Saturday, January 21, 2012

How To Stay Fit In Golf - by Chris Henning

"How To Stay Fit In Golf - by Chris Henning"
 Interview By Sean Mysel - "CrossGolfDude"
1/21/12


Hello Everyone...recently I did a Q&A session with Chris Henning, Owner of GetGolfFit.com.  Chris specializes in adding a level of physicality to your game and thus improving performance.  Here's what Chris had to say to some questions I asked him about golf fitness:


Sean - Why did you start the GetGolfFit website?


Chris - That's a long story, so let's keep it a long story.. here goes..

Essentially I started the site to help my fellow golfers wake up from the lies being spread on TV commercials everywhere. Simply stated, golf equipment is not the answer to a better game. Sure, it can certainly help things, but if you truly want to improve, its your physical fitness that needs to improve! You don't need to shell out a dime to exercise. In addition, being in better shape increases your quality of life and EXTENDS your ability to play golf late in to your golden years.

But getting to the point of starting getgolffit.com had its true beginning with an ah-ha moment I discovered after years of trial and error.. now I want to share this with golfers everywhere...

What better way to share this information than through Twitter and a website? Anyone around the world can tune in and read up on improving their golf and physical fitness…

So here's what ultimately led to getgolffit.com.. Way back in 2000 I left my job at the golf course to make more money in the business sector. I was always in good physical condition and never overweight. I was an assistant at a prestigious country club in Oklahoma and was in the process of becoming a full PGA pro. However, as fate had it, I was destined to have a new child and the job pay just wasn't cutting it. So I was forced to leave.

My new job immediately led to sitting all day and making poor food choices. Needless to say I packed on some serious pounds in less than five years. In addition to being fat, I had zero time to play golf due to my work schedule. My boss was always calling me and pressuring me to do more and more.

When I did get to play, my game was horrible, so horrible I considered giving it up. Mind you, I had been a near scratch golfer most of my life and it was very disappointing to see how far I had fallen both physically and athletically. I thought it's just because you hadn't played in so long, but the reality was I was so fat and inflexible that my grooved swing couldn't hit its groove! That led to mishits, poor shots, and worst of all a short driver.

Finally I got fed up and hired a personal trainer and tried to eat better. I did lose some weight and felt better, but it just wasn't enough. I still wasn't where I was before I left the golf course. Plus, the personal training was really expensive and I couldn't justify the expense any longer. So I decided I would become a personal trainer myself!

I stumbled across a discovery that not only got rid of my low back pain, but increased my driving distance by over 50 yards. I had always been able to hit the ball a long way. However, it took many years of trial and error before I had my ah-ha moment that led to my breakthrough.

Training myself I became fascinated with functional fitness and yoga. I mainly did HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training using my body weight as well as yoga. After about six months of this new training program I was finally prodded to bust out my clubs and play golf again by an old golf friend.

I was really nervous at first, but as the round progressed I realized my swing was perfectly grooved like it was years before, and I was crushing the ball straight and far! After the round it struck me.. my physical fitness was the reason.. it wasn't rust or old age.. it was because I was in great shape that I could again hit the ball great again..

I told you it was a long story.. that's the condensed Cliff Notes version for you..


Sean - What do you think the biggest mistake golfers make before playing their round?


Chris -  The biggest mistake is not getting to the course early enough. There are loads of reasons such as finding the green speed, wind conditions, etc.. but perhaps most importantly is just getting your body warmed up..

Golf is a very intense power move that some reports suggest use up to 90% of your maximal power per SHOT. If you put that in terms of weight lifting, that would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger using 90% of his max bench press for 80 or 90 times in a 3 hour period. Arnolds going to be really tired!

If golfers would give themselves 15-minutes to warmup before the round, it would be beneficial to their longevity as well as that days golf score. I've got a totally free warmup your readers can use on my blog at:

http://getgolffit.com/dynamic-golf-fitness-warm-up/



Sean - For those of us out there that are out of shape, what exercises or workouts would be the best place to start?


Chris - Walking the golf course is the best place if you are out of shape. There's not shame in having a club buggy to pull around. In fact, I suggest not carrying your clubs because golf bags can throw you off balance in your low back.

Walking is the cornerstone of any exercise program that involves golf. If you are more advanced, I suggest jogging.

Other than that, a good mobility program to loosen stiff joints and stretch tight muscles (such as yoga) would be fantastic. I know most golfers are gonna say.. yoga, right.. but I'm totally serious is telling you I am hitting the ball farther now than ever before in my life..

Sean - In your experience, what is the most common injury and the best way to avoid that injury?


Chris -  I know a lot of golfers with low back pain.. I'm convinced this comes from tight hamstrings and our sedentary lifestyles.. Again, you go back to previous question. I think that's where the secret of distance lies.. Yoga can get rd of this tightness and in the end cure your low back pain.

Back pain can also be caused by beer bellies and being overweight. Your stressing your low back to carry around your 12 pack (created by the beer gods). So losing weight would really help alleviate a lot of pain in the low back.


Sean - What do you believe the biggest myth in golf is with respect to producing more distance?


Chris -  New technology. New clubs. These can help, but they aren't going to help much. The secret to distance is club head speed. If your body is primed and in good condition, and you can hit all the proper points of your swing, your going to hit it far. Of course, how tall you are is a force too, but if you have the body well oiled, you can hit it a long way, even if your short.

Instead of wasting $600 on a driver, hire a personal trainer or join a health club. This is going to do a lot more for your distance than new equipment.


Sean - If people want more information about what you do, where can they find you?


Chris - All you need to do to find me is hit my golf site at http://getgolffit.com. I will answer anyone's emails or questions.. I just want everyone to enjoy golf and be healthy. It's a wonderful game and it can be played without pain if you just take time to take care of yourself.


Chris thank you for answering these questions.  We are often taught that golf is a game that is a leisure activity and doesn't take much effort.  But we wonder why joints hurt, muscles are sore and well our egos are bruised.  Golf may not be a contact sport like football, but it is a sport none the less and should be treated like one.