You will change clubs, balls, and lies with each swing, but you make every swing with your body.
Jamal Gibson’s mission is to help you become a better golfer through strength and conditioning exercises.
Gibson is the Director of Fitness at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. His journey in the golfing world began in 2005 when he started playing the game. Gibson said golf “was the first sport I wasn’t good at right away,” but he was hooked, “and loved playing with different people, spending time in nature, and attempting to perform.”
Gibson also travels with the LPGA as a Team Trainer for Volvik US LPGA. Chella Choi, Pornanong Phlatum, Ilhee Lee, and Lindsey Wright are among the 11 players who are Volvik Staff professionals.
In an interview with FanSided.com, Gibson spoke about training players on the LPGA, and what exercises amateur golfers can do to improve their scores:
What is it like to travel with the LPGA, and help the best golfers in the world with their strength and conditioning?
It’s exciting to have this opportunity to work with the best players in women’s golf. The reward of helping a player reach their potential is indescribable. It’s so close between playing great and missing cuts. With a body that works, players can rocket forward in confidence and career. I love helping talent become skill, and creating advantages for our players.
Any funny stories so far?
There are a lot of funny stories. One that stands out is in Phoenix we worked out in the pool gym. It was gated and I have a habit of speaking to everyone. By the time we wrapped up training on the weekend, we had our own access keys, lockers and most of the pool staff addressed us by first name. It was such a reward to meet the huge crew that was glad to accept us in their environment. Luckily, I knew my way around the gym, and even answered some of the guest questions. Everyone thought we worked for the hotel. The pool manager Joshua was so kind, and would check on us all the time.
What are three ways to lower your scores through fitness?
The first way is to remember that golf is a sport. If you condition your body you will have more control over it. Tempo, balance and strength can all be improved with exercise.
The second is to get the lower body working in the right ways. Most back pain and swing flaws are centered around poor posture and movement patterns. If you can set up and keep your angles through your swing, you will play better.
Lastly, exercise helps build endurance, confidence, and awareness. All of these components can shave strokes in your game over time. Just imagine you were teaching a golf lesson. Would you prefer a student that never played any sports or an athletic one?
Do you have a favorite golfing exercise?
Personally, I love half kneeling rotations with a rope on the cable cross or warding. Engaging the muscles in the core helps the lower body connect from the ground to the hands. Turning with the right muscles makes golfing easier.
Do you recommend purchasing fitness equipment to help with getting into shape? If so, what equipment do you recommend?
I believe that every player should travel with a few fitness essentials.
Jump rope: Portable cardio and coordination.
Foam roller or super nova: As a golfer, you have to treat the tired and right tissue. Rolling your body will relieve a lot of the discomfort and tension, and also heighten your awareness of the muscles in the body.
Mini bands and super flex bands: Bands travel easy and allow countless exercises. Keeping your workout portable and convenient will increase the likelihood of getting it done. You will change clubs, balls, and lies with each swing, but you make every swing with your body.
Good pre-round warm-up stretches?
When we stretch our athletes we go from the ground up to the head. We stretch the ankles, hips, core, shoulders, neck and wrist. You can make your warm up as long or short as you like. Also, you can warm up before you even leave for the course. For more information you should definitely seek a golf fitness professional!
Follow Jamal on Twitter @JamalGibsonGGGA.