*Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. He gives you a health and fitness tip or an exercise or stretch to get your body warmed up for the weekend. This week, he discusses whether golf-specific exercises really are golf specific. Look for Saturday Morning Tip tomorrow, and remember to follow me on Twitter: @RogerSchiffman
__Here's Ron:__On behalf of all trainers who specialize in golf fitness, I have a confession to make. Most of the exercises they get you to do in the gym and most of the ones I demonstrate for Golf Digest's Fitness Friday aren't "golf exercises"--they're just exercises. Sure, doing squats and deadlifts will help you hit the ball farther, but it would be disingenuous not to also let you know that doing squats and deadlifts will protect your lower back from injuries, improve your posture, reduce fatigue when you stand or walk and generally make you healthier, whether you're a golfer or not.
The reason we tell you that they're "golf exercises" is because we want you to actually do them. Apparently, the lure of a healthier body isn't enough to get many people to workout, so we have to lure you in with promises of shooting lower scores.
Now, with that said, there are some exercises that truly benefit golfers more than the general population because they help train the body to move safely, powerfully and efficiently during a golf swing. The cold reality is that the body wasn't designed for the twisting and torquing required to make a good golf swing. If you play frequently--or infrequently for that matter-- and don't do "golf-specific" exercises, you greatly increase your chances of injury. Furthermore, you'll likely struggle to swing the club on an efficient path or be able to repeatedly do whatever your golf instructor is asking you to do to improve your game. To see me demonstrate a "golf exercise," click on the video below.
Ron Kaspriske, Fitness Editor Golf Digest