Physical Fitness

Fitness Training Aids provided by : Golf Around the World

Many people think golf is a non-athletic sport and the physical requirements on the body are minimal. In fact, golf requires tremendous motion, balance, and stamina.

Through being personal involved in various golf specific fitness programs over the years, I have learned that in order to swing the golf club correctly and efficiently, the body has to have proper posture, balance, flexibility, strength, control, power, and endurance. These qualities enable consistency and accuracy to develop in the golf swing. Otherwise, we will compensate due to our physical limitations.

My responsibility as an instructor (related to physical aspects of the swing) is to educate the golfer on how tightness in the body will effect the range of motion and also show how weak muscles groups will not permit a golfer to maintain proper posture, positions and balance. strengthening specific muscle groups will improve a golfers posture and balance.

During a golf lesson I will carefully evaluate the student's flexibility and range of motion. A personalized instruction plan based on their physical capabilities will be determined. Prescribed goals for both your golf game and overall fitness can then be established.


Understanding Your Body's Role

If you play golf frequently and don't do any other type of exercise, you will eventually have problems. In other words, physical weaknesses in the body will show up as swing flaws.

The golf swing does not provide a balanced exertion of your muscle and joint structure. The swing basically stretches the muscles on one side, while the other side is contracted. The stress can pull your body out of balance and affect your long-term health and ability to enjoy other activities.

Balance is critical because all muscles work in pairs. A good example is your upper arm, where the bicep (the front muscle) interacts with the triceps (the back muscle). If your triceps are not devolved along with your biceps, there will be too much stress on the shoulder and/or elbow joint. You will also limit your range of motion.

Another common imbalance in the golfer's body is the hips. When either of your hips get out of position, it creates a lot of pressure on your lower back. It then becomes very difficult to retain a constant spine angle through and past impact. The golfer's body will want to straighten up. This is what happens when we top a golf shot or push it to the right. Then we usually blame ourselves for not staying down.

Most of the time golfer's try to make swing changes that they are incapable of making, because of their current physical condition. Even if you practice a lot, the changes that you want to see are not going to happen, unless you strengthen the right muscles and/or increase their flexibility in related areas.

If you are willing to dedicate some time for yourself to improve your strength and flexibility and work with competent professionals on and off the course, you can put yourself on the right path to permanently improving your swing and golf game.

Importance of Fitness


  • The majority of women taking lessons need some degree of upper body strength conditioning
    (especially in the wrist, forearms and fingers).
  • The majority of the men need to improve the flexibility in their upper torsos.
  • Under 20% of people have minor physical limitations that influence their swing.
  • Golfers are weakest in the abdominal area.
  • Over 50% of all golfers get injured each year.
  • Injuries to the back, lead wrist, and lead elbow are the most frequent.
  • Injuries to the hip, shoulders, and hands are the next most common.

Two reasons for working out:

  • You want to prevent injuries in practice and when you play.
  • You want more strength and endurance to hit longer and more accurate shots.

Importance of a Proper Warm-up Routine

You have often heard that no golfer should begin a round without hitting some practice balls. Even though that's true, just hitting balls can hurt you too.

Every golfer, especially seniors, should do a series of stretching exercises, either at home or at the golf course, before hitting even a wedge shot. You need to gradually loosen up your muscles before subjecting them to the effort of a golf swing.

In addition to helping avoid injuries, pre-round stretching will help your quality of play. Your body feels structurally a little different every day. Some days you walk on to the practice tee for a warm-up and your swing feels great. The next day, nothing about your swing feels right. You try to figure out what's wrong. Surprisingly, most of the time it is not your swing, it's your body that's off. Instinctively, you will try to work your swing around the way your body feels that day. These adjustments are too difficult to make.

If you develop a consistent stretching routine before you start hitting balls, you will adjust your body toward its normal active state. As a result, you will find that you will not have to adjust your swing so much on certain days. You will end up with a lot more confidence in your golf swing and will ultimately achieve better results.

How Flexibility Influences
Your Golf Swing

How Strength Influences
Your Golf Swing

Signs that flexibility could be improved:

  • A golfer unable to turn their shoulders anywhere near 90 degrees
  • A golfer with tight hamstrings will often compensate by bending forward too much, or simply will not be able to maintain a consistent angle during their swing, or will not maintain proper posture positions at address without fatigue.
  • An abbreviated golfer's arm will keep the club well short of parallel at the top.

Examples of Strength Deficiences
Within The Golf Swing:

  • Golfer becomes unable to properly support the club at the top.
  • Breakdowns occur (overbending of the lead arm, letting go of the grip with the last 2 or 3 fingers of lead arm, or a severe collapse or bowing of the lead wrist, which drops "down" the arms).

Some effects from lacking proper flexibility:

  • Knowing that a golfer's general tendency is an over-the-top or outside-in downswing, the motion becomes pronounced.
  • Pop-up tee shots with the driver, shanks, tops, low slices and bad pulls.

Swing Results From Identified Breakdowns:

  • The hands and arms will instinctively start the downswing, and usually followed by uncocking of the wrist too early (casting).
  • Swing path will result in an over-the-top motion (outside-in).

End Results:

  • You lose ball hitting benefits of proper swing fundamentals.
  • Tendency to injure yourself, especially in the lower back.
  • If left untreated, flexibility decreases with age.

Bottom Line:

  • The lower body should be moving forward first, causing the arms and club to move down as a response. A more on-plane swing path will develop.

Some Work-out Recommendations

Click Here For Flexibility Exercises

Click Here For Strengthening Exercises

Your muscle strength and your body's flexibility depend on each other.
(Do not emphasize one and neglect the other).


Your muscle strength and your body's flexibility depend on each other. (Do not emphasize one and neglect the other).

Keep the muscle groups surrounding the shoulders, abdomen, spine and hips strong. 
This will allow you to create proper posture positions with a stable base.

Condition your entire body (not just the upper or not just the lower).  
Proper leverage in the golf swing comes from the legs and hips,
just as much as it comes from the arms, shoulders and trunk.

A Balanced Work-out for Golf Should Consist of:

  • Warm-up
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening
  • Cardiovascular