By Travis H Golf
Do you need to stay fit to play golf? Fitness was not something the golfers of the eighties cared about. You didn’t see many fit players walk down the fairways since even professional golfers rarely exercised. But Tiger Woods became the harbinger of change. An athlete playing golf, he aggressively worked on his body to make himself a better player and changed the game. Professional golfers have rigorous workout schedules these days, and all college golf teams have strength and conditioning coaches. Adding muscle and flexibility is the secret. There are specific golf exercises designed to
improve your swing and shoot lower scores. Building strength in the correct muscle groups will not only increase your swing speed but also add distance to your shots as well the improved flexibility and balance.
The importance of stamina cannot be ruled out as well, as you may struggle to finish rounds. Golf is a physical activity and you may be out there in the heat and sun for several hours. The appropriate exercises that will leave you with plenty of energy and go out for that “emergency 9”. Listed below are a combination of six exercises for golf to get yourself in shape this season.
- Goblet squats: When it comes to power, a strong base is mandatory for a yardage-gobbling golf swing, and this exercise not only adds leg strength but also activates the gluteus medius thus stabilizing the knee and sacroiliac joint, which links your pelvis to the lower spine. You may begin this with 6 to 8 repetitions, increasing up to 10 to 12, 3 to 4 times a week. Wear an exercise band above your knees. Then, place your feet shoulder-width apart, pointing straight ahead. Hold a kettlebell with both hands and take it to the middle of your chest. Lower down to 90 degrees, as if about to sit in a chair, then rise back up to the initial Position.
- Hip circles with the slider: A sedentary life with excessive desk time and lack of consistent exercise can tighten up the hip muscles. This exercise not only increases hip mobility lessening the chance for injury, but also makes it easier to load into your right side on the backswing and unload into your left side on the downswing and follow-through. You may begin with 8 to 10 on each side, increasing up to 12 to 15, 3 to 4 times a week. Begin in a push-up position, placing your hands under your shoulders. Then bring a leg up towards your chest, out to the side, and then around, back to the original position in a smooth motion. Use a drinks coaster as a slider, allowing your foot to glide along the ground. Your core must be engaged throughout the exercise.
- Backswing trail leg loading with band: This exercise wakes up your golf muscles by teaching or reminding your body how to load correctly in the backswing. Retaining your posture when you activate the upper half with the band, increases thoracic and lumbar stability besides external rotation. You may start with 6 to 8 repetitions, increasing up to 10 to 12, 3 to 4 times a week. Place an exercise band under your left foot if you are right-handed, and get into your golf setup position. Stretch the band back to the top keeping your lead arm straight, and return to the starting position. Then pull back up again, with little to no break in between, to get some cardiovascular exercise as well.
- Load and explode from trail leg to lead leg: To work all your pulling muscles such as the glutes, lats, entire posterior chain, hamstrings, and rhomboids this exercise simulates your golf swing loading onto your right side, and exploding into your left side. You may begin with 5 to 6 repetitions, increasing up to 10, 3 to 4 times a week. Stand adjacent to the wall, holding exercise bands in your golf posture. Simultaneously pull the right hip and the right band back while holding your left arm out in front of you, simulating the backswing. Once the pull is completed, explode and simulate your downswing, transferring energy from the right side to the left side.
- Split stance band rotations: To swing faster, you have to move more quickly, and for that, the brain needs to be trained as well besides the body to swing the club fast effectively. You must also build your stability, which works on decelerating quickly to regain balance at your finish. You may start with 8 to 10 reps, working your way up to 10 to 12, three to four times a week. Secure an exercise band around something stable. Put your elbows near your sides. Place your right foot back, so that both knees are flexed in an athletic position, and do a super-fast series of 90-degree rotations across your midline to the left, while keeping your core engaged. Then do the exercise reversely by placing the left foot back and rotating to the right.
- Reverse slide lunge with T spine rotation: Dysfunction in the kinetic chain can lead to injuries. This exercise gives you a more stable lumbar spine, activates the glutes, and increases thoracic stability. It trains you, neuromuscularly, to load the trail leg, adding speed and power, and creating the X factor separating the upper and lower body, thus adding more velocity and pop. You may begin with 6 to 8 repeats, then increase up to 10 to 12, 3 to 4 times a week. Place your feet narrowly apart and keep the arms extended to the sides, creating tension in the exercise band. Slide your right foot back with a coaster, then turn your chest to the left in the “T spine rotation”, while maintaining the band’s tension. Do the exercise reversely placing the left foot back, and the chest to the right. Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, and Dustin Johnson are some of the athletes who have spent time in the gym to improve their ability to compete on the course. So, it is evident that golf workouts can help the best get better, and can definitely improve your game.