For the female golfer, the largest concern to be had with performance should be loss of power, coming from loss in bone density, losses in muscle mass, and/or losses in motor neuron firing. These can be relatively easy for females to see a loss in if not training adequately for. I see a lot of mistakes in how female golf athletes at a young age all the way to a high level are training, and key performance indicators that are lacking because of training styles and poor education on the subject. We train too much with light weights, and target too much of our aerobic system. For some reason there is a drive towards female golfers doing lots of cardio, staying away from building muscle mass, and sticking to “specific gold training” only. Luckily, we are highly adaptable beings, and we can mitigate some of these common issues that come with aging and previously training incorrectly.
Osteopenia and Osteoporosis place a huge burden on millions of people as they age, 80% of those being female. A mix of heavy resistance training and impact loading is how we can avoid this. Learning to train these aspects of fitness at a younger age can instill good training habits, and set the younger female athlete up for success, avoiding these conditions in the long term. Keeping up with proper training habits into older ages is even more important when it comes to sustaining a healthy bone density that keeps the female functional into their older years.
Impact loading and heavy resistance training will generally lead to a larger bone adaptation in the ankles and wrists, two common areas of injury for the golfer. The stronger and more elastic we can make these joints, the more power able to transfer through them to the golf club. Impact loading includes jumps, skips, loaded jumps, hops, etc. whereas heavy resistance training includes loads of 85% or greater on the compound movements. Most of the research points to Impact loading as the key to larger bone adaptations in the distal ends of the joints. The heavier loads with resistance training requires the muscles to contract harder, increasing the stress on the bones. Training with 85% 1RM loads was able to improve bone health in the femoral neck and shafts of long bones.
So, if you are a female golfer, take the following 3 aspects of training, and PRIORITIZE them right away:
- Max Strength
Max strength is produced and displayed against heavy loads and move slower. Prioritize technique and make sure you have a good fundamental base before diving straight in!
- Bench Press
- Row variations
All these in the 85% or greater range to get the biggest bang for your buck! Improve upon fiber recruitment, muscle size, and tendon strength are all benefits here!
- Speed Strength Movements
Speed strength is produced and displayed against lighter loads being moved as fast as possible! We are improving upon fiber recruitment, power development, and rate of force development here!
- Dumbbell Squat Jumps
- Hex Bar Jumps
- Barbell Hang Clean Pulls
- Elastic Strength
Elastic Strength is the utilization and storage of elastic energy following impact. Coordination, bone density, proprioception, and balance are all maximized here!
- Pogo hops
- Mini hurdles
- Drop jumps
Insert Video 3
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. 2021. What Women Need to Know – National Osteoporosis Foundation. [online] Available at: <https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/#:~:text=Being%20female%20puts%20you%20at,a%20bone%20because%20of%20osteoporosis.> [Accessed 9 May 2021].
- Regional Changes in Indices of Bone Strength of Upper and Lower Limbs in Response to High-Intensity Impact Loading or High-Intensity Resistance Training. Lambert et al. (2019)
- Strong by Science, 2021. Why Do These In Your Training?. [image] Available at: <http://instagram.com/strongbyscience> [Accessed 9 May 2021].