The evolution of fitness in golf – Robogolf – Becoming a golf machine!

Most golfers are well aware of “front 9” and “back 9”. In this article, I want to introduce you to the often forgotten “side 9”.

Improving your forehead-9

Golfers who run from the parking lot to the first tee often report that they don’t really get into the groove until the fourth hole or so. A proper “warm-up” helps lubricate your joints, increases joint flexibility, and directs blood to your golf muscles. There is nothing new right? Maybe just a preview. Static stretching can temporarily reduce muscle power. Warm-ups should consist of dynamic stretching and light aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. Save ALL the static stretches for when you cool down AFTER your game.

Improve your back-9

Finish strong! “Fitness” allows you to maintain good technique and concentration throughout the 18 holes. Mobility stretches can help throughout each round of practice or game, as well as during the course of a game, as needed. This promotes a consistent swing. Also, if you play or practice regularly, you will benefit from a proper cool down.

The “Side 9”

This is a phrase I have invented with my clients, as a joke, to demonstrate the 9 key pillars behind 100% fitness in golf. Are here:

1. Flexibility

It all starts with being flexible enough. If you start building muscle on a body that is already too tight, you will only complicate things! Flexibility first before strength and endurance conditioning.

2. Mobility

Flexibility refers to individual joints. Mobility refers to compound/multiple joints. Once individual joints are flexible enough, the next step is to sufficiently mobilize the golfer’s entire body.

3. Stability

Now that we have enough flexibility/mobility, we need to determine specific joint stability and compound joint stability. This decreases the chances of further injury and lays a solid foundation for power development.

4. Skill [Balance & Posture & Coordination = whole in one!]

Essentially this refers to the skill level of the golfer. Some golfers are naturally talented; others have to work at it.

5, 6, 7. Scalability (Stamina, Strength, Potency [ESP])

This is where most golf fitness programs usually start! Only when I am satisfied with stages 1-4 will I start progressing the fitness program to include endurance, strength and power work. I like to think of this as a continuum, although the reality is that each supports the other to some degree. That’s where this concept of scaling the fitness program comes from; from endurance to strength and power. When you have all 3 in equal proportions, again kidding, you have ESP (an innate awareness of how to physically perform in any golf situation, from tee to green!). Also kidding, all golfers should push more (weights) to pull less (on their swing)!

8. Sustainability = Nutrition

Being there for 18 holes means you have to consider food and hydration or pay the consequences! Also, you can’t train more than a poor diet. Good nutrition plays an important role in your overall conditioning.

9. Invisibility = Mental conditioning. Putting it all together!

Okay, a bit contrived, but this last essential key pillar is about how you put the other 8 factors together, as well as your mental game. Therefore, it largely represents intangible factors but is nonetheless important.

So there you have it. You already knew the “front 9” and the “back 9”, but if you want to play them just as well, you should consider the “side 9” (the 9 key pillars behind 100% fitness in golf).

Golf fitness can seem confusing because it essentially demands all aspects of fitness, from flexibility to endurance to power, etc., but once you start to see it as a continuum, what you have to do should start to have you! much more sense!

With fitness it is also not possible to train all aspects simultaneously. That’s why for golf you need to create a progressive periodized exercise routine with a wide variety of exercise alternatives.

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