Playing a round of golf on Saturday morning is never a problem. Spending the afternoon recovering on the sofa – that can become a problem.
The reason that a golfer spends the afternoon recovering from his morning round of golf, according to David Ostrow, physical therapist and golf fitness expert, is because his body has not been properly conditioned to make the golf swing over and over for 18 holes.
A golfer needs to build endurance to be able to move the same way time and time again over a long period of time comfortably and without becoming exhausted. “There are specific muscles that golfers need to work on to be able to play consistently, accurately and safely for 18 holes,” Ostrow said. To become “golf fit,” it’s necessary to work on correcting any postural asymmetries, developing strong abdominal muscles, and strengthening upper back muscles.
The off-season months are the ideal time for golfers to work on strengthening their bodies. It’s important, however, to make sure the fitness regimen is specific to the game of golf, Ostrow said. “Lots and lots, tons and tons, of repetitions with little to no weight will build muscular endurance. Lifting weights, in contrast, generally builds tight, bulky muscles with limited range of motion.”
Ostrow recommends doing gentle flexibility exercises that are focused on the right areas followed by slow, gentle stretches. This, he said, yields a flexible, controlled, golf-specific body that leads to more efficient practice sessions and more consistent results on the golf course.
He cautions that each person is built differently, with different body issues. “It’s important to be evaluated by a professional who knows the biomechanics of the body and how they relate to the golf swing. This allows for the health care professional to develop a program that is totally customized for each person. This will help that individual develop his physical potential in life, as well as on the golf course.”
Being “golf fit” will also lead to greater potential harmony in the home. After a morning round of golf, mowing the yard and taking care of the “Honey Do” list will be a sure thing.
For information on a golf-specific physical evaluation, call David Ostrow at 610-940-3835.
Ostrow is the national director for clinical training for Body Balance for Performance, the complete golf, health, and fitness program. His office is located in Conshohocken PA.