Golf was previously seen as a sport that did not require top physical shape to excel in. Having a perfectly chiseled body is not required to play golf. However, the dominance of Tiger Woods back in the day shocked his peers as he was seen working hard on vital muscles needed to excel at golf which ultimately gave him an advantage. Tiger has set the bar high since then and professional tour golfers now focus on their fitness just as much as their golf game. They noticed the importance in fitness to enhance their golf performance.
Optimizing workouts to impact Golf Fitness
Most people workout to bulk and get stronger. This is not bad for golf but you need to target very specific muscles to improve your golf. Optimizing your workout is essential for a better golf performance. Especially in times like this, going to the gym might not be the best option due to the fear of Covid-19. Therefore we will suggest some workouts that you are able to perform in the comfort of your own home without the need of expensive equipment.
Targeted essentials are mobility, flexibility, balance, speed and core strength. While they are all unique in nature, improving them will allow you to generate high rotational forces (clubhead speed) with control, and in a manner that does not cause pain or injury.
Squats is a fundamental move in any workout program simply because it works all the muscles of the lower body and the core when performed correctly. Our legs acts as a base of our golf swing so that momentum generated can be transferred from the core out to the upper body extremities. A stable lower body anchors a golf swing. Throughout the golf swing, it is critical to have and maintain knee flexion from address to the full swing.
To begin with, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. From there bend the knees slowly and lower glutes (butt) toward the floor. Stop when the legs are nearly parallel to the ground then gradually push the body back up to its starting position. You can use weights to increase load and resistance. Instead of weights, household items like a backpack filled with items for weight can be utilized. Simply carry the backpack on the back or the front and proceed with the exercise. This would be the backpack squat.
The simple plank is also a crucial exercise to develop core strength and stability. These are crucial for a powerful swing. It is a common exercise but not everyone does it the right way. Begin by laying face down flat on the floor with a neutral spine. Then keep your feet together and squeeze the glutes. After that, come up on our knees and forearms with our elbow roughly below the shoulder. From there, get off your knees and come up on your toes. Squeeze your butt then importantly, pull forearms down to your toes and then you will feel your lower abs and lats turn on. That is the correct way to do the plank. As you finish it, put your knees down first then relax. Try 2 to 3 reps of 10 second long planks.
Bent over rows is a compound lift that can increase overall strength of the back muscles. It helps increase general strength of the upper and lower back. Furthermore it reinforces proper spinal control and resistance to lumbar flexion under load. In a golf swing it is important to have our spine strengthened to avoid injuries in our lower back. To begin this we can use the same backpack from our backpack squat to do this exercise. Find a comfortable stance that allows you to maintain a strong hip hinge and set back. Grip onto each strap of the backpack on each hand. Once the stance, grip, back and hip angles are established, you initiate the row. When pulling, feel that you are bringing your elbows back instead of using your hands. This will allow you to use your lats to move the weight. Then at the top of the move, squeeze the full upper back and contract the lats without breaking your hip angle and set back. From there gradually unload onto the address position and repeat.
Another exercise that allows you to improve your lower-body strength, balance and flexibility. To increase load you could also use the backpack in this exercise. For the forward lunge, set your feet hip-width apart and take a step forward. You have to step deep enough that your thigh and shin form a 90-degree angle. Then return to standing and switch legs. Keep alternating for 10 reps each leg.
Alternatively, for lateral lunges, widen out your feet and stand tall. Shift your weight over and squat down into one leg while keeping the other leg straight with your foot plants. Return back up to starting position and repeat on the other side.
A staple in any workout we have the push-up. It is extremely beneficial to your overall strength which ultimately benefits the golf swing. To set up correctly, place your hands beneath your shoulders and your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Then go to the top of a plank position with hands on the floor. From there, lower the body to the ground and push back up to the top position and repeat. It is vital that you maintain a neutral spine. To ensure that all the right muscles are being worked, a controlled tempo must be maintained throughout. To establish that a full range of motion is being achieved in your push-up, your chest and hips should touch the floor on the way down. If you are struggling with a push-ups that is perfectly fine, you can elevate your hands onto a sofa, table, kitchen counter top to make it easier. The higher your hands are elevated, the easier the push-up will be.
Strengthening your body is crucial for your game as well as your longevity. Do not neglect exercise as it will also help you prevent injuries. Even without access to gyms in unprecedented times like this, you could still use these simple workouts in the comfort of your own home. Let’s all improve our golf game together! When you are prepared you can check out the Best Courses in Malaysia 2021!
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