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Conditioning Exercises

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I'm 45 and pretty darn fit, imo. I got my golf conditioning in a great place in the beginning of the year after 12 mos of diligent strength training and cardio, and playing once a week.

I recently took 3 mos off of golf, but continued my other fitness stuff. But now my golf conditioning is noticeably worse (tired at end of the round). 

Last year I never did golf specific exercises, and although I achieved my golf conditioning goals (feeling light footed on 18), it took over a year to get there. Is there some golf specific conditioning exercises out there that can speed up the process (more box jumps, for example)?  Or do I just have to keep playing and let my body slowly get conditioned.

I do walk and carry, let's not get into why in this thread. Just take it as a given. For life reasons, I don't have time to go to the range at all. Just get to play once a week, and I'm grateful for it!

At the end of a round, my legs in particular have a lot less power in my swing. That "jumping" kind of feeling teeing off on 1 becomes a "slowly getting up from a seated position" feeling on 18. I also find I can't rotate my upper body as easily or fully at the end of a round. I also stand closer and closer to the ball as the round progresses (no idea why, but I do fix it when I notice it).

Appreciate any tips.

Edited by bones75

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18 minutes ago, bones75 said:

I'm 45 and pretty darn fit, imo. I got my golf conditioning in a great place in the beginning of the year after 12 mos of diligent strength training and cardio, and playing once a week.

I recently took 3 mos off of golf, but continued my other fitness stuff. But now my golf conditioning is noticeably worse (tired at end of the round). 

Last year I never did golf specific exercises, and although I achieved my golf conditioning goals (feeling light footed on 18), it took over a year to get there. Is there some golf specific conditioning exercises out there that can speed up the process (more box jumps, for example)?  Or do I just have to keep playing and let my body slowly get conditioned.

I do walk and carry, let's not get into why in this thread. Just take it as a given. For life reasons, I don't have time to go to the range at all. Just get to play once a week, and I'm grateful for it!

At the end of a round, my legs in particular have a lot less power in my swing. That "jumping" kind of feeling teeing off on 1 becomes a "slowly getting up from a seated position" feeling on 18. I also find I can't rotate my upper body as easily or fully at the end of a round. I also stand closer and closer to the ball as the round progresses (no idea why, but I do fix it when I notice it).

Appreciate any tips.

I don't understand what you mean by "golf conditioning," unless you are referring to 1) fitness or 2) golf technique.  I don't think there is a golf-specific conditioning; if you're in shape, then that should transfer to your golf.  You mentioned that you don't go to the range, so that sounds like a technique issue.  But, then you mention a loss of power in your legs and a loss of flexibility in your upper body--that sounds like a general fitness issue (although you say you're "pretty darn fit"...). If your legs and upper body cannot sustain a round of golf, that is not a "golf conditioning" problem; you have a fitness problem and are wrong about being "pretty darn fit."  

For me, I usually just powerlift.  I have a rack at home and basically follow a traditional Wendler 531 protocol with some modifications, e.g., using a hex bar instead of a barbell for deadlifts (to save my back), adding in some assistance lifts like pull-ups, etc.  I also like yoga and some cardio as well for being more well-rounded.  I have the super speed sticks as well, but honestly, I don't use them very much.  I should use them more but for some reason I don't.  I usually just lift and hit balls on my simulator.

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25 minutes ago, bones75 said:

I'm 45 and pretty darn fit, imo. I got my golf conditioning in a great place in the beginning of the year after 12 mos of diligent strength training and cardio, and playing once a week.

I recently took 3 mos off of golf, but continued my other fitness stuff. But now my golf conditioning is noticeably worse (tired at end of the round). 

Last year I never did golf specific exercises, and although I achieved my golf conditioning goals (feeling light footed on 18), it took over a year to get there. Is there some golf specific conditioning exercises out there that can speed up the process (more box jumps, for example)?  Or do I just have to keep playing and let my body slowly get conditioned.

I do walk and carry, let's not get into why in this thread. Just take it as a given. For life reasons, I don't have time to go to the range at all. Just get to play once a week, and I'm grateful for it!

At the end of a round, my legs in particular have a lot less power in my swing. That "jumping" kind of feeling teeing off on 1 becomes a "slowly getting up from a seated position" feeling on 18. I also find I can't rotate my upper body as easily or fully at the end of a round. I also stand closer and closer to the ball as the round progresses (no idea why, but I do fix it when I notice it).

