How important is physical fitness to the success of your golf game? Let’s just say that good technique, expensive equipment and dumb luck can only get you so far. In the end, if you want to drive it like D.J., you’ve got to get your fitness game on point. The main goal of a golf-minded fitness program is to make you a better player, but that overall ambition can be broken down into smaller branches.
Greater cardiovascular fitness, for instance, can keep fatigue-driven mistakes at bay when some golfers’ form starts to break down on the back nine. Better core strength and twisting flexibility will give your drive the added power you’ve been searching for. Overall, keeping your muscular system in good form helps to prevent the overuse injuries and pain so many avid golfers are subject to. If these benefits sound appealing, try including these four proven golf exercises into your practice routine.
1. Resistance Band Steps
Wrapping a resistance band around your ankles, keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Take ten small steps forward, ten small steps in reverse, ten small steps to the right, and ten small steps to the left. That’s one set. Performing the move in all four directions will hit those elusive hips muscles, and nearly every leg muscle your golf swing will need. Your legs and glutes are the base for every stroke you take on the course, and you want them to feel strong and stable.
2. Bridge Pose/Pelvic Lifts
This is traditionally a glute-strengthening yoga move, but chances are you’ll even remember this move as “pelvic lifts” from gym class. Lie down on your back with your hands by your sides, and bend your knees. Keeping your feet hip-width and parallel, focus on feeling the squeeze in your glutes when your lift your hips up until they’re about parallel with your knees. Hold for one breath then release down. Repeat ten times for a set. Make sure to keep your knees from pointing out as you push up.
3. Arm & Elbow Planks
For an exercise that is considered one of the best core moves out there, the name may sound like a misnomer. Arm and elbow planks are very similar exercises, so if you have a penchant for one, feel free to stick to that one. But since each pose highlights a slightly different muscle group in the chest, arms, shoulders, and core, why not try both?
- Forearm Plank: Start in the up-position of a push up: make sure your neck, shoulders, and elbows are slightly loose and unlocked, and that your butt isn’t sticking way up in the air. Basically, your body should look like one straight line from the side. Then, staying strong and loose, hold for 30 seconds then lower and rest. Repeat a few times, eventually leading up to holding each plank for two minutes at a time.
- Elbow Planks: Similar to the forearm plank, only you’re supporting yourself with your elbows and forearms on the floor, instead of just your hands. Make sure to stack elbows directly under your shoulders to maintain good form. Same here, hold for 30 seconds then lower and rest.
4. Superman Pose
Lie facedown on a mat or blanket on the floor. Put your arms up in front of you, as if you were Superman flying into battle. As you take a slow breath in, lift every part of your body up that you can. That means keeping your stomach and pelvis on the ground, but lifting your legs, chest, head, and arms. Hold this position through one round of slow breaths and release on the out breath. Repeat a few times according to your comfort level. This should feel hard, but not straining. Try to keep your neck in alignment, and not craned up when you lift. This could mean looking slightly down, instead of forward.
Seeking advice from a professional is always recommended before starting a new fitness program if you have concerns about the condition of your health. The exercises here are compiled as the result of research, but do not take the place of medical advice.
Have a workout that helps your golf game? Tell us about it down in the comments below!