Resistance training, also known as strength training, is an important component of an overall conditioning program for golfers, along with flexibility and cardiovascular training. It can give competitive golfers an edge over less-fit opponents, as well as help players endure the rigors of a long round of golf. Gains in strength can be made without compromising form or playing technique.
Resistance training will improve strength, which means you should be able to hit the ball longer off the tee. It will also increase your stamina, which is important when walking for 18 holes. Also, since you will be more fit, you will be less likely to experience an injury that could keep you off the course for an extended period of time.
To increase your strength, your resistance training will likely involve lifting weights. You can use freestanding barbells known as free weights, or use muscle resistance machines that can be found at your local gym. Exercises can also be performed without weights, such as push-ups for the upper body and leg squats for the lower body.
To get the most out of your resistance training, you should work out for a minimum of 90 minutes per week; working out five days per week would mean 18 minutes per day. It is better to perform upper and lower body exercises on separate days, and no body part should be exercised on consecutive days.
There are many different golf-specific strength training exercises that can be performed. For example, internal and external rotations will help strengthen the shoulders. Forearm pronations and supinations will strengthen the forearms and wrists. For the lower body, leg presses and leg curls are beneficial. For tips on how to develop your own golf resistance training program, examine “The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Golf” by clicking on the link located in the Resources area below.
One common myth is that strength training will make golfers muscle-bound, thus hindering their swing. In fact, lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions will not increase bulk, as long as caloric intake is not increased. Some also believe that resistance training will reduce flexibility, when in actuality it will increase flexibility by expanding the range of motion.