Those who are serious about their golf game, from top level tour players all the way to the weekend warrior, knows that to excel in the game of golf it is not easy. Golf is an ongoing endeavor to achieve your best of a combination of power, precision, rhythm, mental focus, consistency, vision, honing of fine motor skills and preparation, just to name a few. I don't know of any golfer regardless of ability that is not always looking for the edge to take their game to the next level. There is much that goes into this game, and most all applies to optimizing life in general as well. As a TPI Level 3 certified fitness trainer and a 25-plus-year veteran of working with many folks from all aspects of goals and life including golfers; here are 11 key aspects in no particular order that can continue to move you forward in the quest to become the best athlete at golf that you can be:
- Strength: You'll thrive in golf and life when you maximize your strength. We're not talking body builder stuff here, just good, strong, balanced overall full body strength. Total body strength is the goal especially the glutes. At TPI glutes are considered the "kings" and this is true not just for golf but for all sports and in life. Strength is a combo of training muscles to get stronger plus optimum recruitment or "participation" of all muscles needed for a given movement. Total body strength is a great foundation bonus all around to hone your game
- Speed of Movement with Control and Coordination: You want the ability to execute moves quickly with efficiency for golf especially in your long drive and iron shots. This involves taking a given motion like a push, pull, press or rotation and executing the motion rapidly but with control and appropriate range of motion and resistance.
- Power: Power is the ultimate combo of your strength and your speed in a given movement. How fast can you do a given movement and how much force can you generate? Exercises of plyometrics like box jumps, a vertical jump or push-ups where you actually push your hands of the floor and return are some examples. Ultimately in golf you want to achieve maximum rotational power in your swing so you can achieve your best long distance on the drive. Rotational power is a major factor in your game and should be trained consistently and appropriately. Rotational power combines total body synergy: lower, upper and core.
- Precision and Accuracy: Along with power... precision and accuracy are paramount in the game of golf particularly for the short game; wedges, chip shots and putting. You'll develop these skills with the help of a qualified golf pro and concentrated consistent practice. If you've ever watched Phil Mickelson play... he is as far as I'm concerned is the model for ultimate precision and accuracy. His preparation and knowledge of the nuances of a given hole in any course he plays is incredible.
- Balance: Balance is key for golf, in all sports and in life. With optimum balance comes stability. And with optimum stability... your body is properly anchored and you're able to achieve both maximum power and precision for a given shot... whatever the shot may be. Your ability to generate force is influenced greatly by optimum balance; stability.
- Core Strength and Control: Ongoing core work is vital to optimize your swing and your overall game. When I talk core I'm talking everything from the knees up to the rib cage front, side, back and within. We talked about glutes above... glutes comprise a major component of your core. Inner thighs, spinal erectors, glute medius, (side of hips) psoas, of course all abdominals, obliques and hamstrings all are key components of your core. You want strength and you want control meaning you can access your strength for stability in these given areas whenever and where ever you need them consciously and subconsciously.
- Vision: How good is your vision and your ability to evaluate depth with your vision? When you line up a shot especially in the short game you need optimum vision to execute the feel and approach for your best shot. Have your vision checked regularly which you should do in life anyway.
- Stamina Endurance: How's your stamina? Compare how you feel at holes one and two as compared to sixteen, seventeen... eighteen. Are you tired... problems focusing? Do you feel weak? Do you need to cart or can you walk 18? A consistent cardiovascular exercise program will enhance your stamina big time. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is optimum to build your stamina for golf. An example would be a 4-5 minute warm-up followed by 3 to 5 thirty second fast and or high resistance intervals followed by a 2-3 minute rest interval. You could do this at a track or park, a bike or stationary bike, an elliptical machine, some steps, circuit strength work... or whatever you have access to. Be consistent with this. Check out my workouts on the Pear Training Intelligence System. (pearsports.com)
- Proper Rest and Recovery: As for any athlete you need proper rest and recovery. Overall look at getting 7-9 hours of restful sleep every night going to bed no later than 10pm. Take short naps when you can or when you feel you need one. Proper rest will enhance all aspects of what we're covering here today with this blog. Regular stretching, myfascial release (foam rolling) and a good massage periodically all enhance recovery.
- Optimum Nutrition: The fuel you put in your system is the fuel your body runs on. Real, whole foods are always going to be my recommendation. Lean proteins, lots of non-starchy vegetables, high fiber starches, high fiber fruits and good fats should be the basis of your nutrition plan. An optimum plate would be say a serving of wild salmon, with mixed vegetables and some quinoa. You want to eat well all of the time so your body is always taking in optimum fuel both before and after golfing as well as off days. A snack say right at the 9th or 10th hole like a low sugar protein bar or some apple slices and some nuts is a good recommendation as well to balance blood sugar to retain optimum mental focus. Adequate hydration is key as well. (veep.com)
- Opposite Side Function and Movement Ability: This aspect is key and one that many do not focus on at all. In exercise and movement be sure to work both sides of a given motion. Example; if you go to the range and hit balls and you're a right handed golfer hit some reps left handed as well or at the very least perform the motion. Use this do both sides approach with all rotational exercises as well like wood chops or baseball swings. Not only will this balance the body in terms of strength and integrity, research shows it will enhance your performance on your "good side" as well.
* Enjoy your training everybody and continued progress on all! - RR
- Head Trainer for The Dr. Phil Show (14th season)
- Pear Sports Coach for Pear Mobile Personal Coaching Audio/Heart Rate Training System www.pearsports.com Download the free App at the App Store or Google Play
- TPI (Titleast Performance Institute) Level 3 Trainer www.mytpi.com
- Co-creator of the Lean For Life by Lindora Fitness App for Pear Sports
- Spokesperson for the VEEP Nutrition System www.veep.com (The Visual Eating and Exercise System)
- 12 year Member of the renown Gold's Gym Fitness Institute www.goldsgym.com
- Host of "Robert Reames Live!" radio/video podcast at -www.gvbstudios.com/robert-reames-live and available on Itunes
The PEAR Personal Coaching System calibrates to your fitness level: www.pearsports.com
The VEEP Nutrition System tells you exactly what to eat! www.veep.com
Connect with Robert: www.facebook.com/robertreameslive and www.twitter.com/Robertreames or via email: email@example.com