Physical Fitness: Betters Your Golf Game
Without spending hundreds of dollars on a teaching professional, and endless stressful hours at the golf course or driving range, one can improve his or her golf game by doing the proper combination of flexibility training, resistance training, cardiovascular training, using appropriate supplements, and eating a well balanced diet on a daily basis.
Exercise also increases mental stamina, which lets a person work harder for a longer time (which is great for ones golf game)! Golf and flexibility go hand in hand. Flexibility training basically consists of you stretching and expanding your muscles to a certain extent (Appleton).
There are plenty of different ways one can incorporate flexibility training in there daily workout and reduce the risk of future injuries by allowing blood to flow to the muscles. Resistance training is used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles, by doing physical workouts which is performed against a force generating resistance through anaerobic exercises (Piazza). It involves a great deal of body awareness, muscle control and coordination- all are key elements for improving a golfer’s game (Moorehouse). Golf deals with a great amount of aerobic exercises.
Cardiovascular training places stress on the cardio respiratory system and strengthen the heart, lungs, and muscles through aerobic exercises (Pederson). It also is great for increasing ones endurance. Using the appropriate supplements will help fill the gaps in ones diet and provide sufficient, qualities of vital minerals that are often missed in processed foods (Kybartas). Vitamins and minerals are important to a high-quality performance because ones body is getting the proper nutrients it needs, and they help assist the body in muscle repair which decreases muscle soreness (Pederson).
Eating a well balanced diet on a daily basis helps keep a person energetic and fit no matter his or her age (Arora). Flexibility is defined as the absolute range of movement in a joint or series of muscles that is attainable in a momentary activity that requires muscle involvement (Appleton). Most golfers do not take into consideration flexibility when it comes to training for golf but being flexible is a key component to the golf swing everyone desires. The three types of flexibility training are: functional, corrective, and active.
Functional Flexibility is the ability of the pieces of the skeleton to move freely, easily, and fluidly float through the ranges of motion the joints and hinges were designed for (Anderson). It also has excellent enhancement on the extensibility of soft tissue. Corrective Flexibility is when one alters their joint motions and improves their muscle imbalances. Active Flexibility is the ability to assume and maintain extended positions using only the tension of the agonists while the antagonists are being extended (Anderson).
No matter how similar the flexibility training is, each phase requires its own specific stretching techniques. Functional flexibility uses self-myofascial release and dynamic stretching such as yoga; corrective flexibility also uses self-myofascial release but instead of dynamic stretching it requires static stretching such as using a thick, large rubber band to stretch; and active flexibility is again using self-myofascial release just requiring active-isolated stretching such as lifting your leg and holding it in position with out any help from a person or piece of equipment (Quinn).
Doing the correct stretching in the three different phases is beneficial also to ones health rather than just flexibility by reducing muscle tension and helping one be in a more relaxed state, on the physical and mental side. It also can reduce injury time after getting hurt, muscles soreness after a heavy workout, and decrease the chance of injuries.
Stretching increases any golfers ability to perform what their swing coach is constantly telling him or her by about having the right “touch and feeling”, especially when trying to accomplish specific tasks by simply having the appropriate weight on each side of their body and eliminating the pressure in their grip which travels up their entire arm. Flexibility training is most important for golfers because it helps develop body control and awareness, allowing it to be easier to perform the exact motions in the golf swing that a swing coach asks of.
Stretching a highly recommended and very important before, during, and after a round of golf not only to increase the player’s flexibility but to allow their body to swing more freely and improve club and distance control (Piazza). To be fully successful in the game of golf the player needs to attain a well balanced shoulder turn and reach a high finish by swinging the club, and to increase their range of motion, they need the proper flexibility training (Piazza).
Resistance training is any type of exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of it increases in mass, tone, strength, and/or endurance (Doan). The external resistance training can be used with dumbbells, cables, rubber exercise tubing, ones own body weight, kettles, resistance bands or any object that can cause the muscles to contract. Cross training is one of the best forms of resistance training for a golfer because it lets the body do similar swing motions with cables as ones body would do during their natural back swing and follow through (Doan).
Resistance training is a crucial component to improving ones golf game, and is beyond beneficial to the golfer itself. Resistance training can reduces the risk of a player injuring his or her self, the recovery time after an injury occurs, increase muscle control, reduce muscle soreness, and improve the performance of the player (Kuzmic 65). To develop greater power with less effort one must have balanced muscle developed in their body. This is most important because it lets the player generate more club head speed and hit the ball harder without using excess effort and causing tension on the swing (65).
