Get fit for the golf course

Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - With Hamish McMichael — Hamish at Kaizen Ex­er­cise Phys­i­ol­o­gists

GOLF is tough on bod­ies. In fact, the forces in­volved in golf are sur­pris­ingly large. The av­er­age force of im­pact be­tween a club head and ball is 6000-8000 N, which cor­re­sponds to a weight of 600-800kg. The club head is ac­cel­er­ated to 160kmh in around 0.2 sec­onds in your down­swing. This re­quires the body to gen­er­ate a lot of force.

It’s es­ti­mated that am­a­teur golfers use about 90% of their max­i­mal strength to hit a golf ball. This is re­peated around 50 times dur­ing a round and of­ten 300 or more times dur­ing a prac­tice ses­sion. If we equate this load to train­ing in a gym, a 90% of max­i­mal load is equiv­a­lent to a weight that you could only lift four times (4-RM weight). Loads like this are re­spected in the gym, so it baf­fles me why golfers have no re­spect for the load gen­er­ated in a golf swing.

If you’re play­ing golf on a reg­u­lar ba­sis with some­thing like a spare tyre wrapped around your waist and a body that hasn’t seen ex­er­cise for a while, you re­ally are run­ning the gaunt­let.

John Daly isn’t a role model here, ob­vi­ously. John ad­mit­ted the only rea­son he does not lift weights is be­cause the health club does not let him smoke there and he would get sick af­ter he worked out.

In­jured backs, shoul­ders and el­bows are the most com­mon ef­fects of not pre­par­ing your body for golf. These in­juries can keep you off the course for months in some cases.

You should se­ri­ously look at do­ing a golf con­di­tion­ing pro­gram if you’re play­ing two rounds or more a week or hit­ting more than 200 balls a week.

Stud­ies show that if you’re hit­ting this many balls each week, your risk of in­jury is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than if you’re an oc­ca­sional hit­ter. I’d rec­om­mend at least two, prefer­ably three ses­sions a week in the gym do­ing a golf-spe­cific pro­gram.

This work­out needs to in­crease your strength in ro­ta­tion and needs to con­di­tion mus­cle, ten­don and bones to sup­port repet­i­tive im­pacts in golf and the high forces in ro­ta­tion and weight shift in­volved with golf.

We reg­u­larly re­pair and con­di­tion golfers at the Kaizen Centre.

See our Face­book page for de­tails about our char­ity golf day or give me a call about how we can help you im­prove your golf body. Visit Hamish at Kaizen Ex­er­cise Phys­i­ol­o­gists, 2/47 Sixth Ave, Ma­roochy­dore and get your well­ness on track.

‘‘ John Daly ad­mit­ted the only rea­son he does not lift weights is be­cause the health club does not let him smoke.

PHOTO: CHRIS MCCLAVE

Swing­ing a golf club in­volves a lot of force.

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