Your Golf Season Doesn’t
Have To Be Over
It’s rolling deep into fall and before you know it, we’ll
be wishing Merry Christmas to everyone (well, maybe not everyone).
For most golfers this means putting away the clubs in a hard-to-reach
place just behind all the winter clothing in a closet. It’s
just as well; they won’t be needed for another 6 months. In
much the same way golf clubs get put away so does the golfer’s
mental thoughts of the game. It’s almost as if the sport doesn’t
exist, and for many it doesn’t. For others, a small dose of
depression sets in as the season rolls to an end.
The game must go on. No, I don’t suggest you move to Florida
for the winter. Living in the north forces you to take a break from
the constant swinging, and it is prime time for you to jump on a
strength and conditioning plan for golf. This is the off-season.
Just as in all sports, the off-season is time for conditioning.
It’s time for you to prepare yourself for the next season.
The off-season is not the end of golf… it’s actually
the very beginning of the next season.
The beginning of the off-season need not be strenuous. In fact,
it’s a good idea to take a couple of weeks to unwind from
the season, do some light stretching, and put together a plan of
attack for the remainder of the off-season. Focusing on light stretches
and rest helps the body recover from the repetitive stress it endured
during the season. Your golfing frequency during the season and
level of conditioning will determine how much rest time you need.
After the recovery phase, it’s time to train. In most cases
a gym that provides suitable equipment is helpful, although you
can get very good training from a stability ball, a few light dumbbells,
and your own bodyweight. Regardless of where you are working out,
most of your exercise choices should require stabilization while
you perform the movement. In other words, do not use machines or
other assistance devices that take away from your body’s own
stabilizing duties. Exercising a particular muscle or set of muscles
in the absence of core control will only downgrade the neurological
system. Thus, in most cases, machine training should be limited
because machines do the stabilizing for you. Cable systems are not
considered machines, and these systems are very useful for golf
Your diet can also have a strong influence over core control. Many
of us follow a diet plan that creates abdominal stresses such as
bloat, frequent gas, infrequent bowel movements, and intestinal
inflammation. If this is the case for you, then you are likely not
achieving the full potential of your core. Abdominal stresses have
the ability to inhibit core function through the reflexive action
of the small intestines. This is because of the close relationship
of the intestines and abdominal muscles. For more on this, read
some of the articles posted at www.sbbiomechanics.com. Basically
what I’m telling you is eat for nutrition and reduce the amount
of crap you feed yourself.
A general periodization plan should be followed when conditioning
for golf. It’s generally a good idea to start off with a light
weight for 12-15 reps during the first 2-3 weeks of training. You
also want to incorporate a mixture of exercises that hit all three
planes of motion (front-to-back, side-to-side, and rotation). After
the initial three weeks of 12-15 reps you can then go down to a
6-12 rep range. You would then adjust the weight accordingly to
maintain a challenge. It’s a good idea to eventually train
the abdominal and hamstring muscles around 8 reps. These muscle
groups tend to be fast twitch dominant thus responding better to
heavier weight and fewer reps. Muscles in the back tend to respond
better to higher reps. Don’t forget to incorporate stretches
for all the tight areas. Training 2-5 times per week, depending
on your schedule and desire, should yield good results.
So as you can see the golf season, in some ways, is just beginning.
It’s all a matter of perspective. Conditioning for golf is
still in its social infancy. Not many golfers take advantage of
the huge benefits it provides. Perhaps the benefits are opaque to
you, or maybe it’s a matter of time or desire. Regardless
of the reason, the value of golf conditioning has certainly proved
itself time and time again.
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