Golfers are not what they used to be!
Traditionally, golf has been dubbed as a ‘non-athletic’ or 'old man's sport,’ but nothing could be further from the truth.
Today, top golfers are just as athletic and dedicated to staying in strong physical condition as any other sportsmen and women. Not everyone is at the stage in life where they can be a high-performing athlete, but it is still important to retain or regain a certain level of strength so you can still perform at your best.
Although golf is usually practiced in 'perfect conditions' (i.e a flat driving range mat), once on the course, we are challenged with all forms of undulation and types of grass, so it's vital to be strong enough to be able to handle these conditions.
Testing for Baseline Strength
Strength is a key component when it comes to any sport that requires a power move such as the golf swing.
There are different methods of testing fitness, for example, 1RM test (one repetition maximum) or the VO2 max test (maximal oxygen intake). However, when it comes to golf it is important to have a good combination of strength and endurance.
Once the Titleist Performance Institute physical screen has been carried out, the client is then moved onto the strength testing phase. This is a series of three exercises testing different movements that are all required in the golf swing - push, pull & split squat test.
1. Push Test
The golfer is set up in golf posture as this will require a lot more stability and require more controlled pushing power as compared to laying on a bench. He then performs eight repetitions with a good amount of difficulty. That means he should just be about able to get nine repetitions, however, 10 would be too difficult. The weight lifted should then be calculated to a percentage of their body weight.
The benchmark being lifted on the PGA Tour is 25% of the total body weight. E.g. A 80kg golfer will be pushing 20kg per hand.
2. Pull Test
The pull test is performed in a similar way to the push as it is done one arm at a time and also in golf setup.
The standing position challenges the individual much more and makes the exercise much more functional compared to when it is seated. Once again, the aim is to be getting eight good repetitions but being unable to achieve 10 reps. Generally, pulling power will surpass pushing power, so you should expect to be able to pull more percentage-wise in comparison to your body weight compared to the previous test.
The PGA Tour average is 30% of their total body weight. E.g. A 80kg golfer will be pulling 24kg per hand.
3. Split Squat Test
This test is great for testing all round leg strength as it challenges all the main muscles. The quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings are rerouted whilst performing a split squat.
It goes without saying that our legs play a huge part in the golf swing, not only for stability but power production as well. Do not underestimate the amount of strength that is stored in the legs!
The PGA Tour average that those golfers can lift is 150% of their own body weight. E.g. A 80kg golfer will be lifting 120kg total
How can UFIT help you with your game?
Charles Davies, Personal Trainer at UFIT, has vast experience coaching golfers of all levels, from aspiring juniors to professionals. If you're looking to improve your speed, strength, and mobility, then get in touch with us today. You will also get the opportunity to undergo the three exercises above to test your strength. Sign up below for your free health consultation!