There is a long-held belief that weight training will ruin your golf swing. This belief has been around so long, I don’t know when it began. Depending on how you interpret this general statement, it could be true…or not.
Sure, if your muscle mass changes dramatically in a relatively short time, your swing is going to change, and probably for the worse. But if you take that belief statement to mean, increasing strength and muscle tone with moderate workouts and exercise, then I disagree with the notion altogether.
If your idea of “training” for golf is just heading to the driving range a few times a month, then your golf performance may not be as high as it could be. Just building up a little more strength may be all that is needed to hit the ball another ten to twenty yards.
While some people may have specific strength deficiencies that deserve special attention, the average golfer only needs a 60-minute workout two to three times per week. This workout should include general weight training, which works for all the major muscle groups. You should limit the number of sets per muscle group to 3–4 and not lift particularly heavy. What you’re looking for is a moderate, overall body toning routine. Don’t forget to properly warm up and stretch those muscles before and after your weight training.
In addition to strength training, you will likely benefit from periodic aerobic exercise as well. This is especially true if you are a golfer who walks the course and finds that you become fatigued before the end of the round. Fatigue will not only cause you to hit the ball with less power, but it will also cause you to lose concentration easily and become sloppy with your form.
Aerobic exercise is designed to strengthen the heart and lungs and give you more endurance. A moderate program of aerobic exercise would be 20–30 minutes per day, 3 to 4 days a week.
The best aerobic exercise that a golfer can do is one that resembles the motions that tire you out on the golf course. Naturally, that would be walking and hiking. It’s so easy to make an after-dinner walk a part of your evening routine. Why not make it a priority?
Dr. Jeff Hogan is available for further comment, workshops, lectures, and personal consultations. He can be reached at his office, Hogan Spine & Rehab, at 281-240-2225. You are invited to call and request his free special report, “Hit Farther, Straighter, and Play Longer.”
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