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Facts and fallacies of strength training for golf

Troy M. AndersonBy Troy M. Anderson,
Staff Writer

Strength training

Various aspects of golf training have expanded rapidly, but one area of development that has caught on somewhat slowly is golf-specific strength training. This specific need had not been addressed until very recently.

As with many things, it started at the top with pros like Tiger Woods and David Duval and began to trickle down to the masses over time. Unfortunately, many golfers still live under the old assumption that strength training is detrimental to your game. The truth is that the days of simply practicing and playing to make yourself a stronger and better golfer are from a bygone era. Ultimately, golf skills are the most important aspect of golf, but improving your swing performance will only get you so far. If you want to develop into the best player you can be, you better get with the program - a strength-training program.

Let's take a look at a few of the fallacies that may be holding some of you back from beginning a strength-training program.

Fallacy No. 1: Resistance training will cause a loss of flexibility.

Fact: Full range of motion resistance training will actually improve your flexibility.

Fallacy No. 2: Resistance training will result in "bulking up."

Fact: Performing resistance training by itself will not cause the development of excess muscle mass; additional caloric intake is also required. Some individuals are under the impression that lifting heavier weights for fewer repetitions will cause this "bulking-up" phenomenon. This is also false. As a matter of fact, lifting heavier weights for fewer repetition is one way to gain strength without adding "bulk." Therefore, if you are involved in a program designed to develop stability, strength and power specific to the needs of golf, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Fallacy No. 3: Resistance training will have adverse effects on your swing.

Fact: Resistance training can actually have a positive effect on your swing because it helps develop what is known as kinesthetic awareness, the ability to detect body position, weight and movement of the muscles, tendons and joints.

Fallacy No. 4: Swinging a weighted club will produce more specific strength gains than performing a resistance-training program.

Fact: If anything, swinging a weighted club will produce an improper swing. The compensation required to swing the weighted club creates faulty swing mechanics and firing patterns. Also, most weighted club programs call for swinging the clubs at slow speeds. The problem with that is when golfers tee up, they are not trying to drive the ball with a 50 percent to 75 percent swing. They want to all-out blast it down the fairway with a powerful 100 percent swing. If the name of the game for golfers is club head SPEED, using a heavy club and a slow swing to gain strength won't work. To gain strength and develop speed, you have to train for speed.

Fallacy No. 5: It takes too much time.

Fact: You can't afford not to start a golf-specific flexibility, strength and conditioning program if you want to be the best golfer you can be. Depending on your individual starting point, you may be able to make progress by training as little as a 1½ hours per week. It is a small investment that will reap huge dividends on the course.

Hopefully, reading this article has shed some light on the benefits of strength training for golf and has helped you understand that it is NOT detrimental to your game, but, more than likely, it is very beneficial.

Troy M. Anderson, B.A., PES, CPT, IACPFT, is the owner of Integrated Evolution, LLC, in Tempe, Ariz. The No. 1 goal of Integrated Evolution is to provide individuals with solutions to their performance enhancement needs. For more golf fitness tips, subscribe to The Evolutionary at integratedevolution.org and download your FREE Reports The 8 Keys To Golf Fitness Success and How To Build The Perfect Athlete For Any Sport. Troy may be contacted by e-mail at integratedevolution@cox.net or by phone at (480) 227-8090.

Troy M. Anderson, B.A., PES, CPT, IACPFT, is the owner of Integrated Evolution, LLC, in Tempe, Ariz. The top goal of Integrated Evolution is to provide individuals with solutions to their performance enhancement needs. For more golf fitness tips, visit integratedevolution.org.

 
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