Foraging for fitness at the driving range

Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:03am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Hitting golf balls at the driving range can lift the spirit, but does it also tone the flesh?

The exercise potential of swinging a club may be limited, experts say, but the more fitness you bring to the range, or the golf course, the stronger your stroke will be.

"Most people don't think of the driving range or playing golf as a form of exercise, but it is," said Robert Yang, a sports performance coach and founder of the Performance Lab in Encinitas, California.

"The professionals make it look smooth like butter but there's quite a bit of power and strength involved," Yang said.

He explained that wielding a driver can be compared to hoisting a weight so heavy you can only lift it four times.

"That's how much load or torque there can be on the body."

But don't expect to swing your way to streamline shape.

"The concept of getting in shape from just hitting balls is pretty tough." Yang said. "You wouldn't be able to change your body shape."   Continued...

<p>Padraig Harrington of Ireland practices on the range before his fourth round match against Davis Love III of the U.S. at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship golf tournament in Carlsbad, California February 25, 2006. REUTERS/John Gress</p>