Appreciate any tips.

Has any combination of nutrition, hydration, or sleep changed in the last 3 months? 

What does your current workout/fitness routine look like now?

One golf specific conditioning exercise I could see helping for you since you walk/carry is walking/hiking/running with a weighted vest on. 

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@klineka @ncates00

My sleep/nutrition recently is about the same as it was previously. Perhaps a little more stress and tiredness in life because of covid and young kids (but not that much).

I am referring to "golf conditioning" only. Meaning simply feeling strong swinging for a whole round.

I believe I was understating it when I said I was fit.
 - Strength training 3x a week full body. F/B squats, dls, bench, cleans, isolations. As ref, my 1RM squat is about 1.75x my bodyweight.
 - Run ~7 miles 3-4x a week @ ~5.15 min/mile pace (I used to be a competitive long distance runner)
 - My nutrition is pretty tight. I count my calories, meet my macros, no junk foods in general.

To me golf uses my muscles diff and maybe even diff muscles than in my current fitness routine. I feel I don't have a lot of fast twitch muscle in general (my legs are great at running a long time, not great at swinging for a long time).

Was thinking about swapping a run session for a medball/kettlebell type of session just for golf reasons. (I actually like running, it "destresses" me a lot more than lifting or other exercises).

To provide color: I can easily go for a 5 mile run after a round of golf. But I can't just can't swing anymore. My legs feel like jelly swinging a club, but I easily have enough energy for a run. It's true.

Edited by bones75

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4 minutes ago, bones75 said:

To me golf uses my muscles diff and maybe even diff muscles than in my current fitness routine. I feel I don't have a lot of fast twitch muscle in general (my legs are great at running a long time, not great at swinging for a long time).

I cant think of any muscles golf would use that you aren't already using when you squat, deadlift, bench, clean, and run 7 miles per week.

9 minutes ago, bones75 said:

Was thinking about swapping a run session for a medball/kettlebell type of session just for golf reasons. (I actually like running, it "destresses" me a lot more than lifting or other exercises).

I don't think that will help much if at all. If anything I'd swap in a weighted hike or something that simulates an actual round of golf carrying the bag since you can only golf once a week.

IMO since you're already in great shape and eat well, I'd say you just need to keep playing and eventually you shouldn't get as tired towards the end.

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12 minutes ago, bones75 said:

To me golf uses my muscles diff and maybe even diff muscles than in my current fitness routine. I feel I don't have a lot of fast twitch muscle in general (my legs are great at running a long time, not great at swinging for a long time).

If you’re lacking in fast twitch muscle endurance you need to train it. Range sessions are obviously the best golf specific way to do that, but if you can’t find the time for that then I’d say you should substitute some of your long distance runs for sprints or other high intensity conditioning workouts.

Also stop carrying. Get a push cart.

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3 minutes ago, bones75 said:

@klineka @ncates00

My sleep/nutrition recently is about the same as it was previously. Perhaps a little more stress and tiredness in life because of covid and young kids (but not that much).

I am referring to "golf conditioning" only. Meaning simply feeling strong swinging for a whole round.

I believe I was understating when I said I was fit.
 - Strength training 3x a week full body. F/B squats, dls, bench, cleans, isolations. As ref, my 1RM squat is about 1.75x my bodyweight.
 - Run ~7 miles 3-4x a week @ ~5.15 min/mile pace (I used to be a competitive long distance runner)
 - My nutrition is pretty tight. I count my calories, meet my macros, no junk foods in general.

To me golf uses my muscles diff and maybe even diff muscles than in my current fitness routine. I feel I don't have a lot of fast twitch muscle in general (my legs are great at running a long time, not great at swinging for a long time).

Was thinking about swapping a run session for a medball/kettlebell type of session just for golf reasons. (I actually like running, it destresses me better a lot more than lifting or other exercises).

I don't run like that, so I can't really comment, but I know that sounds impressive.  The lifting, which I do know about, is respectable with your squat, too.

