Every time fitness for golfers is discussed the inevitable phrase that comes up is something along the lines of “well I still want to be able to move.”
This mentality is absolute crap.
Strength training does not make you bulky by itself
There is nothing about strength training that inherently makes someone big. It helps add muscular strength but not necessarily muscular size.
Muscular size is often improved through hypertrophy training. Hypertrophy work consists of 8-12 reps and 3+ sets of a moderate weight. This type of training is combined with strength work in most bodybuilding routines.
Strength training on the other hand is performed at 1-6 reps at a heavier weight.
I actually debated pretty hard about whether or not I even wanted to discuss hypertrophy. It is very easy to read this article and then instantly think that anything above 6 reps is going to add size. It is not that simple. Adding size is a combination of nutrition, recovery, and training.
Eating a surplus of calories is the easiest way to get bulky. Just look at how many golfers are overweight or obese without lifting weights. It is the whole picture that adds size and not just one part of it.
Most golfers need strength training AND mobility work.
They are not exclusive. We also should not train one quality in a vacuum and expect good things to happen.
Golfers must be strong and they must be flexible. If flexibility was the only thing that mattered then young, hypermobile, athletes would be the best golfers. These are the types of kids that can do splits and palm the floor with ease. I trust that if I were to ask why a 12 year old with the most flexibility doesn’t hit the ball 360, most would tell me it is because of strength.
This is part of the lack of logic whenever this argument comes up.
It is not easy to add strength and take care of your nutrition.
Strength training requires going to the gym, putting in a good effort, and constantly pushing your limits. It sounds like eating ice cream on the couch is a lot easier than that. Going to the range and smacking the ball seems like more fun.
There is nothing convenient about eating right and training hard. The benefits of it are the reasons why we need it.
The top golfers in the world train for strength
The only top golfer that I can confirm does not train is Bubba Watson, unless he has changed his stance on it. A few years ago he used the nonsense excuse that it’ll ruin his flexibility.
Since there is always an exception he can be it. The rest of the top golfers all train. Nothing is happening to their game.
But I am not a tour pro, that doesn’t apply to me.
It absolutely does. If the best golfers that need their game to be on point most weeks of the year can strength train without any negative consequences, you can too.
Strong golfers do not worry about distance. They get to hit shorter clubs more often. They shoot better scores which makes the game more enjoyable.
There are also a lot of other things that go into playing good golf. The point I am trying to make is that you can improve upon however it is that you play now. It is as simple as training for strength.
But remember, I didn’t say it was easy.
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