Inside Golf : Inside Golf Feb 2016
fitness 60 February 2016 | www.insidegolf.com.au Ready to play your best golf game? Then you need to think about your fitness. Most golfers know the benefit of fitness for golf, yet still there is a belief that just practicing and playing are going to be enough. No matter what level your game is at, if you are serious about improving your performance, adding in strength work will benefit your game. as it is with any other sport, strength and fitness is important for golf players. However, golfers are often put off by this idea, thinking that weightlifting will make them bulky and unable to swing the club easily. This is far from the truth. Weightlifting does not mean that you are a bodybuilder with a goal to getting huge. No, using weights is about becoming better prepared for your sport and lowering the risk of injury. In the long run, this means more time playing at your best. a well-designed gym program for golf players will help in two main ways: Injury prevention. The golf swing is a repetitive, single sided movement, which involves the whole body. Over time, the repetitive nature of the activity creates imbalances in the body, which can result in poor posture habits often manifesting themselves in overuse injuries. a proper strength and conditioning training program will look at addressing those imbalances before injuries can take over. Performance: a well-designed strength and conditioning training program will improve performance by improving the body in the following ways. Core: Core strength and stability is vital for a golf player. The upper and lower body act in sequence with each other. The mid section of the body is the link between both. Without a stabile and mobile midsection, you will leak energy through inefficient movement patterns and ultimately lose both power and distance. Posture: Without a strong and stable mid-section, posture will most likely be compromised. The most common poor posture habits are rounded shoulders in the upper body and pelvis tilting forward, towards your toes in the lower body. This places extra stress on the body and interferes with the golf swing. Mobility: Having optimal mobility in the joints and muscles allows the body to achieve the range of movement in the golf swing. Flexibility and stretching activities are a must for golf players. Power: everyone wants to improve the distance they make the ball travel. To increase your force production you need to improve relative strength. However, for the golf swing, improving relative strength is only part of the puzzle. Mobility, stability, and posture and speed all feature in power development. all of the above points are linked. Remember, the idea is not to turn into a weightlifter but to become a better athlete. If you’re not sure where to start or you want the best results, I suggest finding a qualified sports physiotherapist and a golf fitness professional to give you the best chance of preparing your body for a better golf game. • Getting kids fit for golf Better fitness for better golf Richard Nizielski is a Brisbane-based golf fitness expert and the Director of Golf Fit Solutions. A three-time Olympian and medallist in the sport of short track speed skating, Richard is a qualified sports and personal trainer designing individual fitness and nutrition programs for both professional and amateur golfers here in Australia and overseas. www.golffitsolutions.com Richard Nizielski email@example.com 0438 027 768 IHOpe you all had a great holiday season and have kicked off the New year the right way (with plenty of golf ). With summer in full swing, this is a great time to introduce children to playing golf. If you are keen to have your children/grandchildren playing golf, it is important they have the right-sized equipment. Where children are concerned, all equipment used should be suited to the child’s size and ability. Children have nowhere near the same strength that an adult has, so taking an old set of adult clubs and cutting them down is not the answer. The shafts, lie angles and weight of the equipment are too much for a child’s body to swing correctly and control. Using such inappropriate equipment will cause the young player to compensate technique through incorrect muscle recruitment and will place undue stress and strain on the joints and muscles. Likewise, using equipment which is too small can lead to problems. as the child grows both in height and general strength the golf clubs should be upgraded to suit. This will keep the young golfer at the correct posture and body position during the golf swing, thereby minimising the exposure to stresses and risk of injury. Several junior golf club suppliers offer shaft upgrades; so as the child grows, the clubs can be lengthened. There are plenty of child golf club kits which can be purchased through your local golf shop or club pro-shop. all golf players will benefit from an appropriate fitness program. For junior players, a fitness program should focus on the development of functional strength, overall fitness, movement skills, coordination, balance and, most importantly, enjoying sport and moving. as with golf equipment, the fitness equipment should be of an appropriate size and weight. The activities should include a blend of skill development and healthy competition. Hopping, jumping, throwing and catching activities will improve hand-eye coordination, body control and balance. These acquired skills can then be incorporated into golf swing activities. as an example: standing on one leg and throwing and catching a ball, either against a wall or with a partner, at varying distances will help develop leg strength, balance, power generation, distance control and coordination. a golf activity can then be added, which includes all these skills. Just as it is for adults, children like to improve their skills and in doing so enjoy their golf. Having the correct equipment, developing a body which can perform the required movements and avoid injury will help with achieving this. Giving children these opportunities will keep them healthy and enjoying golf. Happy golfing!
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