Don’t think golf puts specific demands on your body? You must not be a golfer. If you understand the need for a golf-specific regiment in the gym, read on to learn about the exercises that will help you feel better and hit the ball farther every time you go to the country club.
Prone Bridge – Start by lying on the floor with your face down. Lift your body with your toes and forearms, keeping a straight line from the heels of your feet to the back of your head. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat. This improves your core, a portion of your body that is essential for good balance and form in your swing.
Pelvic Thrusts – Lying on your back, bend your legs toward the ceiling at the hip. With your arms flat on the floor by your side, lift your hips a few inches off of the floor and return to your original position. Repeat 15 times. This will also work your core muscles.
Horizontal Rotator Cuff Rotation – Standing straight with arms out to either side at shoulder level, allow your elbow to bend at a 90-degree angle. With a weight in each hand, lift the weights toward the ceiling, keeping your upper arm still. Return to the original position and repeat. As a strong rotator cuff is vital to your golf swing, perform this and other rotator-cuff exercises regularly. However, if you have any rotator cuff pain, avoid these exercises to avoid aggravating your injury.
Standing Torso Twist – Place your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and place a bar (it can be a broomstick) across your shoulders, holding the bar in place with your hands. Then, twist slowly and deliberately from the right to the left, feeling your abdominals tighten with each movement. Repeat 10 times. This movement obviously correlates to your golf swing, and so will the benefits.
Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls – Sitting at the end of a weight bench, hold a bar in your hands, palms down. Place your forearms on your thighs and let your hands hang over your knees. Next, raise your hands simultaneously. At the peak of the repetition, return to your original position and repeat 10-20 times. Maintaining perfect control over the placement and distance of your putting requires perfect muscle tone and strength, and reverse wrist curls help you tone and strengthen a vitally important golf muscle.
Lunge with a Twist – Holding a weighted dumbbell or medicine ball, stand upright with your arms straight ahead, holding the weight. Step forward with one leg and rotate your upper body to the same side. Return to your starting position and repeat with the other leg. Perform the exercise on each side 10 times. Awkward as the exercise feels initially, it pays off in the long run, adding speed, distance, and power to your gorgeous golf swing.
On the Way Out
When you’re about to head out for a round of golf, you never forget your lucky putter or your favorite pair of gloves. But there may be something you forget that puts you at a disadvantage. What are you forgetting? To stretch.
Toss these golf-friendly stretches in your golf bag for a safe and improved round.
Shoulder: With one arm across your chest, grab the arm by the elbow using your other hand and pull the arm toward your chest. Hold for a few seconds and repeat with the other arm.
Chest: With your arm outstretched, place your hand against a wall, doorway, or tree. Lean forward on the outstretched shoulder until you feel a stretch in your chest. Hold for a few seconds and repeat for your other arm.
Back: Kneel on the ground with your arms stretched out in front of you. Allow your arms to slide away from your body as you shift your hips backward toward your feet. Once you feel the stretch, hold for a few seconds and repeat by performing the stretch to both the left and right sides.
Thighs: Holding a chair, table, pole, or tree for balance, stand straight and bring one foot up to your hand. Hold for a few seconds, relax, and repeat with the other leg.