The Six Week Golf Fitness Training Programme
Sharing the third installment in his golf fitness journey with specialist personal trainer Jon Hodgkinson, Golfshake's Andy Waple describes what was required as part of his training programme.
The first thing I needed to do was download to my phone the app by Trainerize used by Jon and other personal trainers. It’s a fantastic app, giving remote access to a bespoke daily programme of exercises to improve mobility, balance and strength.
Jon targeted my weaknesses, and included workouts to improve all the key joints and muscle groups needed in everybody's golf swing.
Each exercise is accompanied by a demonstration video of Jon himself showing the necessary form, and explaining their overall significance.
The daily sessions varied to target different areas of my body to allow for recovery.
As I progressed through the exercises they were changed to add intensity so requiring more effort for continuous improvement.
Anything I found too strenuous was adjusted so it didn’t hinder progression.
I was able to provide direct feedback on my programme using a sliding scale ranging from ‘effortless’ to ‘beyond hard’. I was also able to leave feedback on sessions that Jon would take into account when coaching me remotely between my in-person sessions.
- Why You Need a Personalised Fitness Programme to Play Your Best Golf
- The Initial Assessment - Golf Fitness Evaluation
Good news for those with busy schedules - each daily session can be completed in less than 15 minutes although they may take a little longer initially as you will need to refer to the videos to remind you of what to do.
My course coincided with a lot of overseas travel but Jon was able to adjust my sessions to supply exercises that could be completed in a hotel room, and condensed when I was playing day-after-day on a busy reviewing schedule.
The app is a great motivational tool to keep you on your toes particularly as you have to check in at the end of each session with Jon who can post messages of support and assistance.
My exercises started mostly with stretches and foam rolling to get my body accustomed to the strength exercises to come. Once up to speed, exercises alternated between stretching and mobility work to improve range of movement, and those to strengthen key muscle groups.
I must admit I did find the workouts hard at first but the more I did the easier they became. It was also easy to get into a routine, despite the travel, and the app and Jon’s supervision acted as a great motivator.
After a few weeks I was really enjoying the work and looked forward to the exercises each morning.
After four weeks I was back at Jon’s studio for a partial assessment of progress and a personal training session lasting 45 minutes.
This enabled me to show what I had achieved, and allowed Jon to check if I was adopting the correct form, to fine tune and adjust the programme.
A second check-in followed some weeks later and the session repeated. I found this particularly helpful as it added motivation and provided a sense of achievement.
The day of reckoning arrived and it was time to go back to the studio to repeat my Golf Fitness Evaluation to measure progress and highlight weakness and imbalances.
First the good news. I had improved strength in my legs and glutes enormously. My mobility in the key areas of the body was also showing good signs of improvement and taking my age and travel schedule into account there were positive signs in most areas, particularly in the shoulders.
Areas to continue to improve were internal hip rotation, thoracic and external shoulder rotation.
Thoracic rotation has always been a weakness for me due to some genetic imbalances in my mid spine, so it was good to see a little progress here.
At the end of the assessment Jon was able to produce a Pro Report outlining my key restrictions which I can pass on to my swing coach.
He also communicates with your coach to ensure they have a good understanding of how your body moves, giving them more scope to coach around any physical limitations in your lessons and when trying to make swing changes.
The report also included three key warm up exercises which Jon recommended I perform prior to every round or practice session.
Jon had said from the outset: “You will see the results if you put the work in.”
I had kept to the programme enthusiastically although it did coincide with an intense period of overseas travel when I was not able to follow the programme precisely.
Jon provided some exercises that could be done in the hotel rooms which kept me moving, a clear benefit of having a personal trainer and the accompanying app.
I also observed some personal improvements some of our older readers may well associate with.
After six weeks training I found that for the first time in years I was able to put my socks on without having to sit on the top of the stairs, a sure sign to me that my mobility and range of movement was improving.
On the course I have far less hip discomfort. Walking and playing 18 holes on consecutive days is no longer something to be avoided. I can play golf much more regularly without needing a break to recover.
I haven’t seen improvements in my game yet, in terms of scores and distances, but being less tired and sore towards the end of the round is helping with concentration.
I intend to carry on working out with Jon, and armed with a report which I can hand to my swing coach we can aim to tailor my technique to suit my physical limitations.
In a period of just six weeks, Jon’s training with limited equipment at home has convinced me that all golfers can benefit from golf specific personal training, and I recommend it to anybody.
If you're a senior golfer who wants more distance, better consistency and fewer injuries, don't miss this article on Jon's website: The 10 Best Golf Exercises for Seniors to Improve Strength and Flexibility.
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