August 20, 2012

How Training For Golf Can Be Very One-Sided!

Welcome to this weekly edition of Fitness for Golf newsletter.

Imagine….stepping up to that tee box and hitting a powerful explosive shot. Imagine each consecutive shot…played gracefully, consistently, and with elements of style and control. This newsletter is designed with the avid golfer in mind. Any golfer who seeks the truth in improvement and a basic understanding of the role the body plays in the golf swing. Join us each week as we explore the mystery of the swing and how to make it simple by creating strong, lean and powerful physiques guaranteed to change your game.

This week I’d like to introduce you to a subject few are familiar with and, even less, use as part of their training plan. Welcome to the world of “unilateral” training or working one side of the body for the benefit of both.


How Training for Golf Can Be Very One-Sided!

Unilateral Training Has Bilateral Benefits

Research has suggested that resistance training on only one side of the body yields strength benefits to the opposite side. Following 22 separate research studies, there is further support of this theory.

Research documentation shows that when only one limb was trained, the opposite limbs strength increased as well. The study revealed strength increases of approximately 8% in the untrained limb, compared to the trained limbs increase of slightly more than 20%. This amounts to about a 35% improvement in strength compared to the improvement of the trained limb. Comparing isometric and dynamic training effects, the data suggests no significant differences. This trend exists for both the upper and lower body.

This kind of information has great value for rehabbing an injured limb, or helping one side catch up to the other. By training hard on the uninjured side, the injured limb can still get strength benefits. Or by training the weaker side more, one is not totally neglecting the stronger side.

Pilates Weighted Ball 8 lb

It is understood that we all have stronger and weaker sides of our body. Unilateral training forces the weaker side to catch up to the stronger one. Muscle imbalances play a major role in creating injuries as well as compensations in the golf swing. Here are more benefits to unilateral training.

  • Improves whole-body coordination
  • Recruits stabilizing muscles, including the core
  • Promotes body-part symmetry
  • Decreases muscle imbalances and risk of injury
  • Enhances functional and golf-specific training

J. Munn & S.C. Gandevia, Contralateral effects of unilateral resistance
training: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Physiology 96:1861-1866, 2004



Questions and Answers at Fitness for Golf
(please send questions to

What role does an optimal functioning body play in trying to achieve an optimal swing?

Answer: It plays an integral role in not only achieving an optimal swing but also creating repeatable and efficient motion so that one can score. If you are hurt or have joints that are not stable, there will be restrictions in the golf swing and compensations created in order to hit the golf ball. Compensations are very rarely repeatable so another compensation will be created in order to make the first one work and it turns in to a vicious cycle that makes swinging and scoring tough.

Answer provided by Jennifer Yockey, Teaching Professional,
LPGA T&CP Member and CHEK Golf Biomechanic.



Fitness for Golf Announcements

Thank you to all my new members for joining Fitness for Golf. I appreciate all of your e-mails of support for the direction we are heading with this site. This site is founded on personal attention unrivaled in a golf site of this nature. If you have any questions whatsoever, regarding your training programs or other matters of golf fitness, don’t hesitate to contact me. There are many misconceptions regarding golf specific training. Step by step we will eliminate those physical restrictions and limitations creating swing faults and deterrents from playing your best possible round.

If you haven’t yet read the interview by Tracy Reed, be sure you go the Interview section at He specializes in teaching Golf Bio-Mechanics and mental game tactics to players of all levels. This is a “must read” for all of you avid golfers.

“Great article by Tracy! I am looking forward to reading more in this section. There is no other site like this one. I’ve been to them all. ” John B.



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