Boxing, Golf and fast twitch muscle fiber!
Thu Dec 6, 2012 by Dave Phillips
Boxing, Golf and fast twitch fiber!!!
I have been a boxing fan since I was a kid, my dad, brother and I would stay up late and watch the fights and I was always amazed at how fast they could dodge weave and strike. As an adult and a golf coach I read an interesting article on fast twitch muscle fibers and it mentioned Tiger Woods and golf multiple times. I started to think back to those days of watching boxing and thought that boxers must have some of the fastest twitch muscle fibers of any athlete and if fast twitch fibers were good for golf would training like a boxer be good for golf?
So I started to educate myself on boxing and visited several boxing gyms and even spoke with a trainer from Manny Pacquiao’s boxing camp who by the way loves golf. A boxers training is 90 percent fast twitch fiber. The fastest hand speed in boxing has been clocked at 7-8 punches per second, yet when you talk to a boxing trainer they focus on developing a base of support, with strong legs and core first because they know that to fire the fast twitch fibers their fighters have to have a foundation of strength down below.
This is so similar to golf in many ways you need a good functional foundation to enable you to deliver maximum power. When we test our elite level touring professionals, regardless of how fit they appear, I am always amazed at their leg strength. When you consider that the average tour player plays four rounds of golf not including practice rounds, they are walking 20-30 miles per week; you start to realize that their legs are extremely well conditioned to allow them to create speed and power.
So, I would think that boxing training for golfers would be a perfect combination for a stop/start dynamic sport like golf. Not only does it burn calories but it strengthens and tones the entire body.
On another note there has been substantial research that when you train for sports that require quick flashes of power, like golf, baseball and boxing. You also need rest periods in between in order to let the fast twitch fibers recover. In essence resting is essential to allow the body to repair and continually develop those fast twitch muscle fibers; you will actually be more powerful. Think of the cheetah in terms of fast twitch muscle fibers, it lies around all day, exploding into action every now and then when it spots some prey. This is fat-twitch fiber development heaven.
So training like a boxer could be beneficial to golfers, just remember that the body needs rest so that it can recover, If you look at the best golfers in the world they often play fewer tournaments then everyone else, this might be their secret. When they do come to play their bodies and mind are rested and like a cheetah they are ready to go.