Golf is a game enjoyed by players of all shapes and sizes. Whether you are a professional, competitive amateur, or someone who plays solely for enjoyment, there are many exercises that will improve your game. The major keys to golf fitness are flexibility, strength, and conditioning. By improving upon these, players should be able to lower their handicap, and play the best golf of their lives.
Also known as mobility, flexibility is important in reaching certain positions in your golf swing. A few areas most players struggle with include shoulder, hamstring, and lower-back flexibility. Tight shoulders will restrict shoulder turn creating a lack of power in the golf swing. Inflexible hamstrings will cause lower-back issues, making it difficult to maintain proper posture throughout the swing. This change of posture will make it difficult to consistently hit solid shots.
Luckily, there are a few basic exercises that can improve these trouble areas. Shoulder flexibility can be improved with fitness bands or even a driver. Take either the bands or a club and hold them straight out in front of yourself. From there, begin lifting your arms overhead, not stopping until they are all the way behind you. Repeat these shoulder dislocations for ten repetitions multiple times throughout the day.
Hamstring and lower-back flexibility tends to go hand in hand. A simple toe-touch stretch will help improve hamstring mobility; however, there are better available exercises. Instead, exercises where you are laying down will keep your lower back in extension, and focus the stretch more on the hamstrings themselves. Start in a laying position and pull your knee towards your chest. From there, do your best to straighten your leg without lowering it. When done correctly, you should feel a good stretch in the hamstring and hip.
Shoulder Exercise Video
Hamstring Stretching Video
For the longest time lifting weights and gaining muscle were considered detrimental to one’s game. However, as players like Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, and even Phil Mickelson began to hit the weights, those previous misconceptions were proven as such. Becoming stronger will not only help to increase clubhead speed, but it will also come in handy later in rounds as you begin tiring.
An exercise program that focuses on the core is a great way to improve your game. Exercises such as Kettlebell swings, dumbbell overhead presses, and weighted sit-ups are great for those looking to gain distance and add consistency to their games. Golfers should start out at lower weights and reps, increasing both as the lifts become easier.
It can be frustrating to play 16 great holes of golf only to completely fall apart on the last two holes. This is typically due to poor conditioning. It can be quite difficult to repeat your swing while playing with tired legs. Basic cardio exercises such as running, biking, or swimming can prove to be the difference between the round of your life, and just another day on the links.
Whether you want to break 100 or win your club championship, getting into better golf shape will help. By improving your flexibility, strength, and conditioning, you will be on your way to shooting the best scores of your life.