Realistically, there is no such thing as “golf specific fitness”. At the end of the day, the better a person is as an athlete, they easier it will be for them to improve their game, and the greater their potential as a golfer. Some questions to ask yourself are: do I have full range of motion where I need it? Do I have stability in all areas where I need it? Can I perform any required movements with good form and without discomfort? Can I also perform these movements with increased resistance or in a forceful, athletic manner? If the answer to any of these is “no”, then you are limiting your potential as a golfer. The golf swing is a fast, athletic movement, and if you don’t have a full range of motion or aren’t stable, then you’re setting yourself up for injury. If you have difficulty performing certain movements due to coordination issues, or if you have any difficulty producing force during these movements, then it will be challenging for you to make adjustments in your swing and have them translate to the golf course.
Just because something doesn’t look like a golf swing doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial for your golf game. Yes, a portion of your training should involve ingraining motor patterns that resemble what you’re working on in the golf swing, however the purpose of exercise is to make your body function the way it was intended. There is something called “The Pillars of Human Movement”, which essentially covers all of the movements you can expect to encounter over the course of a day. The Pillars are: Level Change (squat variations, hinge variations, lunge variations), Pushes and Pulls (both horizontal and vertical), Rotation (the one that will likely most resemble a golf swing), and Locomotion (speed, agility, quickness). At some point in the golf swing nearly every one of these Pillars is involved at one point or another. Here are a few examples:
To put it simply: because it’s really important. If your body can’t do what you want it to do, the road to a better golf game will be a long and frustrating one. It’s extremely important for your golf coach to know what you can and cannot do physically, because without that information it is possible that you may be asked to do something that your body currently is not capable of. The purpose of fitness involves many steps, but all are geared towards making it easier for your golf coach to help you improve your game.
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