Facts and Fallacies of Strength Training for Golf

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Various aspects of golf training have expanded rapidly, but one area of development that has caught on somewhat slowly is golf-specific strength training. Not until very recently has this specific need been addressed. As with many things, it started at the top with pros like Tiger Woods and David Duval and began to trickle down to the masses over time. Unfortunately, many golfers still live under the old assumption that strength training is detrimental. The truth is that the days of simply practicing and playing to make yourself a stronger and better golfer are from a bygone era. I am not trying to diminish the fact that ultimately golf skills are the most important aspect of golf, but improving your swing performance will only get you so far. If you want to develop into the best player you can be, you better get with the program-a strength training program, that is.

Let's take a look at a few of the fallacies that may be holding some of you back.

Fallacy #1: Resistance training will cause a loss of flexibility.

Fact: It is a proven fact that full range of motion resistance training will actually improve your flexibility.

Fallacy #2: Resistance training will result in "bulking up".

Fact: Performing resistance training by itself will not cause the development of excess muscle mass; additional caloric intake is also required. Some individuals are under the impression that lifting heavier weights for fewer repetitions will cause this "bulking-up" phenomenon. This is also false. As a matter of fact, lifting heavier weights for fewer repetition is one way to gain strength without adding "bulk". Therefore, if you are involved in a program designed to develop stability, strength, and power specific to the needs of golf, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Fallacy #3: Resistance training will have adverse effects on your swing.

Fact: Performing resistance training can actually have a positive effect on your swing. Resistance training helps develop what is known as kinesthetic awareness, the ability to detect bodily position, weight, and movement of the muscles, tendons, and joints.

Fallacy #4: Swinging a weighted club will produce more specific strength gains than performing a resistance training program.

Fact: If anything, swinging a weighted club will produce an improper swing. The compensation required to swing the weighted club creates faulty swing mechanics and firing patterns. Also, most weighted club programs call for using the clubs at slow speeds. The problem with that is when golfers tee up, they are not trying to drive the ball with a 50-75% swing. They want to all-out blast it down the fairway with a powerful 100% swing. If the name of the game for golfers is club head SPEED, using a heavy club and a slow swing to gain strength won't work. To gain strength and develop speed, you have to train for speed.

Fallacy #5: It takes too much time.

Fact: You can't afford not to start a golf-specific flexibility, strength, and conditioning program if you desire to be the best golfer you can be. Depending on your individual starting point, you may be able to make progress with as little as a 1 ? hours training time per week. A small investment that will reap huge dividends on the course.

Hopefully, reading this article helped shed some light on the truth about strength training for golf and how it is NOT detrimental to your game, but more than likely, VERY beneficial.

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Troy M. Anderson, B.A., PES, CPT, is the owner of Integrated Evolution, LLC, in Tempe, AZ. The #1 goal of Integrated Evolution is to provide individuals with solutions to their performance enhancement needs. For more golf fitness tips, subscribe to The Blue Collar Fitness Report at

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