Make no mistake about it, golf is a sport and it demands a certain amount of athleticism. With that said, there are certain aspects of playing golf that can be improved through directed exercising. Most of these exercises are designed to improve overall performance while others are designed to help prevent injuries.
The Golf Swing
While walking and climbing on a golf course with a bag of clubs strung over the back provides a decent workout unto itself, it’s the golf swing that tests the limits of what the human body can do. Many a golf expert will be quick to point out that the golf swing is kinetically opposed to how the human body normally functions. In order to create a good golf swing, a golfer has to retrain their body to go against its convention.
Golf Workout Tips
Exercises that will most benefit a golfer are focused on strength and flexibility. The strength exercises will focus on the arms, legs and back while exercises intended to improve flexibility will be directed at the joint areas, namely the knees, hips and shoulders.
Strength Exercising Tips for Golfers
1. The Legs – The power in a golf swing comes from the rotation in the hips and leg strength. Leg exercises like leg presses and jogging will improve the endurance of the legs and help the golfer to maintain stability and drive the ball better. Also, exercises that focus on the hamstring will strengthen that muscle and help prevent injuries that might occur while climbing up and down hills or into sand traps. Remember, you aren’t looking to build mass, you just want to tone the muscles.
2. The Arms and Wrists – The best exercise for the arms and wrists would be curls done with dumbbells. In order to avoid building mass, you might want to use lighter weights with more repetitions. Any type of isometric arm exercise would also be helpful.
3. The Back – The golf swing puts a lot of torque on the lower back. The best exercises for the lower back and stomach muscles would be waist bends and sit ups. By varying the speed of these exercises, you can help tone the lower back muscles without building mass. This also improves flexibility and helps to prevent injury.
Flexibility Exercising Tips for Golfers
1. The Knees – During your golf swing, your knees will need to move side to side. Any type of pivoting exercise will help to tone the muscle around the knees, helping to keep them stable.
2. The Hips – The most important part of your body during the swing is your hips. The rotation of the hips will dictate how you come to the ball on the downswing, which dictates whether or not you can control your direction. Any isometric exercise that tones the trunk of your body should help give you the “core” strength you need to deliver a consistent swing.
3. Shoulders – The range of motion limitations of your shoulders will be tested with a golf swing. Exercises that emphasize moving the arms in a circular motion will help to keep your shoulders flexible and stable during your swing.
Between walking and swinging golf clubs 200-250 times per round (practice swings included), every part of your body will be used and tested during the day. As is the case with any other physical sport, it is important that you stretch key parts of your body before picking up a golf club. You can devise a good warm-up routine by practicing the same routine prior to any workouts you use to improve your overall golfing performance. A good warm-up is the key to preventing injuries that are certain to ruin your day of golf.