One of the most common questions we get from golfers during their first meeting with us has to do with workouts – “why am I working out so hard and not getting results on the golf course?” Maybe they’re spending an hour, five days a week in the gym and actually losing distance! Frequently, people are diligent about a daily stretching routine, but struggle with painful low backs or shortened swings.
I usually give this response – if your check engine light comes on, you wouldn’t take your car to a general electrician to get fixed, you’d take them to a car mechanic! You’d probably even want to work with someone who has experience with and the parts for your make and model of car.
This is where we come in! Golf is not only our main focus, it’s our specialty. At Par4Success, golf is in our name. We have worked with almost 2000 golfers since 2015 to help you swing faster, play better and, most importantly to us physical therapists, hurt less!!
Here are a few of the most common reasons I see people not get the results out on the course despite honorable efforts with their regular fitness routine.
- Working on general “flexibility” instead of rotation: I’ve seen at least 300 people come in who have spent hours each week trying to touch their toes by stretching their hamstrings. I’ve seen low back stretches of every imaginable type, and maybe some glute stretches, and seen zero results! Instead, golfers need to focus on rotation, specifically in the four rotary centers of the body – the neck, shoulders, upper back and hips. If you’ve never worked on these areas before or aren’t sure where to start, we’ve even created a HOME ASSESSMENT that will tell you how you stack up against what physical therapists, swing instructors and performance coaches around the country have considered the standard for golfers to have a safe and effective swing. I’ve seen back pain disappear by making the hips rotate even 10 more degrees each way, whereas stretching those hamstrings hasn’t helped a single person that’s walked through our doors!
- Too much emphasis on cardio: let’s face it, it is HOT in the summertime here in North Carolina. If you’re feeling tired towards the end of your round, but haven’t taken care of your nutrition and sleep the night before, the absolute last thing you need to do is go punish yourself on the bike or elliptical the next day. That is only going to make you lose even more distance, and fatigue your legs and low back! None of these are the results we’re after. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adults get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (think – I can talk while doing this!) 3-4 times per week for general health. If you’re interested in playing better out on the course, any more than that is completely unnecessary!
- Way too many reps!!: “I work out 6 times per week but am hitting the ball SHORTER than I was 2 years ago!” If this sounds like you, and your workouts consist of high rep bodyweight squats, push-ups, and crunches until you’re out of breath, I can guarantee you what you’re doing is actually detrimental to your game. Golf is a game of speed and power – I usually joke that I really hope you’re not hitting more than 2 shots in a row in a 5-6 minute period on the course. Thus, you need to train your body to handle a high level of effort every 5-6 minutes. 95% of the workouts we use here at Par4Success use sets of 3-6 reps, which target your strength and power muscles. Anything more than that is mostly a waste of time if we’re trying to feel and play better!
- Doing the same thing for years and years: things can change a lot in a short amount of time! Just like the world around us is constantly changing, so is your body. Hopefully you’ve gotten stronger, but many of us haven’t! As we age, our body naturally loses abilities to produce speed and strength, unless we challenge it in new ways. Ask anyone who’s ever worked with us and they will tell you our workouts never get stale! Just as your body is constantly changing, your workouts need to too. That doesn’t mean we completely change exercises every day, but if you find yourself using the same weights, the same reps, and the same movements day after day, week after week, and even year after year, you have actually probably gotten slower, weaker and less flexible than when you started. Having the guidance of a professional who can see your body’s changes even when you cannot and knowing where to direct your next challenge is almost invaluable. Instead of spinning the wheels and thinking about moving up tees next month, learning to adjust to your body and having a guide through those changes will have you thinking you need to move back or get a stiffer shaft!
These are just a few of the most common issues we see in people who are using a general fitness routine to help them play better on the course. If you’re interested in learning how we’ve helped thousands of golfers across the world swing faster and more consistently, all while feeling better without the use of painkillers or other medications, visit us at par4success.com, or visit our Youtube channel for more information and tips!