As training for golf becomes more and more popular, lots of information gets thrown around. Thanks to TPI and other reputable sources, golfers have access to great information that can help them improve their game like never before. Unfortunately, there's a lot of bad information out there as well. We're here to clear up some of the most common misconceptions out there to help you get on the right path.
Cardio and running several miles will increase my stamina and make my endurance better on the golf course.
This one seems to be out there more as an assumption among recreational golfers. How can I improve my stamina, so I am not tired walking and carrying? It's easy to think that improving your cardio by running a few miles would be the answer, but it isn't the best way to help. Running does improve overall endurance and has many benefits as well. So, before we get into what you can do that is more effective, know that doing this is in general a great thing to do for overall well-being. However, it doesn't translate like you would think. When we run or jog, we do so at a constant speed for an allotted amount of time. Compare that to walking in spurts of a few minutes or less with a weighted bag on your shoulders, stopping, then doing it again. Not to mention all the hills and uneven surfaces you come across while doing this. When you compare the two, there's not a ton of similarities.
Also, walking and carrying isn't exactly a high intensity workout, so most of us are more than capable of doing it and not feeling winded afterwards. So, what’s the best way to train for this? Well the answer is simple; go walk and carry over and over. That is going to give you the most functional and best results. Don't overthink it, your body will become more accustom to the task and within a short amount of time you will start feeling better and not feeling winded by the middle of your back nine.
Lifting weights is dangerous, and I don't want to get hurt.
This one is fascinating because of all the golf commentators we hear and how Tiger Woods body is breaking down, and that it’s all because of lifting heavy. Absolutely false. Lifting weights can help how we are able to feel, move, and perform better and make our body become capable of doing more. Do injuries happen? Of course! But lifting weights appropriately will significantly decrease your chances of injury. Notice the word appropriately. Always stress quality over quantity. The benefits to lifting are enormous, but of course you want to make sure your form is right and that the intent is there for each and every rep. Consult your local fitness professional and maybe take a session to learn how to safely lift, it will ultimately make a huge difference!
As we age, the thought is, "I can't lift heavy weights like I use to." Maybe a little, but for the most part that's a big misconception. Lifting not only helps strength, but it can increase your range of motion also! When we lift, we are putting stress on the body to adapt to certain movements, and over time our body adapts, gets stronger, and can perform them better. This doesn't have an age limit. Age contributes minimally to not being able to perform certain heavy lifts, but we still should be lightly stressing our body to improve. You wonder why older people seem like they can't move as well? Age, right? Wrong! Most of the inability to move well contributed to them being passive. Got tight hips? It's not because of age, it’s because you stopped using them. When we think we are injured or have bad hips, we just stop using them.
We "rest." Resting can be appropriate in some cases for certain amounts of time, but think about it, all your doing when resting is essentially getting weaker. Take deadlifts for example. People will cringe at thinking about doing those, but in fact one of the best things for your lower back is.... deadlifts! Light stress on an area, while also focusing on the hamstrings and glutes, along with proper hip hinge will do wonders! Does this mean start out heavy lifting? No. Start out by mastering the form with little to no weight. Then slowly make progressions. Consult a local professional for an appropriate game plan or for advice on how you should be progressing. Remember, light stress on an area is okay, push yourself, but obviously to your limit. Know your body, know the proper form, and always consult a professional and make sure you are cleared to exercise. Ask yourself, what’s more dangerous, lifting weights properly or being weak? I rest my case.