Four Fitness Elements

Four Fitness Elements

I want to talk about golf fitness. Whenever a student comes to me to talk about fitness and we have that conversation, whether it is a player who wants to get on the tour or that is retiring and wants to enjoy the game a little more, I discuss with them that there are four basic elements to this. One is balance, an other is stability, then rotation and flexibility. Four key areas, pretty simple. You will fall into one of those areas that you need work on. Let's talk about flexibility. The golf swing, if you swing it back and you are not flexible half way back, you are going do something to raise your body which causes a compensation and you are going to have to correct somewhere. Let's talk about balance. In the golf swing you are moving this club at a pretty good speed, if you do not have dynamic position coming through the ball you are going to be out of position and you are not going to be able to repeat your swing. As you come into the ball you are going to lose your balance and you will not be able to hold your finish. So balance is an important aspect to the golf swing. A simple test you can do is put your arms out to your side, stand on one leg, then close your eyes. You should be able to hold it for 30 seconds. So that is something you can actually work on and work towards developing a skill and it has a lot to do with how your foot platform is supporting you and not enough instruction is really done on the stability of the foot. The next aspect is going to be rotation, the golf swing is a rotary motion. If you do not have enough rotation you are not going to be able to complete your swing very much and you are going to be restricted on how far you can turn both back and through. If you are doing exercises you should be doing exercises that are sport specific appropriate. Sometimes you can do exercises in the gym and they have nothing to do with the task you are trying to create. The next one we have is stability. Golf is a game of stability. The more stable you are over you base the more you can repeat and deliver the club back to the ball. You should be doing exercises that are core strengthening, that is the buzz work, core strengthening, but it is really working towards stability. The more stable you are the more you are going to be able to repeat your golf swing. So if you are looking at fitness, which I think is an important aspect for everybody, first get a physical assessment from a physical therapist. Check that out with your physician, and then make sure that the physical fitness instructor understands the motion you are trying to create, what you are trying to accomplish in your golf swing and that they are following through on the physical therapist and doctor’s recommendations for you. Change your body the way grass grows, which is very slowly. Do it over a long duration of time and you will see tremendous benefits.

Category: Fitness
About the Instructor
Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650

Laird Small is Director of The Pebble Beach Golf Academy and is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #23 instructor in the world.


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Total Grip Drill Get your hands on the club properly and learn the correct grip pressure by sliding two tees between your thumb and forefingers and hitting balls without dropping the tees
Calf Relaxation Exercise Loosen you calf muscles with the exercise so that your trunk muscles may work correctly in the swing
Putting Grip The putting grip should be in the lifeline of the hands, not the fingers, so that you eliminate your wrists and hands from the stroke and allow your putting power to come from your shoulders