Golf Fitness – Two words that one does not always think go together
While it’s true that you don’t necessarily need to be a serious athlete to play a good round of golf, it certainly helps you to get the most enjoyment from the game, the more flexible and fit you are.
If you are looking at ways to lower your handicap, don’t buy a new set of golf clubs, exercise! Your overall strength and flexibility is what will improve your swing and shave strokes off your game.
Strengthen your core
The energy from your golf swing comes not from your arms, but from the muscles in your torso. Your core needs to be as strong and flexible as possible to give you rotational power. Good core strength allows you to deliver the club to the impact position, generating power and club head speed, resulting in increased distance. Strengthening the abdominal and back muscles is a critical element for golf performance and longevity in the sport. If you are a member of a gym, the cable machine can be used for dynamic twisting exercises which help to mimic the golf swing movements.
Strength and flexibility
Exercises including lunges, push ups, bridges, planks, squats and lying twists will all help with giving you the strength and flexibility required to make the most of your golf swing. Even just 20 a day (each side) with 1 minute planks and bridges will see an improvement.
Increasing your dynamic range of motion will allow proper coiling and uncoiling of the torso and spine. It also reduces potential swing faults caused by short, tight muscles.
Balance in the stance and throughout the entire swing plane is vital for a repeatable and reliable golf swing. Proper balance enables efficient weight transfer, generating power and accuracy. Correct balance through to the finish position allows for full extension of the body towards the target.
Before you play
Stretch your muscles and loosen up before you tee off. Try a standing truck rotation, using the golf club as leverage which will help to loosen up your hips and back. A yoga warrior pose will also help to open up your hip flexors, plus as a bonus it’ll scare the men.
It’s very important to stay hydrated. You should make sure you drink at least one large bottle of water while you play. This is will rehydrate you after the large coffee you probably had just before teeing off, and will have you all prepared for a large G&T when you hit the 19th hole.
Qualified Fitness Professional
Golf specific training programs are fantastic if you’re really keen. Find a credible fitness professional who can help you with golf exercises, fitness tips and techniques. This will consistently help you improve your game. A regular fitness program will help with injury prevention and we can definitely recommend Sarah from The Movement Fitness PT and Erica’s Art of Training.
The golf swing occurs in approximately two seconds, beginning from a static position, progressing through the swing, with huge power at impact. During the swing, the trunk and spine move in three planes of motion, supported by flexibility, balance, and strength. Incorporating a consistent yoga practice into your life which focuses on these three foundational components will allow you to deliver your best game on the course.