Workout to Improve Your Golf Game
My father, an avid golfer, always used to say: “golf isn’t a sport, it’s just men in ugly pants walking.” While the ugly pants part might be true (kidding Dad!), as it turns out golf truly is an athletic sport requiring strength, endurance and flexibility.
We’ve put together some pointers to build strength and improve flexibility that’ll help you shave strokes off your next game. For additional information and/or exercises, see any Personal Trainer at any location!
Golf isn’t a strength sport like powerlifting. However, strength is still important. Strength combined with proper technique can help you hit longer drives with more accuracy. Combining strength and technique and you’ll be driving like Tiger in no time!
While a full-body strength training program is important, you should focus most of your efforts on your core. Strong abs and back muscles give you a more powerful and consistent swing that’ll get you to the green with fewer strokes. Below are some exercises many golfers find useful. Opt for lighter weights with higher repetitions. We’ve included mostly functional movements – those that mimic real life - because they incorporate the same muscles used while golfing.
Planks & Side Planks (see Core & More for instructions.)
Crunches & V-Ups (see All I Want for Christmas is Abs for instructions.)
Supermans (see Boot Camp for instructions.)
For more core exercises, see Abs for Beginners.
Strength without flexibility can negatively affect your performance. Remember – balance is everything! ;) Flexibility allows your torso and upper body to rotate more easily throughout your swing – giving you a greater range of motion.
Another biggie that most golfers forget is warming up before a match. Warming up will get the blood flowing, resulting in less risk for injury and a better range of motion. Below are some great options for improving flexibility. Yoga regularly is helpful and the other stretches make a great warm up.
Straddle Forward Bend*
Seated Side Stretch*
*See Back to Back for instructions for the stretches above.
CARDIO FOR ENDURANCE
The average-sized guy golfing with a cart only burns 280 calories per hour. However, ditch the cart and carry your clubs and you’ll burn 380 cal/hour. Over the course of a 4-6 hour golf match, that adds up to 1520 – 2280 calories! If you’re a bad golfer like myself, you’ll burn even more calories just trying to find your ball.
Some prep time in the gym can improve your endurance and make climbing a hilly course easier. Below are some recommendations that you might find helpful.
Any form of cardio you like… group exercise classes, treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, etc. For the best results, use a different machine every week or so to keep it fresh. Also, include intervals to help simulate the varying terrain you’ll encounter on the course. Intervals could be increasing/decreasing the speed or resistance throughout your workout.