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As a golfer, your body is always engaged in sudden power movements to swing the bat and hit the ball. That is why golf requires good motor coordination and athleticism. This brings us to the question – how can you improve your golf game? Two factors come into play here– skills and golfing exercise.
Golf workouts will help you maintain your balance as you work on your core and strengthen your muscles. That is why practice sessions on the ground also include exercises. These workouts do not require heavy equipment. Whether it is on the grounds or in your home, you can improve your physical health with simple but effective exercises.
Continue reading to see the different workout regimes you can follow for better performance.
Warming Up Before A Game
Never underestimate the power of a good warm-up. Golfers like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus avoided serious injuries by warming up their arms and shoulders. Regular warm-up exercises before games can help your muscles build some tolerance. As a result, you get more flexibility and momentum when you take your bat for a swing.
Furthermore, this golf workout can improve your physical and mental health. The self-regulation makes you more disciplined and calms your mind.
For how long should you exercise?
Golf specific workouts do not take very long. If you are a beginner to golf, an ideal routine would require working out 3-4 times a week. Anywhere between 30-60 minutes per workout will be enough to maintain your physique.
If you play golf competitively, you can increase the intensity of your training accordingly.
What muscles do you need to work on?
The warm-up routine is designed to make you light on your feet and improve your swinging accuracy. To form a routine, you must address the issue you are facing in your performance.
The following is a list of problems collectively experienced by golfers:
1. C Posture
This is a common but fatal mistake, especially with amateur golfers. The C posture is when you increase the curve of your back during swinging position. This curve can restrict your rotation muscles and decrease the power of your swing.
Shoulder and back issues can develop if you engage in this position consistently.
2. Altered Posture
Golfing calls for consistency in posture before and after the swing. Altering the posture anywhere in between means you lack in muscle strength and flexibility. As a result, your timing and hits will always be inconsistent.
Loss of posture can also make you prone to spinal injuries and back pain.
3. Flat Shoulder Plane
A good swing position maintains the balance between your shoulder and back muscles. Flat Shoulder Plane is when the shoulders cover a more horizontal plane than the original spinal angle. Here, your shoulders and back are not aligned.
This position is common among golfers that have weak muscles. The imbalance affects your swing power and efficiency. Furthermore, the lack of alignment can result in shoulder, back, and wrist pain.
Regular exercise with planks can improve your spinal alignment and body balance.
3. Reverse Spine Angle
Just like your back and shoulders have to be aligned, your spine must also be aligned with your lateral muscles. Reverse Spine Angle is when you make a swing with an excessively bent upper back.
This can cause you to lose your swing path and miss the ball. Golfing exercises help maintain the balance and mobility needed to avoid this fault.
4. Early Release or Scooping
As the name suggests, this is the premature release of the wrists as you make a downswing impact. The loss of angle reduces the power of your strike as you hit the ball.
If you do not exercise your wrist muscles, this position can lead to wrist related injuries.
5. Going Over The Top
Over The Top action refers to making a downswing by overexerting the power from your upper back. Here, the club throw is not within the swing plane. This results in a loss of control and power over the swing.
With a good golf workout routine, you can increase your core strength. Better core strength will improve your muscle rotation.
What Workout Regime Should You Follow?
It is challenging to identify what fitness routine will work best for your fitness goals. Understanding your performance issues will help you decide what you need.
There are mainly three kinds of fitness routines:
Aerobic activities relax your heart and lungs. The purpose of this fitness is to increase the oxygen reaching your muscles so that they can become more tolerant.
Golf workouts are followed by a cool-down period with aerobic exercise to relax your muscles.
The purpose of this fitness regime is to help your muscles gain endurance and power. Exercises like pushups and planks require muscle power to work out your abs.
There are more strenuous muscle training programs like resistance training. Resistance training requires using weights to make your muscles work against the force. You can see your body getting leaner and tighter with weight training.
This fitness is great for gaining power and stabilizing your downswing when you hit the ball.
A good stretch is required when you need flexibility in your muscles. Exercises like standing quad stretch and 90/90 stretch reduce the rigidity in your body. This helps you move more freely, making your rotation and swings more agile.
Stretching out your legs and upper body opens up your muscles to recover faster from the physical strain of golfing.
Top Eight Golfing Exercises
Once you have looked at the different routines, you can create your golf workout program. Maintaining a healthy balance between the three fitness routines is important for all-round fitness.
There are several exercises under the three fitness routines. We have curated a list of exercises that can help fast track your golfing skills. They range from simple muscle toning to hardcore cardio.
Pushups are common but an effective tool to build your core strength. They help with your overall physical fitness to strengthen your swings.
