Golfers may not endure the rigors or injuries of contact sport but they still need to maintain excellent shape. A golf swing requires balance and each part of the body needs to be in balance. Weak shoulders vs a strong core can lead to hips beating the shoulders and forcing the clubhead to open.
The most important aspect of any exercise and workout regimen is formed. Bad form can lead to injury or lacking growth in your workout regiment. This guide will help golfers maintain balance and strength in their bodies to gain distance and keep shots going straight down the fairway.
The importance of a pre-round stretch can’t be understated. A loose body and Warm muscles perform better than cold unstretched muscles. Think of a cold rubber band, it is more likely to snap when pulling on it than when it is warm. Your muscles are similar to that cold rubber band, once they get warm they can bend and stretch further than when cold.
Consider this warmup regimen prior to the start of your round. First, take a seven or eight iron out of your bag and swing three quarters slowly to get the motion moving. Next, take the same club and plant your feet in a normal golf stance and swing the club parallel to the ground at shoulder height and twist back and forth. At the same time rotate your wrists with the club in your hand.
Last exercise bend over at the waist and hold the clubs over your shoulders and alternate pointing the head and the grip of the club towards the ground. Try to get your shoulders perpendicular to the ground as possible.
Core Strength Pushes the Hips Through the Zone
So much of the golf swing is driven through the core muscles, arguably more than any other sport. The amount of torque a golf swing drives through the middle of the body is astonishing. Focus on core exercises to strengthen muscles most important to generating speed through the swing zone
Swiss Ball Russian Twist
This exercise is very easy to execute and focuses on the core muscles through stabilization and rotation. Simply take a large Swiss ball and roll your body out so your knees are at a ninety-degree angle and shoulders are resting on the swiss ball. Once stable reach your hands straight over your chest and rotate at the shoulders keeping your feet flat on the ground and hips parallel to the ground.
Increase Difficulty: Add a weight belt around the waist or hold a 5-10 pound weight in your hands. Do not add weight if you can’t keep proper form.
Shoulders Force the Club Downwards
Since the feet are planted in a golf swing, unlike many other sports where the hips and legs are used to create extra torque and power when throwing or kicking. The shoulders are the key muscle group of pushing the club through the striking zone. Weaker shoulders also slow down clubhead speed preventing golfers from maximizing their short distance.
Kettlebell Arm Bar with Screwdriver
This exercise promotes balance and stability throughout the shoulders, abs, and core. Any exercise targeting multiple muscle groups in conjunction with another helps link muscle groups together. The exercise requires you to lie on your side with your top leg at a 90-degree angle and the off-shoulder straight out over your head. Using a kettlebell, rotate your arm as far as you can clockwise and then counter-clockwise as far as you can.
Stability Tip: Be careful to gauge how much weight you can handle. The more weight you use, the more stability in the core and upper shoulder muscles is required.
Power through Leg Day
Most people dread leg day (and the day after!). These exercises are difficult but can translate to a lot of power and distance off the tee. Shifting weight is important in a golf swing, especially when transitioning from backswing to downswing.
Leg muscles move power from the ground to the hips and force rotation and torque through the midsection. Strong glutes and upper legs also help the lower back strengthen and avoid long term back injuries.
Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift
This is an excellent dual functionally exercise because it works the legs and helps with core stability. Specifically, this exercise targets the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps in the legs and core stabilizing exercises.
Simply take a kettlebell in your right hand. Stand on your left leg only and slowly touch the kettlebell to the ground. Bring your body straight up to your starting position.cRepeat on the other side.
Increase Balance: To increase difficulty, when returning to the top of the exercise, don’t plant your off foot.
After Round Cool Down
Before taking the shoes off and dropping the clubs in the trunk of your car, make sure to stretch your muscles before sitting down. The best time to stretch is after exercise, it helps you remove lactic acid and gain more flexibility to benefit future rounds.
Work the arms, legs, and shoulders. These seven exercises will help keep you fresh and limber after a round of golf. If you are playing multiple rounds in a day or multiple days in a row, missing a simple 10-15 stretching sessions could ruin your next few days.
Fitness is Key to More Golf Success
Not every golfer has a professional trainer to help them maximize their distance off the tee and keep them playing every weekend. Follow this guide and exercises and you can keep yourself in shape and limber for every round.
It is important to take your pre-round stretching seriously to maximize your strength and peak physical performance from the first shot to the last. After the round, take some time to focus on cooling down and work on the flexibility to keep you from tightening up later in the day or in future rounds.
No matter if you are a -1 handicap or getting to know nature on the course, exercise will make your round better and mitigate post-round soreness and stiffness