Program Design for Golf


There are a great many IFPA Certified Personal Trainers (PFT) and Sports Conditioning Specialists (SCS) that have taken my advice over the years and built highly successful and lucrative careers working with Golfers and Tennis Players. You may recall my recommendations based on the facts that: (1) Golf and Tennis are the #1 and #2 participatory sports among adults; (2) these sports tend to attract the highest income wage earners; and (3) Many Golf and Tennis players are highly motivated to do whatever it takes to improve their performance.

When it comes to program design for Golf, much of the exercise prescription will be dependent on the needs and restrictions of the client. Some of the best exercises for Golf Conditioning are the Squat, Bench Press, Twisting Crunches on the Stability Ball, Leg Curls on the Stability Ball, Single-Leg-Bent-Over-Reverse Flyes; D-1 and D-2 (Internal and External Shoulder Rotation), Box-Jumps, Dumbbell-Single-Leg-Deadlifts, Bell Protocols I and II and of course flexibility exercises predominated by shoulder, hip, and torso exercises.

It should be obvious why you would select stability, core and functional exercises for Golf, but what may not be so obvious is the selection of Box-Jumps, a classic POWER exercise.

Recent research demonstrates that Golfers who scored the highest on the “Jump and Reach Test” also had the highest ball speed. This should come as no surprise to those of you who have successfully completed the IFPA Sports Conditioning Specialist Certification Course. As you learned in that comprehensive course, all athletes benefit, to a certain degree, derived from developing all ten IFPA Components of Fitness (CoF): Strength, Speed, Power, Anaerobic and Aerobic Endurance, Agility Balance, Coordination, Flexibility, and Body Composition. While golfers do not need the strength of a power lifter, the speed of a wide receiver, the power of a martial artist, the anaerobic endurance of a basketball guard, the aerobic endurance of a marathon runner, the agility, balance, coordination, and flexibility of a gymnast or the body composition of a body builder; a certain level of development is required in each of the IFPA Components of Fitness in order for the golfer to attain optimum performance.

Most of the golfers of the past relied on natural “God-Given Talent!” Today, golfers are far more sophisticated in both exercise and nutrition science.

If your client has no restrictions to the exercises listed above and you follow the SAID, GPO, FITT and other principles you mastered to pass the PFT and SCS courses, you should have no problems as long as you follow the IFPA Key Teaching Points (KTPs) for each movement. Remember what you learned!

To maximize both safety and effectiveness in the exercises ALWAYS start with a thorough WARM-UP and finish with an equally thorough COOL-DOWN. The work-out should be divided into 6 parts in the following order.

February 2010 FitBit Workout Table




Note: Not all 6 parts of the work out need to be executed in every work out!

Safety Note: While box jumps and other power exercises will greatly enhance performance and ball speed for the golfer, caution should be used for the over-weight golfer! The level one box jump: the golfer should start 12-24 inches in front of a low-box (less than 24”) and jumps softly onto the box. Level two is faster-jumping up and down rapidly. Level three is explosive-jumping up and down as fast as possible and increasing height of the box (in rapid box jumps the box is “too high” if the golfer cannot keep his heels elevated and stay on the balls-of-his-feet! Overweight golfers can experience injury at levels 2 and 3 so keep the intensity low until you reach an adequate level of fitness in body composition.

Best regards,
Dr. Jim Bell, CEO IFPA

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