Flexibility is the one component of fitness that has been appreciated by golfers for many years. By enhancing joint flexibility you can lengthen your golf swing and increase your club head speed. Your joint flexibility is determined by your movement ability and dictates the safe ranges for your swing patterns. It is important to note that excellent flexibility alone does not guarantee a good golf swing. Inability to sequence movements at proper times may result in reaching maximum club head speed well before impact, with a related loss of power and reduced driving distance.
The strengthening program for golf should include work for the trunk, as well as for the muscles of the upper and lower body. Because the golf swing is not a simple, linear motion, you should implement an integrated, multijoint strengthening program. Remember that your hips and legs produce most of the force for a powerful golf swing. This momentum must be transferred through a stable trunk to the upper body, which simultaneously delivers and counteracts the forceful striking action of the club. A successful swing, therefore, requires sufficient strength and coordinated actions among the major muscles that make up these different body segments. Of course, strong muscles also are essential for proper posture, which assures consistent swing deliveries and a stable head that maintains uninterrupted eye focus on the golf ball.
Postural balance is an important component of your golf game. Unfortunately, physical activities such as golf, in which one side of the body is used differently than the other side of the body, tend to promote postural imbalances that can impede performance and cause injury. It is important to determine whether the postural imbalance is a normal response to sport mechanics, however, or whether it is due to pathological conditions. A solid golf conditioning program strives for front-to- back and left-to-right body balance. Although this may never be fully achieved because of the sport mechanics, it always should remain a primary goal of your golf conditioning program.
Balance represents a complex neuromuscular communication system. It relies on feedback from the central nervous system, the eyes, the inner ear, and tiny message receptors in the joints and soft tissues. Balance is necessary in maintaining appropriate spine (trunk and torso) positions throughout the swing. If balance is not maintained during the swinging action, shoulder turn, weight shift, and force transfer may be affected and the shot outcome will be compromised. As one grows older, the sensory organs and balance systems become less sensitive. It therefore might be advantageous to actually make better postural balance one of the primary parts of a conditioning program.