Following on from last months ‘Training Specificity” post (HERE) with the quote from Charlie Weingroff, here’s a few ideas of how to train specifically for golf, other than mimicking movement patterns. Here’s a simple list:
1. Muscle Contraction – think about the golf swing, where the muscles are being stretched (or lengthened) during the backswing and then contracted (or shortened) during the down swing. Therefore, to be golf specific, an exercise could stretch and then contact a muscle/ muscle group.
2. Flexibility/Range of Motion – trying the copy the range of motion during the golf swing in the gym may turn out to replicate certain movements but doesn’t require the entire golf swing to be copied at once. An exercise like a Landmine, for example, where you are working on hip internal rotation.
3. Speed of Movement – the golf swing is a very quick movement and for an exercise to be golf specific, it could be performed at high velocity. Something as simple as a vertical jump will do.
4. Force of Contraction/Forces Applied on the Body – to create club head speed, force must be applied to the golf club (albeit at speed). Similar forces could be applied to exercise in the gym. Think about the amount of effort used during each golf swing and match it in the gym with any exercise. Also, think about the forces that are applied to the body (joints such as knees, hips and back/spine) during the golf swing. In the gym you need to prepare the body to withstand these forces to reduce the risk of injury.
5. Energy System Recruitment – Similarly to speed of movement, but performing exercises which match the duration of the golf swing (i.e. quick/explosive movements) with your exercise selection. But also think about hitting balls on the driving range where you might hit 100’s and not have the same amount of rest time (compared to the golf course). And then the energy /fitness requirements of walking 18 holes of golf.
6. Fatigue – think about the fatigue on course or whilst practising (as mentioned above). Additionally, fatigue could also be mental/psychological and therefore, challenging this in the gym (i.e. exercises making you think, co-ordinate and/or concentrate) whilst demonstrating good form can train physical and mental fatigue.
All of the above will help prepare your body for playing your best golf. It’s by no means in-depth into the requirements of golf specific training, but just to give you an idea and to illustrate a point that to be golf specific, a movement in the gym doesn’t have to look like the golf swing.