Given that you're doing a lot to take care of yourself, it could be any number of things like @klineka pointed out.  It's odd that a person who seems to be in really good shape to have these things happen without having something to point to.  If I've had issues in sports (golf, lifting, basketball, football), it's been because of injury, poor technique, poor nutrition, too much time off, or too tired/lack of rest.  

I'm still going to push back on your use of "golf conditioning" because I'm not buying that and have never had that issue in golf at all.  In other sports, perhaps, but not golf.  It's just golf, man.  The training I've put in for other sports far surpasses anything I've done for golf in terms of "conditioning;" technique, however, is a different story. 

If you're carrying your bag in the summer heat on a really hilly course, then you probably will get a little tired by the end of the round.  That's to be expected.  It happens to everyone, especially if you're playing a lot on top of your stout workout regime.

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12 minutes ago, billchao said:

Also stop carrying. Get a push cart.

I said I didn't want to go there!  I have a heart condition. One of the lifestyle changes I need to make is strengthening it via longer periods of higher intensity exercise (higher bpm). I'd say that's exclusive to me, but in general the health benefits of including more high intensity exercises is ridiculously rewarding to anyone. My bpm is higher carrying than pushing. Some people care more about health than score! (some oldies I play w/ I swear don't even like golf that much. They just hate the treadmill)

15 minutes ago, billchao said:

If you’re lacking in fast twitch muscle endurance you need to train it. Range sessions are obviously the best golf specific way to do that, but if you can’t find the time for that then I’d say you should substitute some of your long distance runs for sprints or other high intensity conditioning workouts.

Sounds like a good idea. I'm going to incorporate some hiit stuff.

18 minutes ago, klineka said:

I'd say you just need to keep playing and eventually you shouldn't get as tired towards the end.

I just hope it doesn't take a year again to get there.

15 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I'm still going to push back on your use of "golf conditioning" because I'm not buying that and have never had that issue in golf at all.  In other sports, perhaps, but not golf.  It's just golf, man.  

Idk what else to tell you. I'm shorter and less straight on 18 than I am on 1. And I'm certain my vert measurements would confirm that. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I can't swing a club. I just swing noticeably slower.

24 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

If you're carrying your bag in the summer heat on a really hilly course, then you probably will get a little tired by the end of the round.  That's to be expected.  It happens to everyone, especially if you're playing a lot on top of your stout workout regime.

But I did get to that point (of not feeling tired) early this year. But it took over a year of basically just golfing once a week. I'm just trying to find the quickest way back.

There appears to be consensus (by absence of support) that medball/kettleball stuff wouldn't help?

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6 minutes ago, bones75 said:

I said I didn't want to go there!  I have a heart condition. One of the lifestyle changes I need to make is strengthening it via longer periods of higher intensity exercise (higher bpm).

You didn’t want to go there, but I’d say that’s relevant information given that you’re asking people for fitness advice.

9 minutes ago, bones75 said:

There appears to be consensus (by absence of support) that medball/kettleball stuff wouldn't help?

I wouldn’t say that. I think if your conditioning workouts mainly consist of long distance running, you’re not training your fast twitch muscles.

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

I cant think of any muscles golf would use that you aren't already using when you squat, deadlift, bench, clean, and run 7 miles per week.

You definitely use the torsion muscles of the core, and the support muscles around the hips. Those can get lost when you just do the exercises you  mentioned. They wouldn't cause a massive lost off leg strength on the back 9. 

2 hours ago, bones75 said:

Last year I never did golf specific exercises, and although I achieved my golf conditioning goals (feeling light footed on 18), it took over a year to get there. Is there some golf specific conditioning exercises out there that can speed up the process (more box jumps, for example)?  Or do I just have to keep playing and let my body slowly get conditioned.

Squats, and hiking. Walking around the neighborhood won't get you there. You are talking about about 6-8 miles of hiking, while carrying a bag. You need to recreate that more often or do more strenuous exercises In a short period of time. 

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19 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

You definitely use the torsion muscles of the core, and the support muscles around the hips. Those can get lost when you just do the exercises you  mentioned. They wouldn't cause a massive lost off leg strength on the back 9. 

@saevel25 Feels like you hit on something there. I call it my "legs" but that may be generally. For example, there's an area about 3 inches left of my belt buckle that gets slightly tight after a round now. Like where my leg meets my hip. It's not painful, or even uncomfortable, but I just noticed it because I've never had that after a run.

