As the colder weather persists and winter greens are in play, a lot of golfers are in their down season. it can be a good time to prepare your body for the upcoming season of golf. This means ensuring that you will be able to play fit and healthy for as long as possible.
Over the winter period, many people will slack when it comes to their diets and exercise regimes, so it is only natural that you have a bit of work to do in the New Year to get back in shape. It is important that you take the steps to prepare your body once again for the rigors of a round of golf instead of trying to go straight back onto the course like you never took a break.
This process is easy to achieve if you are consistent. Here are three types of exercise that you can do at home to help prepare you for the upcoming season of golf.
Exercise #1: Push-ups
This is an exercise that everyone will have seen or done before, but that doesn’t mean that it is not useful. Often times simple approaches yield the best results. Research has shown that the large muscles of the upper body are very important when it comes to generating good club head speed as opposed to simply the arms.
The beauty of the push-up is that you can vary the position of your hands and feet to make the exercise harder or easier depending on your ability. The easiest form of a push-up is being on your knees and simply pressing your upper body off the ground.
Then you can progress to your standard push-up. Different hand positions hit different parts of your upper body. For example, a wide hand position targets your outer chest. A close hand position targets triceps. You can experiment with more advanced exercises like elevated feet and plyometric push-ups over time.
Exercise #2: Lateral lunges
Improving your lower body strength allows you to carry your body through the round and help control the direction of your club. The side lunge is a great exercise that you can do at home for this. It also helps to improve the range of motion of your hips, as well as the power and strength of them.
To perform this exercise, maintain proper posture and take a large step to the right, bringing your weight onto that side. The left leg needs to be bent while you are in this position. Ensure that the toes are always pointing straight forward. You should then alternate legs and repeat the exercise eight to 12 times on each side without a break. Then you should rest for 30 seconds and repeat another time or two depending on your body.
Exercise #3: Planks
Core strength is extremely important when it comes to golf — and all sports for that matter. It provides the foundation for everything we do. It helps maximize the amount of force generated in your swing, thanks to the coiling you do when bringing the club back. While most people have performed sit-ups over the years, the plank is a great exercise for all aspects of core strength and stability.
The move itself is simple, but executing it can be difficult. Get into the normal push-up position but instead of having your palms flat on the floor, put your forearms on the floor. Keep your back flat and your core engaged during the move. The goal is to hold this position for between 30 and 60 seconds at a time. However, if you find yourself struggling, do it to failure and repeat another three or four times. As you practice, you will improve the length of time you can hold this position for.
— Andrew O’Malley