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 Getting In Shape For Golf 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Keeping Fit by . View all columns in series

Leg Curl

Hip Adduction

Hip Abduction

Chest Cross


Lateral Raise

Biceps Curl

Triceps Extension

Back Extension

Abdominal Curl

Rotary Torso

Neck Flexion

Neck Extension

Wrist Movements

Front Thighs

Rear Thighs

Inner Thighs

Outer Thighs


Upper Back


Front Arms

Rear Arms

Lower Back

Front Midsection

Side Midsection

Front Neck

Rear Neck


Driving Power Production

Driving Power Production

Driving Power Production

Driving Power Production

Swinging Action

Swinging Action

Swinging Action

Club Control

Club Control

Power Transfer
(Legs to Torso)

Power Transfer
(Legs to Torso)

Power Transfer
(Legs to Torso)

Head Stability

Head Stability


These 15 exercisers address almost all of the muscles involved in the golf swing including those that produce driving power (leg groups), those that transfer power from the legs to the upper body (midsection and lower back groups), those that produce the swinging action (torso groups), those that provide club control (arm groups), those that provide club grip (forearm groups), and those that maintain head stability (neck groups).

We perform each exercise for just one set of 8 to 12 repetitions, which requires about one minute for completion. We train at a controlled movement speed of about six seconds per repetition to increase the exercise effectiveness and reduce the injury risk. We also advocate full-range exercise movements to develop full-range strength and to enhance joint flexibility.

To further increase joint movement range we perform six stretching exercises for the muscles of the hips, midsection and shoulders. These are the front thigh stretch, rear thigh stretch, hip stretch, chest and midsection stretch, back and shoulders stretch, and arm and shoulder stretch. We move slowly into the stretched position and hold each stretch for approximately 20 seconds.

Although our golf conditioning studies did not include endurance exercise, the participants improved their body composition by eight pounds in eight weeks (four pounds more muscle and four pounds less fat). If they had performed some form of aerobic activity (walking, jogging, cycling, stepping, etc.) or incorporated some dietary modifications, they may have experienced even more fat loss.

While cardiovascular conditioning has little relation to driving the golf ball or driving the golf cart, golfers who have higher levels of aerobic fitness seem to resist fatigue better, which may be advantageous on the back nine or for consecutive days of golf play. If you would like to perform some endurance exercise, I suggest 20 minutes of interval training, three days per week. For example, using a stationary cycle you warm-up with four minutes of easy cycling, then do four minutes of higher effort cycling, followed by four minutes of lower effort cycling, back to four minutes of higher effort cycling, and cool-down with four minutes of easy cycling. This interesting and well-tolerated aerobic workout will not prepare you for the Boston Marathon, but it should certainly improve your cardiovascular fitness and golf endurance.

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 About The Author
Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. He is strength training consultant for numerous national organizations, such as the American Council on Exercise, the......moreWayne Westcott PhD
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