Fitness Ready for the 2015 Golfing Season
We always vow to play better next year, devote more time to the sport, practice more or take a few lessons so we don’t look silly on the course the next season. We think we’ll be able to go out to the course and play well without some practice.
When the day finally arrives, we dust off those clubs and head for the links. We do a few stretches, a few practice swings and then look down the fairway. Getting over the ball, we usually swing way too hard and the ball careens off into the woods, water or barely off the teeing area. Continuing to flail all day and are usually are tight or a bit sore when we get home.
Though space wouldn’t let me tackle all of these issues, I would like to talk a little about physical fitness.
All sports require liveliness on your feet and golf is no exception. Any physical fitness regimen should include some form of leg, core, hip, hip flexors and glute work.
Walking, biking, jogging, elliptical, swimming with a paddleboard and yoga are all great exercises to get into shape for the coming season.
While many courses nowadays require the use of motorized carts, take advantage of walking as much as you can between shots. Golf is a game of fun and you should try to walk and either carry your clubs or use a pull cart whenever possible, too.
Next, be careful of your arms, especially your wrists, elbows and shoulders. I wouldn’t recommend a bunch of free weights because the requirements of hitting a golf ball requires faster twitch muscle fibers. Think of it like cracking a whip or skipping a rock across a pond. If you are working out, you need to focus on flexibility before stability and muscle building.
Start any workout routines by getting your blood pumping by doing some jumping jacks or walking in place. Next move on to stretches.
One such stretching exercise I’ve found to be very beneficial in stretching out the lower back, the site of most injuries in golf, is simply using a cut-off club. Find an old club, cut off the club head about half way up the shaft and tape up the sharp end. Start the stretch simply by going to your knees, take your “normal stance” while on your knees and slowly start your backswing. Keep turning until your shoulders fully swing under your chin. At this point, you should feel a pull on the inner thigh of your trail leg and on the lower portion of your target side leg. Keep doing this and you should see your flexibility improve, your scores lowering and in less pain.
Specifically, this is what this normally requires. First, it will stretch out your lower back, hips, hip flexors and T-spine. Second, it will teach your body to sequence itself correctly and efficiently. Lastly, the more you can get a club in your hand, the better.
The glutes are considered the “King of the Golf Swing” Walking lunges, walking or running uphill or any other glute specific exercises are great for your golf game. As we saw recently with Tiger Woods withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open yesterday, his issue was mainly that he couldn’t get his “glutes to fire”. They really are that important in the golf swing.
Finally, the one area to which we should all pay more attention are the abdominal muscles. Strength and mobility are a real key to a solid golf game. It also protects our spine. The tightened abs also help us all look better in that sleek bathing suit or 2 piece bikini.
Like any new exercise program, contact your physician before starting. Start slowly and start building towards advanced workouts. Remember, a short workout of even 5 to 10 minutes is surely better than not having worked out at all. If you have any questions about what exercises you should specifically do for your game, please contact me so we can figure this out together!
See you in the fairway!