66: Answers to your biggest golf fitness questions . . .

I know you have a lot of questions when it comes to your fitness.  Especially as it relates to your golf game. And as a golf fitness website, we have a lot of content and interviews with information on just about every topic imaginable.  The problem is, where do you start?

Sometimes information overload can keep us from seeing the simple answers.  That’s why in this episode, I wanted to answer some of the most common golf fitness questions that I get on a regular basis.  There have definitely been some common themes that I have noticed from the audience, especially revolving around the following:

  • Distance
  • Back Pain
  • Strength vs Flexibility
  • Warming Up
  • Nutrition

Therefore, we are going to break most of these down in this episode.

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The 4 top golf fitness questions:

1.) Is my regular fitness workout good enough to suffice for a golf fitness workout?  (Does a golf work out differ in any way from any other sports workouts?)

  • Depends on what your “regular fitness workout” consists of
  • The term regular is the determining factor
    • Many guys train improperly, focusing on the wrong muscle groups, don’t perform with very good posture, tempo or concetration of movement
  • But I would say that yes, a good, well rounded fitness routine can suffice for a “golf fitness workout”
  • The main areas of emphasis for me in a “regular” workout would be
    • Posture
    • Upper and lower body exercises (lean more toward lower body)
    • A balance of front vs back exercises (especially strengthening glutes, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, etc.)
    • Full range of motion with all exercises to get both strength and flexibility
    • Know what your goal is to help determine the type of workout


2.) What is more important…..strength or flexibility….for an older golfer? (How do I get stronger while maintaining flexibility and touch)

  • I suggest it is strength
  • Years ago, I did just stretching sessions, very little improvement
  • Now, we do very little stretching in our programs, but my new clients notice a significant improvement in motion, strength and balance
  • How long have you been stretching and how much improvement have you seen?
  • Strength and flexibility are not opposites
    • Strong muscles don’t have to be tight muscles and tight muscles aren’t necessarily strong muscles (I know lots of guys that have tight hamstrings, but if I were to have them do a hamstring curl or glute ham raise . . .)
    • Look at them more as working together, stronger muscles have the ability to create better flexibility
    • It’s your muscles that pull your bones and joints into positions
    • It’s also muscles (in many cases) that have to relax in order to achieve a certain range of motion
    • In some cases, muscles remain tight because they are protecting you from a weakness in other areas (shoulders, hamstrings, etc), thus, just stretching can do more harm than good (vulnerability)
  • Of course there is a balance
    • If you don’t strengthen properly you can develop tight muscles
  • But without strength, your flexibility won’t add up to much on the course
    • Unable to actually use the motion you have


3.) How do you train a golfer so that they are immune from back pain/injury?

  • The back is tricky, this is an area that I want to dive into further in future episodes and put together some resources for the golfer with back pain.
    • Back pain is one that I hear a lot about and personally know how debilitating it can be
      • Clinical therapist that couldn’t fix his own pain
      • Couldn’t tie my shoes
      • The night I went to the gym and couldn’t get out of my car
      • Trying to get Sam out of his crib
    • I’m gonna share what I did and what I do with my golfers
  • if you have a previous injury or pain, then it is a little more individualized and I would prefer to do an eval
    • or go see a medical professional
    • I refer my clients out all the time
    • Dr Panter (ep. #011), Dr. Winchester (ep. #039), Dr. Murphy
  • If you don’t have a history of back pain, it’s a little easier to generalize to some degree
  • The back is always an area of focus though b/c of the stress it takes in the golf swing
    • First I look at POSTURE in the setup and how you move through the ball
    • Body parts moving properly
      • Low back
      • Shoulders
      • Hips
      • Knees
      • Ankles
      • Neck
    • All of these have an effect on the back in one way or another, so if there is a glaring issue, we would work on fixing it
  • Speaking in generalities
    • Leg strength (my back pain story)
      • Tried doing just the rehab style exercises, but that was only a piece of it, too specified
      • Needed the global strengthening
    • Glutes/hips
      • Deadlifts and bridging exercises
    • Breathing (Brian Bradley episode #018)
    • Hamstrings/trunk flexion and hip flexors
    • Not just working on “back” exercises


4.) What would you recommend to prepare for each round of golf?

4 key areas

  1. Physical
  2. Mental
  3. Technical
  4. Nutrition
  • Physical– Some sort of warmup, not just a couple lazy stretches
    • Foam roll
    • Resistance bands for hips, shoulders
    • Prepare the body to move the way it is going to move in the game
    • Some tools you can use:
    • WHY? Because it has been shown that the body responds better and can generate more power when these “lights are turned on”
    • Get the home warmup by clicking the image at the bottom of this page!
  • Mental– May be the most important of the bunch. Big believer that you mental attitude sets you up for success or failure
    • Visualize yourself playing your greatest round of golf
    • Whatever you have been struggling with, picture yourself being spectacular at that part of the game
    • Focus on hitting great shots instead of avoiding bad shots
    • Have a “go to” positive thought to get you out of the negative, or to simply keep your focus
      • “I do nothing but hit the ball long and straight with my driver”
      • “My putter is so good it is unfair”
    • Bhrett McCabe: #006
    • Ellen Reed episode #013
  • Technical– Least important in my opinion
    • Don’t try to get too technical on the day your playing, trust the work you’ve put in
    • Suggestion from Dr. Ryan Caserta for distance control on putting
      • 3 ball drill on a flat spot on the green
      • Hit at “normal” pace, walk off the distance (do a couple of times)
      • Then hit a ball normal, hit one 5 feet longer and 5 feet shorter, do a couple of times to get a read of the speed (then try different distances)
    • The best players I know have a routine that they take to the range that day simply to hit a few balls and get the motion/body warmed up, not to “Find their swing”
    • Dr Ryan Caserta: episode #036
  • Nutrition– Eat a good meal before, have snacks for your round, and have something right after to recover quickly
    • Meal before:
      • Lean Meat or eggs: reduce hunger and increase brain function
      • Veggies/low glycemic fruit: steady rise in blood sugar for sustained energy
      • Coconut oil:
        • readily used for energy (medium chain triglyceride)
        • Boosts the immune system
        • Easily digested
        • ** Avoid hydrogenated**
      • Example of my breakfast
    • In Round
      • Electrolytes/BCAA drink: dehydration decreases strength, BCAA’s improve endurance and decrease fatigue (BioSteel, Celtic Sea Salt in water)
      • Nuts: Low glycemic energy, won’t spike, fats help brain function
      • Jerky: quick protein source (make sure it is a clean product, the more natural the better) Epic Provisions
        • Uncured bacon: Pork, water sea salt, vinegar, celery powder,
      • Post Round
        • To recover quickly have a protein shake. Quickly digested nd provides amino acids to help rebuild muscle tissue that was broken down during the round (Biosteel)
      • Robert Yang Episode #042

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