IMPROVING YOUR GOLF SWING WHILE FULFILLING SOME OF THOSE PERENNIAL RESOLUTIONS

Bob Forman, MS-Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Author, Speaker

You don’t have to be in the fitness field as long as I have to know that a new year brings renewed hope to those who want to lose weight and get fit.  Unfortunately for many, these are reoccurring resolutions that show up, perhaps worded a little differently, year after year after year.    

For golfers, tugging around a few extra pounds and/or being out of shape can have a definite impact on your playing performance and actual playing time.  Either one will more than likely impede your ability to make an efficient golf swing, robbing you of distance and making it tougher to even have a go at those par and birdie putts.  Either one can also pull the plug on the back nine leaving you feeling sluggish and making poor shots.  Combining the two enhances the likelihood that these game detractors will indeed occur.

Extra weight will also place an added stress to the joints, especially in the lower body.  This, over time, can take its toll and is one of the main reasons why over 7 million people in the U.S. have had hip or knee replacement surgeries.  The pain and discomfort prior to surgery, if elected, and the downtime afterward have got to be, I believe, factors in the decrease in the number of rounds being played annually.

So, too, are the multitude of other obesity-related health issues that are plaguing many of us.  Some of these include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, asthma, sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), diabetes, and as many as 11 different types of cancer.  All pretty much preventable and all conditions that can influence how well and how often you swing a golf club. . if at all.            

Aspiring to be a better golfer can have many benefits beyond the golf course.  One of them that I often hear from my clients is that they lose weight while working to improve their physical deficiencies.  It wasn’t a priority at the onset of the program and not even discussed, but a welcomed consequence from a more active lifestyle.  One whose intent was to improve their golf game and as a result has enhanced their overall health.

The key to a successful golf fitness program is to isolate the anatomical weaknesses identified through the physical assessment.  This often entails a combination of specific stretching and strengthening exercises, done on a regular basis, to help bring musculoskeletal balance back into the golfer’s body.  This is essential as the research is now crystal clear that muscle imbalance is the root cause of most swing faults, inefficient golf swings, poor performance, and both acute and chronic injury.  

One of the benefits from this pursuit of a better golf game is a loss of body fat.  As in any exercise program that incorporates a strength component, muscle tissue is enhanced.  Not only does this improve strength, balance, and power, it makes you a better calorie burning machine. 

It takes about 1 to 2 calories a day to maintain a pound of fat in your body.  It takes about 6 to 8 calories a day to maintain a pound of muscle.  That’s a pretty significant difference.  Muscle is what drives our metabolism and when you increase muscle, you increase the number of calories you’ll burn during the day.

Most of us had more muscle when we were kids running around the neighborhood and walking to school, uphill, 6 miles both ways.  Then, for one reason or another, we slow down and sit more.  This wastes away our muscle and as a result lowers our metabolism.  We usually don’t alter our eating patterns to make up for the slower metabolism, in most cases the eating patterns get worse, so we put on weight/fat. 

Combine the decrease in activity with the natural loss of muscle tissue as we age, known as sarcopenia, and we can better comprehend why obesity rates continue to climb each year.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, no state in the U.S. had a prevalence of adult obesity less than 20% in 2013, and only seven states (Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, Montana, California, Hawaii, and Utah) had a rate between 20% and 25%.  We’re losing the battle of the bulge. 

When a golfer begins an exercise program to improve their swing efficiency, they inevitably will need to include strengthening exercise to correct the weaknesses they posses (and we all have some).  This progressive strength component, usually moderate in intensity, has a positive impact on body composition.  As you tone muscle, and this is worth repeating, you raise metabolism and burn more calories.  Increase the number of calories expended during the day and you lose weight.              

Now be forewarned, muscle is also more dense than fat (granted these are models, but note the actual size difference between 5 lbs. of fat and 5 lbs. of muscle in the photo) and will weigh heavier on the bathroom scale.  So don’t be alarmed if the scale weight doesn’t change all that much as you progress into your golf fitness workout.  What you may notice, however, is that you’re able to fit into those jeans you haven’t worn since high school. 

A word about cardio exercise.  Keeping the heart and lungs in shape is a must and will also help you on the back nine when fatigue, as I mentioned before, can lead to poor shots and an enhanced potential for injury.  Cardio exercise is important and should be included.  It will burn calories while doing the  exercise, and for an hour or two afterward as your body returns back to resting state.  Cardio  will not, however, do anything for strength development nor will it increase resting metabolism.  That needs to come from strength training.   

Whether desired or not, exercising to improve your golf swing will have additional benefits for your health.  One of these, if you’re consistent with your workouts, is a leaner body.  This will ultimately improve your ability to burn calories and lose body weight/fat.  So not only will your playing satisfaction improve, so, too, will your sense of well-being.  Your resolution list for next year will also look a little cleaner.

If you’d like to get started on those resolutions, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and we'll schedule a golf fitness assessment.  Have a safe and happy New Year!

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Static Hamstring Stretch

 One of the main factors for low back discomfort is tight hamstrings, which can also affect hip mobility in the golf swing.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- how to identify and correct the common physical deficiencies most golfers have that are impacting their swing and injury potential
- over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills

- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 

November 11, 2017
The top 10 fitness must haves for better golf.  Click on the pic and then "podcast."  
My segment starts at 1:10:30.

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures 


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury