First, it was Gary Player, then came Greg Norman, and now it’s been Bryson DeChambeau. These three professional golfers who played in different eras have become well known for valuing physical fitness and weightlifting to maximize their golf potential.
Gary Player, Greg Norman, and Bryson have won a combined major championship total of twelve. Player was one of the first golfers in history who exercised daily to keep his body physically fit. Player, because of his exercise regime, played in the Masters Tournament a record 52 times.
Greg Norman and Bryson DeChambeau both have used exercise and weightlifting to maximize their distance potential. Both golfers, Norman in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and Bryson currently on the PGA Tour, are considered the longest drivers of the golf ball for their eras.
So, how does weightlifting affect the golf swing? Is it positive? Is it negative? When should you do it?
Should You Workout Before Or After Golf?
According to multiple studies, golfers who workout before golf and after golf have seen positive health benefits and exercise can help shoot lower scores.
If you exercise and lift weights consistently your body will become stronger. That’s no secret.
Golf is a sport that is a combination of flexibility, skill, and strength. When you make it to the professional level, golfers are consistently swinging a driver around 120-125 miles per hour. Your body needs to be strong enough to handle that swing speed and deliver it repeatedly (Source).
When it comes to playing golf having a stronger body and stronger core muscles is a benefit for your golf swing.
When it comes to deciding when you should exercise and lift weights it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Many golfers, Tiger Woods is the best example, start their day and morning routines by lifting weights and then playing golf. For example, Woods is quoted as saying that in his prime, “he would get up in the morning and run four miles. After that, he’d go to the gym to lift weights. Then, he’d hit some balls for two or three hours, go play around, and then work on his short game” (Source).
Tiger Woods is one of the greatest athletes of all time and reached peak physical form during his greatest years of playing.
I like to workout after I have played golf and stretch before I play golf. It comes down to what is best for you and stretching and getting my body loose for golf is best for me and gives me confidence my body will last a full 18 holes.
What Is The Effect Of Weightlifting On Your Golf Swing?
Weightlifting can affect your golf swing in several ways including an increase in swing speed, which will lead to an increase in distance. Weightlifting, if not properly, can also lead to injury and loss of flexibility and fluidity in the golf swing.
Bryson DeChambeau is the best example of weightlifting to increase distance. Bryson combined weightlifting with speed training to maximize his swing speed potential to hit the ball as far as he possibly can. And to his credit, he achieved that goal as he was able to win the US Open Championship 2 years ago.
There can be a downside to lifting heavy weights as well. If not done properly lifting heavy weights can lead to serious injury. For example, Bryson DeChambeau has recently discovered he had a partially torn labrum in his left hip and recently had wrist surgery which will force him to miss the remainder of the 2022 PGA Tour season (Source).
Bryson was successful in his journey as he was able to win a major, but at what cost? He has bulked up significantly, which many experts believe is why he has suffered these serious injuries.
Weightlifting can be positive for your golf game, but not at the cost of losing flexibility and finesse in your golf game. Lift weights properly and always listen to your body.
Best Exercises And Stretches To Improve Your Game?
The best exercises to improve your game will include any core, back, shoulder, arms, and leg exercises. Yoga is also a great form of exercise for golfers as it focuses on core strength, flexibility, balance, and mindfulness.
The golf swing focuses on those major muscle groups listed above. Lifting weights to strengthen your back, arms, legs, and shoulders will help a golfer compete at a high level and stay in shape.
Core exercises including ab and lower back workouts will maintain stability in your lower back which is crucial for rotation in the golf swing. Lower back problems are one of the most common injuries golfers experience.
Finally, yoga is a practice that has tremendous benefits for golf. It helps with balance, flexibility, mindfulness, and core strength. Four crucial aspects for golf that will help any golfer stay in shape and shoot lower scores.
Can Golf Keep You In Shape?
Playing golf regularly, especially walking 18 holes 3-5 times a week, can keep you in shape and provide your heart the cardiovascular endurance it requires.
Golf, when using a pushcart or carry your own clubs, can help keep you in good healthy shape. Will you get ripped walking around and playing golf? The answer is no, but it can help you maintain a good healthy lifestyle. When you walk 18 holes you can burn anywhere from 500-700 calories. If you are interested in learning more about the calories burned while playing, check out our article “How Many Steps in a Round of Golf?”
Golf can help you stay in shape when you are walking rounds and not using a golf cart. When combined with some of the exercises above, you can expect to be in tremendous shape which can help your golf game and lower your scores.
Can Golf Build Muscle?
Its not hard to imagine that golf can be great exercise. Whether walking or riding in a cart, golf is prolonged physical activity that can help burn some serious calories.
However, golf is more than just cardio, right? Muscling a golf ball out of the rough, powerful swings with the driver, or climbing the steep hillside to get to the next tee are all part of the game. So, what about golfs effect on muscle? Can golf actually lead to muscle gain?
Surprisingly, golf can lead to muscle gain but probably not how you were hoping. Golfing can help build lean muscle mass through repetitive motions. However, golf will rarely be the catalyst for muscle hypertrophy. If you want to see some real gains, you will have to find a balance between the gym and the golf course.
There is nothing better than having fun on the course while getting exercise. Golf is a great sport to keep people of all ages in shape. Furthermore, working out off the golf course can lead to great improvements in your game. Follow the advice above to maximize your exercise on and off the course!
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