you will find that the most important muscles are the triceps, the forearms, the lats, the shoulders, the core and the legs. This is because you will be generating power initially by pushing up through your legs off of the ground then twisting your hips. Meanwhile you will swing the club down from a high position using your shoulder muscles, and then continue to twist your waist as you swing the club through with a push and then up to continue the movement.
If this interpretation doesn’t sound right to you, then just take a look at any professional golfer’s physique and you will see that those are indeed the muscles that stand out most.
Hitting Those Areas
To target these muscles you will find a number of exercises online and you should then split your training into parts that target particular muscles. To get you started though, here are some exercises to try:
Triceps: Tricep Dips – Simply have your palms behind you on a chair or bench and use your arms to suspend your buttocks above the ground. Now dip down with your shoulders at right angles so that you almost touch the floor and repeat.
Lats: Lat Pull Down – This is a machine in the gym that simply requires you to pull a bar directly down towards you using a wide overhand grip. Pull ups are also good.
Core: Twisting Sit Ups – Twisting sit ups hit the abs, but they also target the crucial ‘obliques’. These are the muscles down the sides of the abs that you use in twisting your body and they are very important for generating that torque.
Forearms: Rope Climbing – This will also target your entire upper body. An alternative if this isn’t available is to do pull ups by hanging onto a towel that’s over a pull up bar and gripping it tightly with your firsts.
Legs: Squats – Squats are the ultimate exercise for legs that will work your entire lower body as well as your core.
Also useful though are compound exercises that get you to repeat the motion that you would in golf under resistance. One perfect example is to use ‘Cable Golf Swings’ which involve grabbing a handle attached to a cable at a low point and then swinging it up as though it were a golf club.
If you can split these exercises up across two or three days and add in a few more for each body part then you will start to build strength for golf. Add in an addition one or two days of CV and stretching to increase your CV and your flexibility and you’ll start to notice your game really improving.
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The author of this post is Tyson Harvey, an employee at JP Golf, leading providers in beginner golf lessons. His hobbies include swimming and basketball.