Exercises for Golfers to Help Improve Your Game
Golfing is a leisure sport that is enjoyed by many. What’s not to love? You hit a few balls around on beautiful greens and can commune with nature in the process. Swinging a club to hit a ball might not sound appealing to a lot of people, but the fact is, it is one of the most popular sports, and one that involves the least amount of stress. It is also one that is played by men and women alike.
If there are any injuries involved with golf, they tend to be minor ones. Muscles and joints are typically the first things that will suffer. That being said, there are a few exercises that will assist golfers with their game while also keeping those muscle and joint injuries to a minimum. Most athletes have a goal to improve their game, and regardless of that sport, exercise is critical to reaching that goal. When your game improves you will be able to be more competitive, and isn’t that something that runs deep in any sport?
If you are a golfer who wishes to improve your game, you don’t need to be an expert in the sport, or even a beginner. The first thing you need to do is to love the game. It really is that simple. Or, at least, it is the beginning of something. Exercise routines need to be found. Do your due diligence and try a few of the recommended ones before settling on a routine that will work for both you and your game.
A Crucial Difference
Physique and technique aren’t exercises. That being said, they are equally important as the exercise. Technique is in the posture and the way a golfer plays the game. Learning technique will improve a golfer’s skills out on the links. The physique is equally important. It goes hand in hand with technique. If the physique isn’t where it needs to be, it will be more difficult to improve the game.
Technique has to do with how the person playing holds and swings the club. It is how they play the game to the very best of their ability. It might be because they are standing in a certain way or because of a specific brand or type of club. Every golfer’s technique will differ just a bit from the next golfer, and the physique will too. It isn’t necessarily all about one or the other, but instead, is about how the game is played.
The Importance of Exercise
The reason golfers need to exercise is so that they won’t injure themselves. This is critical. It isn’t just for golfers either, but for anyone who plays any type of sport. Each different exercise will give the golfer a different way to improve their game. Just as with any type of athlete, a golfer’s muscles and joints are critical aspects when it comes to playing the game. Preventing injury is therefore critical. If a joint or muscle suffers a trauma, the golfer won’t be able to play to the best of their ability. Golfers simply can’t play their best game if they don’t improve their skills through some type of exercise and strengthen their muscles and joints in the process.
If any additional exertion might be prevented ahead of the game, why not do it? Athletes don’t want to cause themselves to be injured. They want to continue playing their chosen sport to the best of their abilities. Injuries will keep them from doing that. Why should they risk injuring themselves if they can limit the possibility of that happening? Exertion happens when the athletes get exhausted and overworked. Those tired muscles can then lead to trauma.
There are actually several exercises that are essential for golfers. Each one has a benefit for one of the different ranges of motion that the golfer will use during a game. They should be done before the game is played because most traumas to joints and/or muscles occur when a warm-up has not been done before the game. Routines are critical to the existence of any athlete.
Is there one specific exercise or warm up that ill improve the game of a golfer? No. The body mass of each golfer will differ, and exercises need to be tailored to the specific needs of the body. The best forms of exercise will differ from one golfer to the next. However, there are a few that can benefit everyone.
The ideal swing can be considered as golf’s Holy Grail. Golfers will go out and buy the latest and greatest clubs with the hope that they will be able to increase the length of their drive while also decreasing their handicap.
The thing is, many golfers don’t seem to realize that the quality of their clubs won’t ultimately make their handicap lower. No, it is their overall flexibility and strength that will improve the swing while shaving points off their game.
As with any other sport, tailored training regimens that center on the muscles that will be used most by the player are best. For golf, this means that attention needs to be given to the core flexibility and strength in order to reduce the overuse of the wrists and arms while also preventing strain to the lower back.
Additionally, golfers should try to improve the flexibility in their thoracic spine, hips, ankles, and feet in order to increase their rotational range of motion.
The more you can wind your body up while also retaining a great alignment, the more powerful the swing will be, and this means that the ball will go further.
Practice the following exercises in order to master the ideal swing:
Hip Crossovers – this exercise will assist in strengthening the hips. For this specific exercise, they aren’t the only part of the body that will benefit. In actuality, the body’s entire core will be targeted. Hips are crucial when it comes to the sport of golf. They can be injured as they have to twist when the golfer swings the club to hit the ball. The repetitiveness of this motion can cause damage.
