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Goldy49

Weight Lifting and Golf

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This is my first letter on this forum.  I am 66 years old and a retired physical education teacher.  I was fortunate enough to be able to play football in college and also golf - to be honest, golf got me out of spring football.  Anyway, I started lifting weights as a freshman in 1968 and I still lift.  I was taught that to be successful athletically, one must do three things:  1)Lift weights with the idea of increasing strength, 2) stretch and continually stretch and work on flexibility, and 3) your lifting and stretching must emulate what you need for your activity.  I have lived and died with those ideas for 47 years.  I have read for years that golfers should stay away from the weight room and/or stay away from heavy weights.  OK, I know people say that, but I have found that if you follow the the three tenets I mentioned, weight training is a great help for golf.  I have lost some distance over the years, but at 5'6 and 165 pounds, I still hit my drives about 260 and my five iron about 180.  I think my lifting and flexibility work has helped maintain both my distance and as full a swing as possible.  I just anted to know what others have to say about lifting weights and golf.  Just curious..

 

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I've lifted on and off since I was 18 (30 now). Though I'm by no means a big guy (5'8" 165), I play my best golf when I'm lifting heavy. 

I would disagree with the notion of lifting being bad for gold just based on the way Tiger looked in his prime, or Rory looks now. They're both guys who lift heavy...and when their game is/was on, they could both beat anyone. 

For the record, my best golf is still abysmal...but I'm just sayin'...

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1 hour ago, Goldy49 said:

I have read for years that golfers should stay away from the weight room and/or stay away from heavy weights.

It's just a myth/old wive's tale. Tiger won most (maybe all?) of his majors lifting, Rory posts videos/pictures all the time of himself doing deadlifts and he just won today. From my own experience, lifting for only 2 years, I do feel it's been beneficial for my game. I've picked up a little speed, I'm more "aware" of my body and my endurance is a whole lot better. I carried my bag last Monday at Torrey Pines, round was 5 hours and I wasn't even that tired after.

I think the advice of lifting is bad for golf stems from the misconception that lifting weights means you'll get "bulky" and won't be able to move/turn. Most people that lift aren't bulky and it takes a lot of time and effort (lifting heavy and eating a lot) to really put on mass and maintain it.

Lifting isn't essential to playing good golf but staying strong, mobile, less prone to injury, certainly can't hurt.

Keep lifting @Goldy49!

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These are great replies and great pictures.  I think I will keep lifting.  I may never look like a "martini" glass like Tiger does, but I really can't understand why people have always told me that lifting and golf don't go together.  Now, using a hammer and a saw - that constitutes work.  Now, those things hurt a golf swing (meant to be humorous unless my wife reads this).

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Weight training has been a pretty consistent part of my life since college. (Sidenote: my user name "Big C" was jokingly given to me by some college buddies upon my discovery of the gym. Although I'm not a big guy by any means, it's all relative to the 5'9" 150 lb. pipsqueak I was when I first enrolled).

I've never found weightlifting affected my game in any negative way. But as I've modified my routine through trial, error, and age, I've seen greater benefit from core work and functional strength training. 

At my peak muscle building days in my early 20's, I was about 190 lbs of pretty solid muscle, but little flexibility. I did a lot of work on what I like to call the "glory muscles," but ignored my core and cardio work for the most part. 

10 years later, and I've joined a gym where burpees, pull ups, turkish get ups, sled pushes, planks and wall balls are all integral parts of our routine. We stretch for 10 minutes before every workout and integrate a bit of cardio into every day.

I'm now 15 pounds lighter than I was in my hey-day, but I'm hitting the golf ball farther than I ever have before. Bottom line, @Goldy49 is that I agree with your premise 100%. 

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55 minutes ago, Big C said:

Weight training has been a pretty consistent part of my life since college. (Sidenote: my user name "Big C" was jokingly given to me by some college buddies upon my discovery of the gym. Although I'm not a big guy by any means, it's all relative to the 5'9" 150 lb. pipsqueak I was when I first enrolled).

I've never found weightlifting affected my game in any negative way. But as I've modified my routine through trial, error, and age, I've seen greater benefit from core work and functional strength training. 

At my peak muscle building days in my early 20's, I was about 190 lbs of pretty solid muscle, but little flexibility. I did a lot of work on what I like to call the "glory muscles," but ignored my core and cardio work for the most part. 

10 years later, and I've joined a gym where burpees, pull ups, turkish get ups, sled pushes, planks and wall balls are all integral parts of our routine. We stretch for 10 minutes before every workout and integrate a bit of cardio into every day.

