9 Easy Exercises that Will Improve Your Golfing Game
Jul 24, 2018
Despite some of the world’s top golfers sporting obviously fit physiques, golf is still often considered to be a very passive sport that requires virtually no degree of fitness. Rory McIlroy, together with the approximately 4 million adult golfers in the UK will be quick to inform any naysayer that golf does, in fact, require a player to be physically fit, strong and agile.
Following a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise that will not only enhance your overall fitness but change your gameplay, will be of great benefit to any ardent golfer. The following 9 basic exercises will go a long way in helping you improve your swing by loosening your hips and shoulders, improving your overall fitness and flexibility, and boosting your strength.
Whether you are a golfing pro or still in need of coaching, lateral lunges can boost your swing significantly. You can perform lateral lunges in the comfort of your own home, making your body stronger and more flexible. Lunges can also improve your golf swing by boosting your hip movement as well as a range of other movements. Lateral lunges are easy to perform. Simply take a step to the left while moving all your weight to that side. Don’t bend your left leg and keep your toes facing forward. Do the same for the other leg and repeat these alterations between 10 and 12 times.
Standing Ys are known to counter the negative effects of prolonged sitting as well as improve shoulder mobility. To perform a standing Y, stand bent over at your waist, back flat and chest up, similar to the position you would be in to perform a deadlift. Hold a golf club with your palms facing up, pulling your shoulder blades back down. Now raise your arms above your head, forming a Y. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 times.
Of all the exercises available to improve your golf swing and stamina, this is probably one of the most effective. This is a wonderful exercise for your glutes and it also helps to strengthen your lower back and hamstrings. The extended position closely mimics the position of a golfer when the hips are thrusted toward the intended target through impact with the ball. To perform a glute bridge, lie face up with your arms by your sides, knees bent and toes off the ground. Squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and thrust your hips upwards until a straight line forms between your shoulders and your knees. Hold the pose for 3 seconds and repeat 12 more times.
Golfer’s elbow can be very painful and should be prevented as far as possible by doing exercises such as the handwalk. Start your handwalk by standing up and then bending forward at the waist, putting your hands on the ground so that you are on all fours. Walk your hands out in front of you until you are in a pushup position. Keeping your knees as straight as possible, walk your toes towards your hands until you feel a stretch before walking your hands out again. Repeat 10 times in total.
The standing wood chop
This is another superb exercise that is bound to improve your golf swing flexibility. A standing wood chop incorporates movements involving the back, hips and shoulders, improving both strength and flexibility. You can make use of a resistance band, medicine ball or free weight for this exercise. Bend your knees slightly while putting your hands above your head to the right – as if you are about to swing an axe. Do 12 repetitions before switching sides and doing the same to the left of your head.
These stretches help to open up your shoulders, improving mobility and flexibility. Lie on your side, keeping your bottom leg straight and the top on bent with the inside of the knee on the ground. Slowly rotate your trunk backwards, trying to put your top shoulder blade on the ground. Hold the position for three seconds and repeat 10 times before switching sides.
Windshield wipers is a great exercise to help improve limited internal hip rotation which is responsible for driving the forward part of your golf swing. You can perform the exercise by lying down on your back, bending your knees at a 90 degree angle. Clench both your fist and place them between your knees. Move your feet as far away from each other as possible without allowing your knees and hands to lose contact. Perform 2 sets of 12 repetitions each.
Sword pulls are extremely beneficial for shoulder external rotation and aids the golfer in keeping the club on the right plane at the top of their backswing. You can perform a backswing by standing in golf posture, holding a dumbbell in your left hand and putting your right hand behind your back. The thumb of your left hand needs to point to where your right hand is behind your back. At the same time, extend your weight away from your body and rotate your shoulder so that your thumb is now pointing towards you – a moment replicating the pulling of a sword. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side.
Calf stretch against the wall
Calf stretches are particularly useful when you want to improve both your stance and your swing. Place the toe of one of your feet on the wall, pushing your heel into the ground while your other foot is slightly behind you. Push yourself forward towards the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf. Do 3 repetitions with each leg, holding the pose for at least 30 seconds at a time.
As a golfer it is imperative that you engage in enough exercise off the golf course to keep you fit and reduce your risk of injury. Whether you choose to invest in a gym membership or prefer to workout at home is entirely up to you as long as you take the time and make the effort include at least half an hour of activity into your daily lifestyle.