Workouts for Golf: How Often and How Much?

Tuesday, January 11th 2011

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Sure, there may be some similarities between the two – but the ideal exercise program for the improvement of your golf game should have it’s own structure and emphasis.

Two of the most critical factors to consider are training volume and frequency.

Training volume is the amount of exercise performed in one workout session. Training frequency is the number workouts in a given week (or month). These two factors are adjustable throughout the year to accommodate, and enhance, your physical condition and your golf performance.

Rule of Thumb

A simple rule of thumb to help you maintain proper balance between playing activity and physical conditioning is this: The heavier your playing activity – the lighter your training volume should be. And the lower your playing activity – the greater your training volume should be.

Training volume refers to the amount of collective exercise performed in a given day. This may include: flexibility training, core training, cardiovascular conditioning, balance and strength.

Golf Seasons Dictate

As an example… Most golfers play more frequently in the spring and summer seasons. Therefore the workouts during those phases should be shorter, more condensed. And during the times of year when a golfer plays less, such as the winter season – the workouts can be longer and maybe more intense.

One of the key adjustments during the time of year when you play more often is to maintain the parts of your program which are best suited for your physical needs at that time. Specifically, you want to place priority on flexibility and core training.

Adjust the Levels

It’s not uncommon for some players to get in 8 or 9 rounds of 18 holes in a given week during their “busy” season.

In this case – a possible workout plan may follow this outline; 5 sessions per week, each consisting of: 20 minutes of flexibility, 20 minutes of core training and 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise – plus, 2 sessions per week of functional strength (15 minutes) and balance training (10 minutes).

The cardio, strength and balance components can be tapered down until the end of your “busy” golf season – and then elevated again, when you decrease your level of playing activity.

In essence, your overall golf workout program should be periodically adjusted with the seasonal changes in your playing frequency. This caters to the body’s need for proper rest and recovery time – while keeping you in top shape to perform at your most efficient levels on the course – as well as off the course, in everything else you do.

- Joey Atlas
M.S., Exercise Physiology
Golf Conditioning Specialist

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