I'm now 15 pounds lighter than I was in my hey-day, but I'm hitting the golf ball farther than I ever have before. Bottom line, @Goldy49 is that I agree with your premise 100%. 

I would say you have an athletic build/ look fit and do not appear to spend hours a day in the gym. I agree with everyone above, I would not hit the ball as far as I do if I didn't not utilize the gym. Albeit diet and cardio would be good every now and then lol, but I am strong. 

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I have been doing golf specific weight exercises for 11 months now.   It definitely added a few yards to my distance.   My muscles got bigger in a few places.   I feel stronger.   Even if it will no longer add distance to my drives, I see too much health benefit to stop now.   My 2 cents.

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I love lifting. It gives me the opportunity to get outta my head and stop thinking, just lifting.

My quest has been to find some golf specific lifting that'll help with my game. Fromt he pics above, it looks like the deadlifts and any other exercise that's good for the core might help.

I've also started doing a modified standing cable wood chop exercise to strengthen my core. You can see the video with an explanation at http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/standing-cable-wood-chop.

Instead of facing the cable and twisting my core like in the pics, I stand in my golf stance with my chest towards the cable and my knees 90 degrees similar to the top of the back swing and use my abs/core to pull the cable to the impact position of the golf shot. What I'm trying to emulate is the Ultimate Swing Trainer motion with a cable pulley. I'll let you know how it turns out, but so far it really forces me to focus on balance and turning, especially when I've got 40lbs on there. 

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I'm 6'2" and in late 2014 I weighed roughly 275 and got a gym membership, went 2-3 times a week for a few months and by summer, I had lost 50 pounds and felt stronger and increased my distances.  I didn't really have a specific plan last year for the gym and concentrated on losing fat by putting myself in a big calorie deficit. 

This year, I'm going to the gym 5 days a week (to lose weight I put back on and get stronger), with a plan that consists primarily of doing 3 sets of a workout in the 4-6 rep range.  I've been on this plan for roughly 2.months and am feeling stronger than ever.  Even though I've played a few rounds, the courses aren't really in a condition where you get a lot of rollout from a shot and I'm already close to my distances from last year.  

I 100% believe the gym is good for golf, otherwise, I probably wouldn't dedicate as much time as I am this year 

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I lift weights all the time and for the modern swing and game it's essential especially in the legs. To play devils advocate it's possible that weight lifting can be a deterrent for some but not many. It reduced injuries and increase arm strength not a whole lot bad with it all. I will say that rhythm and timing it very important and will stay that was as a fundamental forever! you look at guys like tom Watson and Couples here and they have distance and still keep it for years and a lifetime. If you lift weights for golf it must not hinder the length of your backswing in the long term. For a 25 year old you lose nothing,Rory might run into tiger type problems later in his career. I don't advocate dead lifts or bench press instead I opt for plyometrics,core,sprinting and pull exercises that increase arm strength and leg press for stability. All of  the other exercises like bench press and squats will make you a better athlete with the combination of joint damage. You see pro football players nail the ball in the off season,but probably wouldn't have a long golf career because of injuries from the weights.

 

Edited by Mike Boatright

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Tiger was never "big". He just wore clothes that fit him well and he looked more bulky than most golfers on the tour.

I didn't have any trouble with lifting weights and golf back a few years ago. If anything, I think it did good. Better mobility and strength.

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4 hours ago, Zeph said:

Tiger was never "big". He just wore clothes that fit him well and he looked more bulky than most golfers on the tour.

I didn't have any trouble with lifting weights and golf back a few years ago. If anything, I think it did good. Better mobility and strength.

He wasn't 'huge', but he definitely added quite a bit of mass in his shoulders and arms where I don't think it did him much good.

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Edited by natureboy

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Weight lifting and weight training are quite different.  Muscles need resistance to stay in shape.  I have done plenty of weight training over the years, but never really had an upper body until working construction for a couple of years during a recession.

Now I am 65 and weigh more than I used to, so weight training is more important that ever. Maintaining muscle mass with ageing is one of life's biggest challenges.  I am not as flexible as before but just as strong.  The ball still gets launched most of the time.

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I do lift weights a lot and I am 56. I am probably about as strong as I have ever been and still manage to occasionally break par. When I lift I go heavy with short duration. I have personally never had any injuries that have adversely affected my golf and I am sure it enables me to maintain good distance. Sorry about the picture. I'm not trying to show off, just illustrating. ;-)

Photo0016.jpg

Edited by marcharing

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