Its definitely super ‘cool’ to meet your business partners for a round of golf on a Thursday afternoon; – or for you and your clients to strike a better business deal on the golf course; or just to show off your latest bag of clubs where all the important faces gather. For some, golf means a social break away, and then there are the serious golfers with great handicaps.
One of the biggest problems with most recreational golfers is the high injury rate. The explosive action of the golf swing places significant stress on the shoulder joints and produces high torque on the low-back structures. Sometimes even hamstring strains and knee problems come to the fore as a warning to their owners.The dilemma though is that the weekend warrior thinks he can merely go and ‘hit a few balls’. Explosive, rotational sports skills, do not merely rely on innate ability and technique. It also needs specialist conditioning drills and methods. Overall body power is needed to perform these activities and the core musculature is fundamental for their optimum performance. The entire core needs to be strong enough to maximize the transference of power through the limbs into a sports skill.
Golf as a rotational sport brings the need for the player to have a much higher awareness of where his/her center of gravity is. Or, of great importance also, is to involve in ‘smart’ training; training slow to get the technique correct before adding more weight or resistance. I, as a firm believer in engaging a client in his/her own body weight, put aspects like proprioception and kinesthetic awareness training, high on the list. The functionality of the training is priority. Weight training on its own would be totally impossible for ‘wind-up-and-rotate” velocity sports. To add some answers to the question of how important speed of performance is, let’s look at three conclusions that came to the fore when Cronin et al went in search of answers:
Developing qualities like strength, power and rate of force
Would appear of greater importance than training at the
Actual movement velocity of a task. It may be that
(Irrespective of load and limb velocity) the repeated intent
To overcome a resistance as rapidly as possible is an
Important stimulus for functional high velocity adaptation;
Workouts should ideally combine sport specific training
With a heavy or varied training load in order to develop
The muscular and neuro-muscular coordination that will
Improve functional performance;
The ability of the nervous system to activate and
Coordinate all the muscles involved in performing a
Movement is essential
Some examples of some dynamic conditioning drills:
Reverse Trunk Twist
Resistance/plyometric drills are a crucial weapon in the rotational sports, power, and conditioning vocabulary. They lead to explosive power development, utilizing the stretch/reflex mechanism in muscles to develop and release greater energy. There are a number of plyometric exercises that can be used to boost the power capacity of the trunk (and other parts):
Med ball toss
Ball wall chop
With myofascial release for the tight structures, followed by muscle activation and a good periodized conditioning program, you should be the injury free guy with the best handicap!