Want to improve your golfing performance? Then strength and conditioning training for golf could actually help you. Recent research has provided evidence that S&C training can improve your performance.
Smith, C.J., Callister, R. & Lubans, D.R. (2011) A systematic review of strength and conditioning programmes designed to improve fitness characteristics in golfers. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29(9), 933–943.
Golf is an intermittent activity that combines walking, standing in the golf posture and striking a ball, with performance dependent on a successful and repeatable golf swing. In recent years, golfers (especially elite) have adopted a multidimensional approach to improving golf performance including strength and conditioning training. Physical characteristics such as power, strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination can all influence a golfers ability to generate force and co-ordinate movement. Physical conditioning is also important for the reduction of golf related injuries.
In the research study, the authors (Smith, Callister & Lubans, 2011) evaluated the effects of strength and conditioning programs on golf related fitness and performance by reviewing 13 research studies. These 13 studies had all implemented strength and conditioning training programs (of between 6-8 weeks) and assessed both fitness and golf performance before and after the training intervention. On reviewing the studies the authors found a number of golf performance improvements, which included:
- Club Head Speed – 1.5 to 9.5% improvement
- Strength and Explosive Strength – 19.9% improvement in med ball trunk rotation
- Range of Motion – increased shoulder and hip rotation, trunk rotation and hamstring flexibility
- Balance – 8 to 13% improvement
- Total Driving Distance – 4.3 to 6.8% improvement
The programs used in these research studies were mainly generic strength and conditioning practices with the inclusion of some golf specific exercises (e.g. med ball plyometric exercises) on middle aged and recreational golfers. These findings suggest that generic strength and conditioning programs can enhance golf performance in recreational golfers but it was highlighted that more specific training programs will be required within higher skilled groups of golfers for the optimal transfer of training adaptations.
This study provided evidence that golf performance can be improved following generic and specific strength and conditioning programs. Future research needs to examine specific training protocols in elite golfers and longer term periodised training plans for the optimal performance improvements.
Whatever your level, why don’t you Contact KT Conditioning and see how we can help you improve your golf performance through an individualised, functional and periodised strength and conditioning program.