It has long been argued whether golf is an athletic endeavor and if golfers should be considered athletes. In 2016 golf will be back in the Olympics ... maybe that helps answer that question.
So, assuming golfers are athletes, where does fitness fit in? I have three words for you: Core, core, core. It’s all about the core. As you coil into the backswing, your core plays several key roles. Balance and stability of your body are first on the list, allowing for a strong and consistent position of the swing. Look at all great golf swings — there is a motion at the start of the down swing wherein the hips turn toward the target, starting the “power move.”
As you begin the downswing, a strong core allows for stable weight shift as the body creates power, not just hitting at the ball with your hands and arms. It’s similar to a baseball player starting to make a move with the bat; he will start with the lower body and the core with the hands and arms more quiet as they start the forward or downswing. Next you need to get to a proper balanced follow-through, and a stronger core is crucial there, too.
The core’s importance is even clearer when you consider that golf is played on uneven surfaces, uphill, downhill and side-hill. And don’t forget that a round of golf can take up to five hours; if you have a stronger core and better fitness, you will not be as tired and make a lazy swing when you get to the 16th or 17th hole. Let your core be your friend.
So, what exercises do I recommend to get your core muscles in optimum golf shape? Visit www.cynthiafitfor4you. com and check out the videos about use of the stability ball. Crunches, sit-up type motions and “functional movement” twisting and balance will help you build a stronger core, a complex series of muscles that extend far beyond your abs; indeed, they include everything besides your arms and legs. Add a medicine ball to your stability ball routine to build an even stronger core; they are very affordable and available in various weights.
I am also available for live online training to discuss your needs and goals, then go through sessions via skype or other online video platforms. So, to improve your fitness and your golf game, a strong core is a good place to start.
Cynthia E. Newman is based in San Mateo, California, with 30 years of experience. She is an A.C.E. (American Council on Exercise) Certified Personal Trainer since 1996c, Functional Fitness specialist, and Certified Nutrition Consultant. For more information or to reach Cynthia, www.cynthiafitfor4you or [email protected].