Strength Workouts to Power Your Golf Game
Professional golfers make the game look easy. To amateurs, the game of golf seems simple enough. Analyze the course, select a club, step up to the ball and follow through with the perfect swing. Easy, right? For anyone who has ever tried to play a round of golf without proper instruction, there is more fitness and strength to the game than meets the eye. Golfers rely on flexibility, spine protection and stability, good, strong posture, and a strong core. Without strong, pliable muscles, a golf swing is just a swing – and a miss – and can even cause a myriad of sports injuries including back pain, shoulder and hip injuries, or any number of injuries because you are just plain out of shape.
Whether you are a pro golfer or a beginner, here are key exercises to strengthen your core and promote flexibility to help you power through your game:
*Core and flexibility:
– plank positions such as traditional plank, wall plank, and side plank; hold for 1 minute each
– seated roman twists; in a seated “v” position, touch your elbows to the mat on each side. Go for 25 rotations
– kettlebell lifts; use a weight that challenges you but allows you to maintain proper form. Begin with the kettlebell down by your side, rotating it up, overhead, and back down, thereby rotating the shoulder. Keep your abs engaged throughout the movement
– lunges, hip crossovers, and squats; each of these stabilize core, provide overall body strength and help develop strong muscles for good posture. Strive for 2 sets of 8 reps each as long as you maintain good form throughout
– golfers need cardio workouts so they can perform effectively throughout the entire course and often over a period of several days. Running is an effective practice to promote endurance; 3 to 6 miles, 3 times a week.
– interval training; alternate bursting sprint and walking. Burst sprint for 1 minute, fast walk for 2 minutes; repeat 4 times for a total of 12 minutes. If desired, add activities like pushups, squats, and lunges – 10 reps each (burst sprint, fast walk, 10 pushups; burst sprint, fast walk, 10 squats, burst sprint, fast walk, 10 lunges – repeat 2 to 4 times)
*Posture and relaxation:
– proper posture is good practice for everyone, not just golfers, but in golf, good posture is essential. Another essential element to performance in golf or any competitive situation, relaxation. A tense body cannot perform. One technique I practice is the Alexander Technique. The Alexander Technique is used often by actors to relax although, by definition, The Alexander Technique is not specifically a relaxation technique. In my experience, practicing The Alexander Technique does relax the muscles and helps define and maintain good posture.