I often hear people say they run to stay in shape for golf. When I ask why and they say “um, cause, um, well that’s good for golf right”?
Then I like to ask, “well are you running side to side, jumping and twisting, running sideways up hill, or how exactly are you running”? It’s always “I run forward like runners do”.
Golf is not played in what is known as the Saggital plane of motion. Meaning we don’t play golf by moving forward and backward as if we were running. So why run to stay in golf shape? I don’t know either.
Golf is a rotational sport that is primarily played in the Transverse plane of motion. Golf actually requires that we avoid the saggital plane by lifting or thrusting (forward or backwards) and stay in rotation in order to transfer loads from the ground through our pelvis, thorax, arms and hands.
Likewise golf is not meant to be played in the horizontal plane by sliding and swaying left to right. When we slide or sway we actually break down biomechanical advantages of rotation and hinder our golf swing.
The best way to think about exercise for sport specific development is to understand what is being called for (and not called for) by the sports requirements.
Golf requires stability in 2 planes of motion (Saggital & Horizontal) and for maximum mobility and speed in 1 plane of motion (Transverse).
Instead of running forward, try walking uphill sideways. This promotes lateral stability and will help you increase rotational speeds in your swing.
Instead of running forward, try jumping and twisting 180 degrees. This promotes explosive rotational speed & balance.
Instead of running forward, try performaing side planks and prone planks to promote core strength & stability.
So next time a buddy says “let’s go running to get in shape for golf…” you know what to say. Nah. I’m going to do some other exercises instead .
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