THE CORE

Our panel of ex­perts picked the best sweat-in­duc­ing ma­chine in the gym for golfers

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

Golf’s best car­dio ma­chines.

Most com­mer­cial gyms o er a va­ri­ety of equip­ment de­signed to make your body leaner and your heart stronger. But which car­dio­vas­cu­lar- train­ing ma­chine is the best for golfers? We asked a dozen golf- fit­ness ex­perts, and nine out of 12 ranked the tread­mill rst or sec­ond.

“The best piece de­pends on the in­di­vid­ual,” says Golf Di­gest tness ad­viser Ben Shear. “But the tread­mill is great for golfers be­cause walk­ing is such a huge part of the game. It can sim­u­late hill walk­ing and be used for steady-state car­dio train­ing or high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing.”

Adds Golf Di­gest fit­ness ad­viser Ralph Simp­son: “It also gets the nod for ver­sa­til­ity and speci city. You can in­crease speed, el­e­va­tion, train lat­er­ally or back­ward. Its only knock would be that golfers with lower-limb is­sues should use some­thing with less im­pact on the joints, such as a sta­tion­ary bike.” Not sur­pris­ingly, sta­tion­ary bikes nished sec­ond in the poll be­cause of their joint-friendly design and abil­ity for users to in­ter­val train or fo­cus on en­durance. “It’s the best op­tion for the money,” says strength coach Mike Boyle. “Mostly be­cause it’s hard to get in­jured us­ing one.”

Says Mike Voight, a clin­i­cal phys­i­cal ther­a­pist from Bel­mont Univer­sity: “Low com­pres­sion on the joints is key. I like the sta­tion­ary bike be­cause most golfers will tol­er­ate it as a warm-up ver­sus other car­dio equip­ment.”

As for cons, Shear says that rid­ing a sta­tion­ary bike is prob­a­bly not the best thing for peo­ple with desk jobs or those who suf­fer from kyphotic pos­ture, which is a round­ing of the spine.

El­lip­ti­cals and arc train­ers fin­ished third in the rank­ing, mostly be­cause of their abil­ity to train pos­te­rior mus­cles like the glutes (butt) and ham­strings ( back of the thighs). These mus­cles are of­ten ig­nored, says Trevor An­der­son of the David Lead­bet­ter Golf Academy. “You can pro­pel them with a for­ward or back­ward mo­tion of the legs to cre­ate a bal­anced work­out.”

Next on the list were climb­ing ma­chines, though Boyle says Versa Clim­bers or lad­der mills are too stren­u­ous to use reg­u­larly for most golfers. But climb­ing ma­chines are prob­a­bly the best in com­bin­ing strength and car­dio train­ing, says tness con­sul­tant Karen Pala­cios- Jansen. They also can move joints through a range of mo­tion – es­pe­cially key ar­eas for golfers like the hips and shoul­ders, says Cody Carter, a tness ad­viser for the SKLZ sports-equip­ment com­pany.

What equip­ment should golfers ig­nore? Stair-climb­ing sim­u­la­tors and row­ers did poorly in the poll. Most ex­perts pointed out that users of­ten op­er­ate these ma­chines with com­pen­satory move­ments in­stead of the in­tended mus­cle groups.

Jor­dan Spieth’s trainer, Damon God­dard, said most of the ex­perts polled would prob­a­bly pre­fer golfers get car­dio train­ing the old-fash­ioned way: jog­ging, sprint­ing, swim­ming, etc.

“Our top guys rarely, if ever, use car­dio ma­chines,” he says.

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