The key to hitting the ball straight is all in proper muscle balance and development allowing the golfer to use less effort and maintain relaxation as he or she applies more power. Also, there are many situations one can put his or her self into on the course such as, being in heavy sand, deep rough, or a bad buried lie where just pure strength is useful (67). Cardiovascular training is an aerobic form of exercise that helps develop the heart, the lungs, and the vascular system (Thomas). Improving your cardiovascular system can boost energy, increase endurance, stamina and therefore mental focus.
A quality cardiovascular workout will do wonders for a person’s body by improving their lungs, heart, and lowering their heart rate and blood pressure. Exercise also builds up the immune system helping to protect ones body from illnesses (Pederson). Good cardiovascular activities one can do to have an effective workout without owning a gym pass is swimming, jogging, running, brisk walking, bike riding, jump roping, and rowing. If some prefer their local gym and being indoors rather than outdoors there are also many good types of equipment that can be used such as; the treadmill, an indoor bike, the stair master, and the elliptical.
Many golfers tend to focus a bit more on their cardiovascular workout because golf and cardio training are connected whether some may believe it or not. Since exercise increases mental stamina as well physical, it gives the golfer the ability to work hard for a longer time, which is ideal in golf (Pederson). An average golfer takes approximately eighty to two hundred swings per round, carries about a forty five pound golf bag on a course that can be flat or angulated and is five to six miles long, with a round that can last anywhere from four and a half to six hours long.
These factors all add up to a golfers tendency to make improper choices in shot selection, decrease of leg drive in the follow through, and shank shots as the round comes closer to the eighteenth hole. Muscles of the core are the powerhouse of a good golf swing, so therefore proper conditioning such as cardiovascular training will make a huge difference in the power one gets from longer shots (Quinn).
When people think of performance-enhancing sports nutrition supplements, they probably do not think of golfers. Well taking appropriate supplements is beneficial for a golfer because a good supplement will let them keep mental focus longer and play better golf. A good supplement will help fill the gaps in a diet and provide vital minerals that are usually missed in processed foods that are important for the body, in order to have a high quality performance (Kybartas).
A quick and easy alternative to fatty, unhealthy foods are shakes or protein bars because a golfer knows they are getting the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, and plus they can eat them on the go or carry them in their golf bag for during the round or practices (Matics). Amino acids are extra important to have before and after cardio and resistance training because it will help prevent muscle soreness by giving off protein directly to the muscles and can effectively maintain neurotransmitters in the brain for after workouts (Brewer and Gorosteroga).
When using the appropriate supplements a golfer is increasing his or her endurance, health and fitness level on and off the golf course allowing them to live a better, healthier life and be more successful on the golf course. Eating a well balanced diet on a daily basis helps keep a person’s well being stable such as; their health, energy level, physical appearance, and athletic performances because when one has the right eating habits on a daily basis they are in less risk of being obese, having a stroke, having high blood pressure, diabetes, or osteoporosis (Kuzmic 123).
Eating five or six small meals a day rather than three large meals helps increase the metabolic rate, feeling hungry between meals and over eating during meals, it also helps keep a persons energy level up, maintain the proper blood sugar level, and reduces the chance of getting a head ache (Arora). A healthy balanced diet one should follow on a daily basis consists of eating the appropriate amounts of foods from the five basic food groups which are: carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and protein.
One also needs the six essential nutrients to live and perform well, those being: carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, and water (Home Health-UK). Knowing when, what, and how to eat can really make a difference in a golfers game (Kuzmic 128). A full stomach can cause the body to switch attention and blood flow to the digestive system instead if the muscles that are essential for golf, therefore it is not recommended to eat too much before a round of golf or during the round.
Hydration is an crucial component in the successfulness of ones golf game, a golfer should drink any where from eight to ten glasses of water a day (Breland). Staying hydrated helps a golfer stay away from getting lightheaded, and weak on the course. Small portioned, portable, healthy snacks such as cut up fruit, granola bars, or whole wheat crackers are good to eat during a round because they are full of slow-burning fuel that can help a golfer get through a round without fatigue (Kuzmic 128).
So with that said, eating a balanced diet on a daily basis helps a golfer stay fit and keep their energy level Being physically fit is the component to playing the round of golf every golfer desires for. And to achieve that, one must do the proper combination of flexibility training, resistance training, cardiovascular training, use appropriate supplements, and eat a well balanced diet on a daily basis. If one does those five simple key ingredients, they will find themselves driving the ball further, having better ball control, being more accurate with their shots, and keeping the right mental and physical stamina on the golf course.
All it takes is a few hours a week of physical training and changing a few bad eating habits and one is closer to a more enjoyable round of lower scores. When a golfer builds up their golf energy by being flexible, achieving resistance for their swing, having a stronger mental and physical endurance by cardio, adding nutritional supplements, and eating good healthy foods, they can become a stronger golfer and enjoy the game of golf even more.