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Spring has sprung and it’s time, once again, to face the fairway, but not until you face some facts that will improve your game and help prevent injuries on the course.

The lower back, wrist and elbow account for 80% of all injuries sustained by golfers. Like most sports, golf recruits muscles from nearly every part of your body (see diagrams); This is why the importance of a comprehensive exercise program cannot be ignored, and why your participation in one is mandatory.

Cardiovascular exercise, strength training and appropriate stretching techniques are crucial components in a balanced program for amateur and professional golfers alike.

Cardiovascular exercise consists of moderate to intense activity sustained for at least twenty minutes, involving large muscle groups. Options include walking, running, cycling, and cardio machines, such as stationary bikes, treadmills, arc and elliptical trainers, stair and versa climbers. A golfer walks an average of 5-6 miles over an 18 hole course. The heart rate of a fit player will remain stabile, because muscles are adequately oxygenated. This flow of oxygen results in sufficient energy, stamina and recovery time, even during physically stressful conditions, like walking uphill. Under these circumstances, a peak level of mental concentration can also be achieved, due to the maintenance of high oxygen flow to the brain.

All strength training employs resistance to muscular contraction for the purpose of building strength and anaerobic endurance. Common approaches include the use of free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, and one’s own body weight. A golf specific program, incorporating strength exercises, develops the muscles that allow a golfer to: attain correct set up, maintain proper posture, and perform all phases of the golf swing. In other words, a comprehensive program designed for golfers consists of strength training exercises that work the whole body, but are specific to the actions of a golf swing.

Flexibility is the capacity of a joint to move throughout its full range of motion without any restrictions, and is critical to the golf swing. Flexibility allows for the force in the swing to increase by prestretching a muscle before it’s called to perform. When a muscle is prestretched, it provides a tighter coil, resulting in a more powerful contraction. Defined as pre-loading the muscle, this translates to stronger, more effective swings for every level of golfer. Consistently performing a powerful, controlled golf swing requires flexibility throughout the golfer’s entire body.

Muscles used in Golf

Quick Tip Before Teeing Off

Adequately prepare before each outing by warming up and stretching. Begin by walking for 7-10 minutes. Follow that up with dynamic stretching exercises for your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, torso, shoulders, back, and neck. Finally, gently swing your club from the opposite side 15-20 times to balance the one-sidedness of your regular stroke.

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Written by Brooks Juneau

May 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Back, Sports

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