Leg Stretches – This exercise might not seem to be too important, but it is also necessary. It allows for the muscles in the legs to be warmed up in order to make it more difficult to be injured. Golfers tend to walk quite a bit on the links unless they happen to be riding around in a golf cart. Stretches will keep the blood flowing and assist in loosening up the muscles to prevent injuries. There are quite a few different stretches you can do that involve the legs. They each offer you the chance to build muscle tone, flexibility, and strength.
Standing Wood Chop – This particular exercise uses the shoulders, back, and hips, while also increasing your strength and your flexibility. This exercise is best when you do it with a resistance band, but you can also use a medicine ball or another kind of free weight if you prefer.
To do this exercise, put the resistance band underneath your left foot. Bend your knees a bit and then pull the band over your head on the right side, as if you are swinging an ax. Do this 8 – 12 times before resting for about 30 seconds. Next, do it on the other side. Repeat the process up to 3 times.
Lateral Lunges – This is one exercise that can go far towards improving your range of motion, power in your hips, and strength by working your hips in the front by using a bit of a side to side motion.
To do this one, you will need to retain perfect posture the entire time. Take a big step to the right and be sure to while shift your weight as you go. The right leg needs to be bent while the left one is extended to the left. Be sure that your toes point straight ahead. Alternate with the other leg and repeat 8 – 12 times before resting for about 30 seconds. Repeat this process 3 times.
Glute Activation Lunges – These are standard lunges that can be used to effectively improve the mobility of your hips, which in turn, can give you more strength and a swing that is more powerful.
To perform this one, begin with your hands placed firmly on your hips and your feet together. Take one huge step forward while bending the leg you step with to a 90° angle. You will know you have it right when your thigh and the floor are parallel. Keep the leg in back straight and strong. Return to standing straight and repeat this as many as 12 times. Switch legs and repeat the entire process.
Side and Front Plank – This series will assist in activating the muscles of your core, which can promote strength and stability in your torso.
Lie face down on the floor with your palms flat. Tucking your toes under you, move your shoulders back and in the opposite direction from your ears and then push yourself off the floor as if you were going to perform a push up. Make sure that you engage the muscles in your abdomen and keep your back straight. Hold this pose for a minute and then go back down to the floor. Repeat this process 5 times.
For a side plank, begin by laying on your side and stack your legs one on top of the other. Rest the weight of your body on your bottom forearm with your shoulder right above your elbow. Then, lift your hips and be sure that you get your body in a straight line. Hold for a minute before lowering yourself down to the ground. Repeat this process 5 times.
You need to keep in mind that just as it is with any sort of physical conditioning, consistency is critical. If you decide to use a regular regimen of strength and flexibility exercises that are sport specific, you will begin to see an improvement in your performance in just a few weeks.
Make sure that you combine your workouts with things like plenty of water and whole foods and you will be on the way to your ideal swing.
Exercises of this nature will improve your golfing game, but they can also go a long way towards preventing injuries. This doesn’t mean that they won’t happen, they can and do happen all the time to athletes of every sport, and golfing is no exception. If you play golf, you need to work your muscles out just as anyone who plays any sport does.
As a golfer, when it comes to exercises, there isn’t a right or wrong decision as to which one is perfect. Your body is the ultimate decision maker. Your body will know what is best for it. Nobody can make this decision for you, you need to make it for yourself. So, which exercises will you choose for your daily routine? A combination of a few of them will be best. You will come to find that a routine that will work each of the joints and muscles that are used in the game of golf will be best. Determine which ones will improve your game the best and go with it. No exercise routine will be right for multiple golfers because our bodies are all different.
Remember that improvements won’t be made just to your game, but to your body as well. It is kind of a domino effect. Do it right and everything will just fall into place. Patience and perseverance are critical. Why is this? Improvements and positive changes will not happen immediately. You will need to practice and have patience. This is something that it can be easy to forget about.
How often should you exercise? Just as with any other type of exercise routine, it needs to fit your schedule, your life, and your game. Before beginning any exercise routine, you should consult with your physician. However, you might also consult with a professional trainer to determine which routine will be best for you.
In conclusion, you will be able to improve your game if you determine an exercise routine and stick with it. If you want to be a good golfer, improvements are always essential. Each person will find that some exercises help them more than others. You should choose what is best for your game and your body.
- Ace Fitness, Exercises to improve your golf swing
- Exercise is Medicine, Introducing Your Plan: The Public Action Guide
- ACSM, Walking 18 Holes Affects Swing and Performance