It is well known in professional golf how integral golf fitness exercises are for success at the highest level of golf. Men on the PGA Tour and women on the LPGA Tour understand the benefits of golf fitness exercises in achieving success. Outside the circles of professional golf many questions exist about golf fitness exercises. Questions such as; what are the best exercises to improve golf fitness levels, are flexibility exercises and stretches better than other forms of golf fitness exercises, and what are the benefits of golf fitness exercises for the woman golfer?
These and many questions surround the topic of golf fitness. This article is to provide some answers for you on the topic of golf fitness exercises for woman. It has been well documented in magazines and television how LPGA women such as Annika Sorenstam utilize golf fitness programs to benefit their play on the golf course. Is there a difference between the LPGA player and the amateur woman golfer in relation to golf fitness training? The answer is no. Yes, the women on the LPGA Tour are the best women golfers in the world, but the physiology of the LPGA player and amateur are the same. The skeletal, muscular, and neural systems are the same. The professional golfer has the same number of muscles in their bodies as the amateur. The woman’s professional golfer has the same skeletal structure as the female amateur, and nervous system as well. Granted the LPGA player has more refined and efficient swing mechanics, but the body is the same.
As a result of the body being the same, the principles and structure of a golf fitness program for any woman is similar. Before discussing the specifics of a golf fitness program for women it is necessary to understand a few important principles. The first principle to understand about a golf fitness program is sports specific. Sports specific is a term describing the type of training utilized in a golf fitness program. Sport specific training simply states the program utilized by the woman athlete is geared towards improving them in their chosen sport.
A second principle closely related to sports specific training is cross specificity training. Cross specificity training is the utilization of exercises to develop the woman golfer in the positions, movements, and actions incorporated in the golf swing. The goal of cross specificity training is a transfer of training effect to the field of competition. Simply stated, a transfer of training effect is the ability of exercises utilized to train the female golfer having a direct benefit on their performance during a round of golf.
For example, golf fitness flexibility exercises will attempt to improve the flexibility within the woman golfer. As the woman golfer improves her flexibility parameters in relation to the golf swing. She may be able to create a bigger shoulder turn, which may increase the distance of her drives. This benefit is an example of a transfer of training effect onto the golf course. In summary, the three principles that assist in the development of a golf fitness program for women are; sports specific, cross specificity training, and transfer of training effect. Many additional principles exist that are used as guidelines in the development of a golf fitness program, but these are three essential ones.
Outside of the guidelines governing the development of a golf fitness program for woman. Specific physical components within the body are needed within the body to execute the golf swing correctly. Remember, it is the body performing the biomechanics of the golf swing. In order for the golf swing to be executed correctly and efficiently certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power are required. These are the actual physical components within the woman golfer a golf specific fitness program looks to develop and enhance in relation to the golf swing.
The golf swing requires the body to move through a long range of motion for an efficient movement to occur. Much of this is contingent upon the ability of the core to coil and uncoil during the swing. In order for these two biomechanical actions to occur efficiently, the development of proper flexibility in the core is necessary.
We utilize flexibility exercises that are cross-specific to the movements in the golf swing to develop flexibility. The majority of these flexibility exercises are rotational and dynamic.
The golf swing is a dynamic movement, indicating that the body is in constant motion. It is crucial to develop a range of motion for the swing in a dynamic rather than a static (not moving) method. The goal of these exercises is to create a range of motion in the core for the golf swing. Flexibility is the first physical component requiring development within the woman golfer.
One needs to maintain, dynamically, a stable body throughout the entire swing. We have all hit balls at the range and know what happens when we do not stay balanced during the swing. Improving the balance and stabilization capabilities of the core translates into a better golf swing. Better Balance equals a Better Swing. Even subtle movements are consistency killers; thus we need to develop and maintain balance for a consistent swing.
Balance is connected to the efficiency of the nervous system and strength of the muscular system working together. The development of greater balance in the core and swing is the result of two types of specific exercise. The first challenges the nervous system creating greater efficiency. The second are exercises that create increased strength in the core. The combination of these two types of exercises permit for the body to maintain posture, promote efficient weight transfer, and create power in the swing. The result is a more consistent, accurate, and powerful swing. This is the second component included with a golf fitness program for women
Remember that the golf swing is a repetitive movement. The mechanics of the swing repeat with each stroke. This process can be repeated hundreds of times in a round of golf. Ever go to the range and hit two buckets of balls? At some point the body starts to tire, and shots scatter.
Proper endurance training enables us to repeat a sound swing. We produce this through a series of exercises developing endurance in the entire body. This nets us a consistent swing through eighteen holes. Increasing endurance leads to lower scores. This is the third physical component of the golf fitness program for women.
Club head speed is a function of power. The more power generated by the body, the greater speed at which a club head impacts the ball. More power to the ball equals longer drives. Developing higher levels of power within the muscular system of the body is achieved through the implementation of power exercises. These types of exercise assist in creating higher power outputs of the muscles involved in the golf swing. Power training is the final component found in a golf fitness program for women.
In summary a golf fitness program for the LPGA or amateur woman golfer is relatively the same. Golf fitness exercises for the woman golfer are sports specific. The exercises contained within the golf fitness program are cross-specific to the movements, positions, and requirements of the golf swing. The exercises within a woman’s golf fitness program induce a transfer of training effect onto the golf course. The golf swing requires certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power to execute correctly. A golf fitness program for women will look to enhance these physical components of the body. The end result is an improved golf swing equating to lower scores and more enjoyment on the golf course.