Presently in the sport of golf, golf fitness training has become an integral part of success at the professional level. The amateur is also becoming aware of the requirements, benefits, and essential needs for golf exercises conditioning the body relative to biomechanics of the golf swing. Unfortunately for many amateur players they are unaware of what type of physical conditioning is required to support the golf swing. The swing is one of the most intricate athletic actions to perform in sport today, and any error in timing, body position, or sequencing will result in an inefficient golf swing. Inefficiencies lead to breakdowns in the biomechanics of the swing and the development compensation within the execution of the swing.
One requirement in executing the athletic actions within the golf swing efficiently is certain levels of mobility, flexibility, stability, strength, and power. If any or a number of these physical parameters are limited, the ability to execute each phase of the swing efficiently, in the correct order, and with the proper timing will be compromised thus causing an inability for the golfer to perform the golf swing proficiently. This connection between the physical parameters required to execute the golf swing is commonly referred to as the “body swing connection”. In order to provide the golfer the opportunity to execute the biomechanics of the golf swing efficiently and meet the requirements of the body swing connection, professionals within industry suggest the implementation of a golf specific strength and conditioning program.
All to often the amateur golfer will implement a general fitness program in an attempt to develop the physical requirements needed for the swing. The results are less than optimal from such a program because it does not address the specific requirements of the body in terms of mobility, flexibility, stability, strength, and power relative to the sport of golf. What the amateur golfer must understand relative to fitness training and golf, is in order for improvements to occur in the biomechanics of the golf swing, not only must the amateur golfer develop the underlying physical requirements of the swing, these requirements need to do be developed specifically to the positions, movement patterns, and physical requirements of the swing. This results in what is termed a transfer of training effect from the conditioning program to the actual performance benefits on the golf course.
A program geared towards the development of the physical parameters required of the golf swing in a manner which is cross-specific to biomechanics of the swing resulting in a transfer of training effect is referred to as a golf specific strength and conditioning program. A golf specific strength and conditioning program will develop the mobility, flexibility, stability, strength, and power requirements of the body relative to the golf swing. Breaking down such a program the amateur golfer will see segments within the program addressing all of the aforementioned physical requirements of the swing. Looking at each of these segments of a golf specific strength and conditioning program, the amateur golfer can learn a great deal about the actual modalities and exercises incorporated within a golf fitness program.
Mobility can be defined as the combination of both joint range of motion and flexibility. The development of mobility is predicated upon the flexibility parameters within the muscular system. Flexibility can be defined as the extensibility of all soft tissues surrounding a joint to allow for full range of motion (Michael Clark, Director: National Academy of Sports Medicine). If certain muscles are “tight”, the ability of a joint to move through multiple ranges of motion may be hindered. For example, the swing requires the hip to be mobile in order to execute correctly. If the surrounding muscles are “tight” the hip will be immobile and unable to operate through the ranges of motion required too execute the golf swing correctly.