October 24, 2011

Fundamentals Of Fitness For Junior Golfers

As a junior golfer, you already possess early signs of discipline, commitment and great potential for your future in golf. You continue to develop emotional maturity, mental skills and strategies in addition to the ongoing development of your golf swing.

Now, it’s time to begin the process of physical development. Let’s start by learning the correct way to train for golf as you build a strong, healthy body and a solid base of support. These concepts will serve as your foundation for a lifetime of benefits in good health, protection from injury and better golf.

Learn proper guidance on form. Make sure your child receives proper instruction on exercise form as they begin a strength training program for golf. Adults can provide instruction and supervision to enforce safety and good technique.

You can also consider hiring a trained professional to demonstrate proper form and safety measures. Most gyms have a junior program where they offer proper lifting techniques and protocols. Golf training programs for juniors should emphasize the principles of lifetime fitness and proper exercise form so they receive maximum benefits from exercise while minimizing any risks.

Adults who design training programs for their children should provide an environment centered on enjoyment, positive reinforcement and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

Think about strength training as opposed to weight lifting. Your young players are not aspiring weightlifters or bodybuilders, but rather strength builders. Junior golfers should begin with body weight exercises that place an emphasis on many muscle groups and movement patterns which mimic real life movements such as pushups, pull-ups, and multi directional lunges.

Weights can be used, but the focus should be light weights and higher repetitions. Simply choose 5 or 6 exercises and perform 15 to 20 reps while continuing your concentration on good form and technique. Never compromise on the quality of your movement in favor of increased repetitions.

Begin with only a few repetitions until you master an exercise. Parents or instructors should provide clear instruction and close supervision.

Always include a warm up. Your child should begin each workout with a brief warm up of roughly 10 minutes. They can jog in place, perform jumping jacks, or do high knee ups.

Once the body is warm, the muscles are now ready to do their part in strength training while minimizing the risk for injury. Your workout should end with a light stretching session to reap maximum benefits.

Give your body proper rest. Two or three sessions per week are plenty to benefit your strength, endurance and overall golf game. Junior golfers, just like adults, need to give their bodies adequate rest so they can undergo the repair, remodeling and regeneration process. Be sure to take a rest day or two between strength training workouts.

Record your progress. End each session by entering a few notes on a workout card or notebook dedicated to your exercise routine. Simply record which exercises, how many repetitions, and what weights or resistance your child uses during a workout. Monitoring your progress will give you a quick snapshot of what you’ve done and how best to progress from there.

Add variety, consistency and fun. Once something becomes a chore or loses its initial interest, boredom can set in. Don’t be afraid to try new exercises and vary your workouts. Think outside the boundaries of a gym and make the workout fun.

Body weight exercises can be done outside as easily as indoors. Figure out which exercises your child enjoys best and repeat those. Bring in new exercises every few weeks and keep the workout fresh. The enjoyment factor will contribute to your child’s interest in consistency over time.

Strength training for juniors is supported by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Each of these organizations encourages children’s participation in appropriately designed training programs as long as they are competently supervised. Introduce your junior golfer to a lifetime of health and fitness while improving early motor skills, self esteem and overall physical and emotional well being.



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