Time is a precious commodity when it comes to golf. We need to set aside time for practice, play and training in addition to managing our jobs, our families and other priorities and interests. Training should be a compliment to our complete process of development for a better game. Let's keep things simple when it comes to golf training by focusing on those things that can make a solid difference in the shortest period of time.
Performing too little is the same as performing too much. In either case, this is not a productive approach. Overtraining is a common problem among elite athletes and it isn't any different for golf. Your body needs an opportunity for repair, remodeling and growth so give it proper rest to see the best results. The opposite effect can also occur which is performing too little. If you follow one of the principles of progressive resistance then you should always use resistance that is greater than what your body is accustomed to.
Power is driven from the core. The abdominal muscles should never be trained in isolation because they are never an isolated movement in golf. Core training serves as the foundation for strength, power, speed and all elements of movement. When performing rotational movements, make sure you set your body in the proper position first. Begin by establishing good posture. Specifically, this means placing your feet about shoulder width apart with chest up, shoulders back and down and navel pulled in. This creates a solid position which actively engages the core so you can achieve optimal training results. When performing rotational movements like wood chops and medicine ball tosses, always check to make sure your movements are core driven.
Muscle integration is superior to isolation. Functional training for golf is a system that focuses on training the body the way it will be used when you compete or play. This makes it the most efficient and effective form of training today. Functional training improves athletic ability, enhances performance, and reduces injuries while developing golf specific movement patterns. The goal becomes not only the development of more efficient patterns of movement, but endurance patterns as well so the motion has a better chance of being repeated swing after swing.
Balance is an essential element. Balance comes in many forms when you think about golf training. Each golfer should strive for improved balance by assessing strength and flexibility discrepancies looking for opportunities of self improvement. Look at your body as individual segments comparing your top half to your bottom. How strong is your upper body compared to your lower body? How does the strength of your mid section compare to the strength of your lower back? Next, take a look at your flexibility. How is the rotation of your shoulder joints on your left arm compared to your right? Is your left side less flexible than your right? Is your lower body tighter than your upper body? Each of these assessments are considerations in seeking a higher functioning, more balanced body for golf. Weaknesses create opportunities for injuries to creep in as well as ways for the body to perform less optimally.
Susan Hill is a fitness trainer, CHEK golf biomechanic and sports nutrition specialist. Her work has been featured in Golf Illustrated, Travel Golf, SELF magazine and Resort living. For on-line golf specific exercises and stretches, visit http://www.fitnessforgolf.com