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Blog_Benefitsofstrengthtrainingforgolfers

Everyone enjoys a relaxing weekend golf game, but some days, everything just feels stiff or sore, and the golf session that you enjoyed becomes a chore to perform. How can strength training help with this?

It is well known that strength training has multiple benefits for health and sporting performance. Benefits include being able to perform a daily activity without any form of movement restriction, improvement in health biomarkers and even reducing all-cause mortality,  

So how can strength training benefit a golfer when golf is a fine motor skill and a low-impact sport?

Below are some benefits that a golfer can reap from strength training:

  1. Developing a faster & stronger swing
  2. Improve distance control and accuracy
  3. Maintain and improve mobility
  4. Reduce the risk of golf-related injuries

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Developing a faster & stronger swing

Strength training that is targeting vertical force production e.g. squats or deadlifts, together with rotational core work, has been shown to develop greater musculature. A greater muscle mass allows the golfer to swing faster which increases the overall club head speed and ball distance (Iain M Fletcher 1, Matthew Hartwell, 2004). Driving the ball further, with accuracy, can benefit your game by reducing the number of strokes to reach the green. Winners on the DP world tour average approx. 2 shots gained off the tee per round vs the field.

Improve distance control and accuracy

Golfers that embark on strength training have a better awareness of their body control and movement. Consequently, they are more aware of the amount of power they put into each swing leading to greater distance control. (Doan BK, Newton RU, Kwon YH, Kraemer WJ., 2006). With greater musculature in the body, it can help to reduce the fatigue that can creep up quickly and affect the quality of a shot and impact the overall game. A fitter golfer is a better golfer.

Maintain and improve flexibility

There is a misconception going on that strength training will make someone stiff in the body and reduce overall body mobility. But research has shown that by training through the full range of motion, strength training is equal to or if not more conducive to improving the overall mobility (Simão, et. al., 2011) which can aid in getting a smoother backswing and a smooth transition.

Reduce the risk of golf-related injuries

Golf is a low-impact sport, but there is a very high prevalence of overuse injuries, due to repeating the same dynamic motion again and again. The most common injuries are in the overused areas; the shoulders(rotator cuff strain), elbows (golfer's elbows), wrists and the lower back. However, these injuries have been shown to be significantly reduced when golfers embark on strength training regimes. (Brandon B & Pearce Pz, 2009). Strength training can also help to improve and aid in reducing muscle imbalances of the golfer due to the nature of being dominant and rotating in 1 direction only.

Conclusion

No matter your age, level of competition, or experience, studies show that strength training for golf carries significant benefits. What is clear from the scientific literature is that weight training can be hugely beneficial for improving your swing, distance, distance control, flexibility, and even your longevity in the sport.

With that said, as with all training protocols for athletes, strength training is only a singular tool that can be strategically utilized in enhancing the performance of golfers.

Utilizing strength training in combination with traditional training modalities such as swing training, or golf-specific training like practising your chipping and putting can optimize your performance by aiding the transfer of strength gains to your game.

References

Brandon B, Pearce PZ. Training to prevent golf injury. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2009 May-Jun;8(3):142-6. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3181a61c88. PMID: 19436170.

Doan BK, Newton RU, Kwon YH, Kraemer WJ. Effects of physical conditioning on intercollegiate golfer performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Feb;20(1):62-72. doi: 10.1519/R-17725.1. PubMed PMID: 16503694.

Fletcher IM, Hartwell M. Effect of an 8-week combined weights and plyometrics training program on golf drive performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Feb;18(1):59-62. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2004)018<0059:eoawcw>2.0.co;2. PubMed PMID: 14971982.

Simão, R., Lemos, A., Salles, B., Leite, T., Oliveira, É., Rhea, M., & Reis, V. M. (2011). The influence of strength, flexibility, and simultaneous training on flexibility and strength gains. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(5), 1333-1338.


Interested to get started on strength training for your sport? Contact Jonathan from The Athletic Collective to schedule a PT trial and consultation to explore the possibility of working together and provide you with valuable takeaways that you will find beneficial to get started! 


Featured Contributor:

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Jonathan Chua

Jonathan (@jonathantsg) is a coach and athlete with more than 8 years of experience in the area of powerlifting, strength and conditioning. Using his knowledge and skills as a powerlifting coach, Jonathan has worked with athletes all over the world earning multiple national and international championship titles.

Jonathan has previously worked at Temasek Polytechnic as a team manager for various sports teams and managed students' strength and conditioning programmes to ensure that they perform at the highest level while juggling their academics.