Over the last twenty years, the game of golf has seen a considerable shift from a leisurely activity to an athletic sport. Along with the boom in technology that has made the game easier and more popular, golfers of all skill levels are embracing the importance of being physically fit in order to maximize their potential of playing the best golf possible. If you’re looking to gain some more strength and flexibility, feel more energized before and during a round, and improve your overall health, the following workouts to improve your golf game will present some simple exercise routines you can do to help achieve all of the above.
Focus of Full-Body Movement Instead of Isolating Muscle Groups
Focusing on different body groups may help tone your muscle, but it doesn’t help improve your golf game. An important factor to understand is that the golf swing involves ballistic and dynamic motion, and exercises that emphasize individual muscle groups doesn’t help your body work as a unit. Most of these exercises may emphasize certain groups more than others, but they will all engage most of the muscles needed to perform a golf swing.
Start With a Good Stretch Before Any Workout
Just like having a solid stretch during a warmup helps get the body ready for practice or a round, making sure you are loosened up before starting a workout is imperative to avoiding injury. (If you want to know more about the proper warm up before a round, click here).
Dynamic stretching is far more effective than static stretching, and in the video below from Training and Testing, you’ll see a great, in-depth preparation prior to your workout. Not only will these motions help you avoid injury during training, you will make future warmups prior to a round or practice session easier.
Exercise #1: Two-Hand Russian Kettlebell Swing
Done properly, this will help strengthen your hip extension, your core, improve your stamina, and create a better posterior chain. In the video below, Tim Ferriss makes a guest appearance on BodyBuilding.com to show you the basic steps to perform a proper kettlebell swing.
Frequency: 3 sets at 25 reps each, three times per week. If you have difficulty finishing 25 reps in one set, break them down into smaller sets (i.e. 5x15).
Exercise #2: Medicine Ball Throws
Rotational speed and power is an important element in golf, and in this video, Stephen Ladd demonstrates three exercises you can do with the medicine ball that will help with these aspects.
Frequency: Two sets of 10 reps per side for each exercise, every third day.
Exercise #3: Physio Ball Crunch
Being able to maintain core stability in an unstable environment (which happens often on hilly golf courses) is crucial to maximizing your golf swing. LiveStrong.com demonstrates how to use a physioball to perform basic crunches, which will not only improve your abdominal strength, it will also improve your ability to maintain balance without falling off the ball.
Frequency: Three sets of 15 reps, twice a week.
Make Sure to Walk as Frequently as Possible
As shown above, it does not take several exercises or working out 5-6 times per week to improve fitness as a golfer. Aside from strength training, it’s also important to take as many walks as possible, and walk on the golf course if you can. Not only does frequent walking improve your overall health, it will also help maintain a rhythm that can translate into your golf swing.
The Final Word
Staying fit and healthy will only help improve your game (and your overall health), so remember to stay on top of that. Try these exercises and get stronger, both with your body and your golf game!