Cardiovascular fitness for golf
Since I’ve retired as a firefighter I have been playing a lot of golf and I can say that running has improved my golf! Here is why...
The aerobic cardiovascular system consists of the heart, lungs, and blood. This system supplies oxygen to the muscles which the muscles then use to produce energy for activity like walking, and for recovery from intense bursts of exercise like the golf swing.
Although golf is a sport that is thought to primarily require explosive power to perform the golf swing, and relaxed fine motor control for the short game and putting, the aerobic cardiovascular system is also of critical importance for the following reasons:
In a typical game a golfer will rely on their aerobic system to walk 7-10 kilometres, up and down hills, over varied terrain without fatigue.
A strong aerobic cardiovascular system will also help deal with mental stresses and helps people be able to relax under pressure situations.
In addition to the need for a strong aerobic cardiovascular system when playing a round of golf, the aerobic system is used extensively during practice when a golfer may be hitting shots repeatedly with minimal rest between practice repeats. Optimal muscle recovery between shots is dependent on how efficient the aerobic system is working and this will help golfers practice more effectively for longer periods of time.
Finally, balance and posture are crucial contributors to the performance of the golf swing itself, and are dependent on muscles that are active all day long (postural muscles and fine motor control muscles in the joints). These muscles are most likely to fatigue during the day, especially when walking long distances while performing explosive movements like the golf swing.
Therefore, aerobic conditioning of all of the muscles of the body, as well as the heart, lungs, and blood is very important for golfers who want to perform at their best.
Aerobic conditioning can be accomplished by performing any exercise for extended periods of time with a sustained heart rate.
Examples of exercises that enhance aerobic cardiovascular function include swimming, walking, jogging, running, skipping, step machine, and rowing.
Each of these activities has benefits and drawbacks which can affect your golf game. Make sure that when you start an aerobic training program, that you consult your golf professional or trainer and ensure that you monitor your playing ability to make sure that the training enhances your game.
Always finish your aerobic training sessions with golf-specific flexibility routines and drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your training sessions. Make sure you wear high – quality footwear that is designed for the type of activity you are doing, i.e. running shoes for running, cross training shoes for indoor training.
You can always get a free coaching consultation with me.