Exercise Techniques to Enhance Your Golf Game & Body
Golf does not require the strength of a football player, the endurance of a basketball player or the agility of a hockey athlete. It’s a game that mixes together elements of athleticism, hand/eye coordination, mental focus and flexibility to form a swing that many of us have come to use for a game we love. What golf exercises will help?
In January of 2016, I joined a Basic Body Transformation class that has been instrumental in keeping me healthy and in shape. It’s also helped my game by working areas and muscles that I never knew existed, that is, until the next day when I was extremely sore. Many of the exercise techniques are ones that have helped improve my golf game by enhancing my strength and physical endurance.
I am going to highlight some important exercises that have greatly impacted my overall golf game and physicality. For easy reference, I have also included pictures to show the different exercises in action. Special thanks to my mom and gymnastics instructor, Lisa LaBrasca-Becker and the Quarry Gymnastics Center Inc. for their use in space and equipment.
PLANK – It’s an exercise that is deceivingly harder than it looks. It’s amazing for your core, especially if you practice it routinely. If you remember the commercials where the woman says, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” This is exactly what the plank exercise tries to prevent; a fall where you don’t have the strength to get yourself up.
In golf, a strong core keeps your inner muscles stabilized in your golf swing and posture.
Recommended: I would try 20 seconds each day, building up endurance each week and eventually adding more time. My husband I did a plank challenge for a month. We started with 20 seconds the first week, and added on 10 seconds each week following.
SIDE PLANK – A side plank works in the same manor that a basic plank works, as it stabilizes your core muscles. A side plank also engages your hip, thigh, back and gluteus muscles. Building upon those areas can firm up those muscles and keep them sturdy in your swing.
Recommended: Same as the basic front plank. Try 20 seconds at first, and slowly build up your endurance as you continue doing this exercise.
INCLINE – Inclines make normal walking seem like hardest feat in the world to accomplish. At an incline posture you engage both your calf and gluteus muscle, while increasing your heart rate and cardio strength.
An incline exercise can keep your physical momentum going past nine holes of golf. Increasing your cardio ability and leg muscles may get you golfing better for a longer lengths of play.
Recommended: It depends on the incline level and if you choose to do a treadmill or walk outside. I would say to start at 15 minutes on a small – medium incline level, building up to 30 minutes on a higher incline plane (If you want to use a treadmill). If you choose to walk outside, pick a path that is more challenging with hills and more inclined areas.
WALL SQUATS WHILE LIFTING – Squats are tough, no matter how many times I do them they don’t seem to get easier. However, they are awesome exercises for your quads and thighs. Aside from building up your legs, squats can greatly increase your power and posture in golf.
Think about your slight bend of the knee in your swing that places you in small squat-like position; wall squats can help in firming up your upper leg muscles, while giving you power and endurance through your posture and swing.
Recommended: Make sure your legs are parallel to the floor and that your knees are not shifting over your toes. Once in position, you push yourself up and down between 8-10 times. You can also keep your hands above your head or on your shoulders; do not let your back leave the wall when squatting.
MEDICINE BALL EXERCISES – This is the most popular exercise that I have seen promoted for golfers. I have found that this not only assists in building up strength in the back, but it can also give you more power in your swing.
Recommended: Swinging the ball back and forth mimics the rotation of your swing, accentuating the feeling that you are actually going to hit a golf ball. Working with a medicine ball really stretches out your back in the twisting position, which can assist in enhancing the strength and power in your golf swing. Go back and forth for 8-10 repetitions. As you get stronger you can go longer or get a heavier ball/weight.
Some choose to throw the medicine ball against a wall and catch it before twisting to the other side. If you don’t want to use the medicine ball, you can also a hand weight in its place.
Like any sport, there are exercises that can help in not only making you a better golfer but also a healthier person. Start out at your own pace and build your physical endurance from there. You may not just notice a difference in your game, but also in how you feel overall.
So what golf exercises can help you? … now that you know, just “Go For It”!
Be a better golfer & a better YOU!
Got exercises you enjoy or that have worked for your game? Please share your experiences below. I would love to hear your feedback!
Got questions? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at summery08.