Fitness for Golf – Introduction
Any preconceptions that golf conditioning means hours on end in the gym lifting heavy weights until you can’t lift any more are wrong as it doesn’t! Simple exercise and fitness tips can make your golf a whole different game.
Did you know that 20 years ago the average handicap for both men and women was exactly the same as it is today? Golfers are having more lessons than ever before and are buying more new equipment which hits the ball both further and straighter, so why have they not improved?
The answer is that they have not improved the most important piece of equipment…… themselves!
Have you ever wondered that when you’ve had a golf lesson and you’ve been told to go away and practice a new movement, why it was that when you’ve gone back for your next lesson, your pro has told you that your swing hasn’t changed enough yet and you have to go away and practice it more?
The reason for this is that although you know what you need to do you may not be strong or flexible enough to achieve it. Gone are the days when doing what we’ve always done is enough and we need to do more to achieve the results we want.
If you are serious about improving your game then try employing the exercise techniques of a golf fitnesstrainer and link their knowledge to your golf lesson. You might be surprised at how much quicker your golf game can improve!
Remember, you’re only as strong as your weakest point and that can have a huge impact on your golf swing!!
There are many different things that contribute to playing an enjoyable and successful round of golf. There is the need for supple muscles and joints and physical fitness.
The first step in preparing the body for an enjoyable, worthwhile practice session or round of golf is to stretch the muscle groups that work during the golf swing.
Everyone should stretch regardless of age, physical activity level or current flexibility. Stretching and warm-up exercises improve and increase the range of movement of the joints. It reduces muscle tension and improves blood flow. It also reduces the risk of injury.
Remember that stretching is a static activity. A stretch should be held for 15 – 20 seconds and should not be painful. Relax and do not hold your breath and never stretch past the point of discomfort.
Spend time stretching before you make any swings on the tee. Concentrate on the major muscle groups in the neck, shoulders and back. Remember to repeat each stretch on both sides of the body. Stretch slowly. Remember – “no pain, no gain” is an outdated and incorrect philosophy, and not a good tip.
Upper Body Rotation Stretch
- Stand upright with your arms out to the side with your elbows at 90º and feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend forward from your hips keeping your back straight and arms out to the side of your body (elbows still 90º). A similar posture for a full swing.
- Keeping your arms bent and out to the side of your body, turn into a backswing position (90º shoulders and 45º hips). Hold for 10-15 seconds and then do the same as a follow through.
- This will help increase your range of upper body rotation and make it easier to turn and pivot in the golf swing.
Neck: Rotate your head from side to side touching your chest with your chin during rotation. It is very important not to rotate your head completely, allowing your head to tilt backwards. This could cause serious neck injuries. Repeating this exercise a few times will allow flexibility in your neck.
Shoulders: Standing, extending your right arm over your shoulder behind your back, your left arm under your shoulder behind your back. Try to grab one hand with the other and hold the stretch for a few seconds. Repeat the exercise on the other side. You might not be able to touch or grab hands at first, but as your muscles stretch it should get easier.
Chest: From a standing position, lock your hands behind your back. Now lift your hands while fully expanding your chest and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat this exercise as many times as you want.
Hips: You need to lie on your back with your legs extended for this warm up exercise. Bend your one leg and lock your hands under your knee. Pull your knee back to touch your chest and hold this position for 20 seconds. Make sure your leg stays extended on the ground. Repeat with your other leg.
Stretch yourself for more Power
Good flexibility makes building a powerful golf swing far easier. If you don’t stretch properly before you play you’re making it much harder to accomplish. Good flexibility also makes you much less susceptible to injury.
Before trying to create a good posture and backswing you must stretch out your back muscles, this is a great exercise to achieve it.
- Lean on a vertical club out in front of you (making sure you’re on a non-slip surface – grass is perfect)
- Bend your knees and push your hands away from you. Try and get your head in-between your arms if you can.
- Gently lean your hands to the right and hold for 10-15 seconds and then to the left where you should hold again to feel the stretch.