Steps- Find a stable ground to do your pushups. Once you are stretched out on all fours, make sure to maintain your spine. Then, you can begin using your forearms to push yourself up. When coming down, make sure not to bend your knees. Keep your chest and hips flat as you go down.
These steps ensure that you are making full use of all your body muscles.
Squats are another classic exercise for working your lower body muscles. You exercise your hips and legs for mobility and strength.
Steps- Squats are very similar to pushups. The only difference is that you do this standing. You push your body weight up with your leg muscles. You can also work on stability by keeping your hands to the side, in boxing position.
For Split Squats, you are putting all your weight on the front leg. Take giant steps forward as you keep your upper body stable with the support of your front legs.
3. Leg Swings
Leg Swings are focussed on achieving leg flexibility. Through this exercise, you can improve your hip and lower back rotation. This simple exercise is extremely beneficial to increase your swing speed. Furthermore, you work your upper body stability and strength.
Steps- If you are a beginner, hold on to something to balance your body. Start by swinging your left leg forward and backward. Keep your posture straight as you swing your leg. Once you are done with the left leg, do the same with your right leg.
Do three sets for each leg. You can increase the intensity or number of sets according to your physique.
Golfers can suffer from “golfer’s elbow” if they put too much strain on their forearms. It causes pain in the inner side of your elbow, leaving you vulnerable for other injuries. Handwalks helps you keep your forearms stable and in shape.
Steps- As you are standing, bend forward with your waist. Keeping bending forward until you are on all fours. Slowly, move the hands out as you would for a pushup. While moving your hands, bring your toes towards the hands.
You will start feeling a stretch. Then, you can bring your toes and hands back to their original position. Repeat this 5-10 times.
5. Pelvic Rotation
Flexibility in your rotation muscles is essential for golfing. Stable and balanced rotation helps maintain the separation of muscles. Keeping your lateral and upper body movements separate but in rhythm is important for swing paths.
Steps- Pelvic rotation exercises the rotation of your hips. You stretch your torso from side to side, keeping your upper body upright. This exercise can also be done while holding a golf club for support.
Minimum ten sets are recommended for this exercise.
6. 90/90 Stretch
This stretching exercise gives full movement to your shoulders and hips. It opens up the muscles to enhance your physical agility. This helps in gaining some momentum for a powerful but stable swing.
Steps- Sit on the floor. Bend your front leg and place it flat on the ground at a 90-degree angle. Place your other leg behind in the same way. Your hands should be flat and touching the floor on either side. Slowly lean forward while keeping your torso in an upright position. As you move forward, you will feel the stretch on your thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Then, do the same while leaning backward.
It is recommended that you do a minimum of 5 sets for a good stretch.
Planks are your ideal core strengthening exercise. It exercises your abs and hips to tighten the core. This exercise makes sure that you do not lose your grip while swinging.
Steps- Lie on your stomach flat. Raise your body so that only your toes and elbows are touching the ground. Tighten your abdomen and hold yourself for 60 seconds. Then, bring yourself back down. Do three more sets after this.
8. Russian Twist
The Russian Twist is a good exercise for tightening your cores as you work on hip and back rotation. This all-round training exercise increases your body’s flexibility for the golf course.
Steps- Sit on the floor and extend your legs straight. With your upper body upright, lift your legs from the floor. The knees should be slightly bent. Elongate your spine at a 45-degree angle to form a V shape between the torso and thighs. Get your arms in the front and interlace your fingers.
Then you can start moving your abdomen. Use it to move to the right, back to the center, and then go left. Repeat this eight times to make one set and then do 2-3 more sets.
Once you have finished your golf session for the day, you need a cool-down period. Many have confused “regular training” as extreme training with no break. This can do more harm than good.
The golf workout, followed by a golf session, will have your heart rate elevated. Without a cooldown, the sudden drop from elevation to resting can make you feel light-headed and sick. This is especially harmful to golfers who are prone to heart diseases.
The cool-down period will help the heart rate to gradually reach the resting level. Your body builds up a tolerance for the physical exercise, recovering quicker and better.
A good cool-down can be a slow upper body stretch to relax any strained muscles. Light walking is also recommended to golfers. Even meditation is a great deep breathing technique to get more oxygen and release the tension.
Golf Workouts – Final Thoughts
Golf is one of the few sports that does not require a lot of physical activity. That being said, it should not be taken lightly. Without proper training, golfers are susceptible to wrist, shoulder, or lower back injuries. That is why professionals recommend golf exercises to improve your skills and general physique.
For this purpose, get in touch with a golf mentor. They will study your routine and tell you what needs improvement. They can also give tips on what exercises to include in your golf workout program.
As long as you keep practicing and remember these tips, you can have a great golfing future ahead of you.