I really liken it to a "jumping motion", the part of my swing that I feel I lose power on, but it may be my hips. (I don't know the names and details of all the hip & leg muscles)

Does any of this change your thoughts?

Edited by bones75

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My bodycomp has also completely changed (in a good way) over the last year or so.

I consider myself super fit right now, but that wasn't always the case. ~2 years ago my doc said my heart thing was on the radar again. So I dropped a ton of fat, started lifting for the first time again in years (I couldn't even squat my bodyweight 18 mos ago) and started eating right.

Can there be some impact of that on my swing? 

I only have about 40 min in the mornings to exercise/run. Is HIIT hiking a thing?

 

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52 minutes ago, bones75 said:

My bodycomp has also completely changed (in a good way) over the last year or so.

I consider myself super fit right now, but that wasn't always the case. ~2 years ago my doc said my heart thing was on the radar again. So I dropped a ton of fat, started lifting for the first time again in years (I couldn't even squat my bodyweight 18 mos ago) and started eating right.

Can there be some impact of that on my swing? 

I only have about 40 min in the mornings to exercise/run. Is HIIT hiking a thing?

 

I dunno man.  There's so much conflicting and confusing information you've given here.  You're 45 and have a heart condition but won't use a pushcart.  You're apparently "super fit/pretty darn fit" because you are on a stout workout regime, but cannot swing a golf club the way you want the whole round due to leg/hip/back issues.  And for some reason, you think "golf conditioning" is going to help you.  I don't know how hiking or doing some medball/kettlebell stuff is going to help a guy who is apparently already "super fit;" the things you're already doing should be enough for strength and conditioning.  I don't do near the cardio stuff you're doing (but likely lift more), and I'm doing fine--but each person is different.  Talk to a doctor and a trainer.  We're out of ideas.

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3 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

 We're out of ideas.

.. and I'm just dumb, I probably won't change a thing and get there like how I did early this year. Just keep playing once a week until it happens naturally. I do think range time would be the best exercise for me, but can't see it in the foreseeable future.

I've also never carried a bag religiously before, so the last two years was a new challenge. Despite it looking stupid to do so, I'm satisfied w/ my reasons that I do carry.

I played volleyball last winter for the first time in years. You'd be shocked to hear I was sore after that too!

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1 minute ago, bones75 said:

I'm satisfied w/ my reasons that I do carry.

The benefits to why you’re carrying probably don’t outweigh the damage you’re doing to your back/hips.

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3 minutes ago, bones75 said:

.. and I'm just dumb, I probably won't change a thing and get there like how I did early this year. Just keep playing once a week until it happens naturally. I do think range time would be the best exercise for me, but can't see it in the foreseeable future.

I've also never carried a bag religiously before, so the last two years was a new challenge. Despite it looking stupid to do so, I'm satisfied w/ my reasons that I do carry.

I played volleyball last winter for the first time in years. You'd be shocked to hear I was sore after that too!

By the way, @Vinsk knows what he's talking about.  He's not just an internet quarterback.

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8 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

The benefits to why you’re carrying probably don’t outweigh the damage you’re doing to your back/hips.

I agree that can be the case. My doctor, cardiologist, and phsyical therapists have all given me the thumbs up for it. It increases my heart rate, lowers my cardio vascular age. Stanford Sports Medicine.

Their notes are simple:
- never use 1 strap
- always watch your posture
- you will perform worse in golf because you are exercising your back (which I'm okay with)

I've walked tons of rounds w/ a heart monitor. I average 11bpm higher carrying than pushing a cart on hilly courses. W/ that data and my health care dude's happiness w/ it, I'm gonna stick with it.

Edited by bones75

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12 minutes ago, bones75 said:

My doctor, cardiologist, and phsyical therapists have all given me the thumbs up for it

In general maybe. But your stated problem of legs in particular feeling tired and your rotating declines...I wouldn’t favor carrying over a push cart. I think the Docs and the physio are ok with carrying as you seem to really want to do that but I won’t agree it’s doing you better than than the injury/fatigue it’s causing you. Also, there’s a damn good chance your cardiologist isn’t aware of the studies done on the effects of carrying a golf bag. These kids out there aren’t being lazy. It’s what’s recommended now. Just sayin....

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