Golf is a sport that requires exercise like any other. While golf injuries may not be as detrimental or as say, football injuries, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take them as seriously.
Think about your swing, for example. Each time you take a swing, your right side might work much harder than your left. And if you’re one of the 1 in 30 golfers who are left-handed, then your left is working harder than your right.
Most golfers are using upwards of 75% of their dominant sides of their bodies each time they hit a ball or practice their swing. Yet when we find ourselves facing back pain or a pinched nerve, the temptation is to consult a swing pro.
But it’s not just about perfecting the swing. Staying in shape and in good health can drastically improve your golf game. So what can you do to get there?
Keep reading to find out 4 exercises to improve your golf game.
- Do Yoga
The most obvious benefit of yoga is flexibility. Each time you bend down to stick a tee in the ground or crouch to your knees to analyze how your ball might move across the green, your body is counting on flexibility to help you make these moves.
If you’ve experienced back pain or muscle strain after playing golf, chances are it’s due to a lack of flexibility. Increased flexibility will help decrease your risk of injury, improve your athletic performance, and improve your joint range of motion. These are essential to playing golf.
And if you don’t have time for yoga, even taking 10-15 minutes before and after you play to stretch will drastically help your body on the course.
In addition to flexibility, yoga compliments your health in other ways, such as:
- proper breathing patterns
- muscle endurance
Proper breathing patterns, for example, will not only help you during your walks and shots. It will also help with internal peace and curbing emotions like anxiety and frustration.
- Strengthen Your Core
Think about all those rotations you do while playing around. Think about the amount of times you bend down or hold your swing position at the end of a drive.
What will help you become better at every aspect of your golf game is increasing the strength of your core.
Many golfers make the mistake of focusing on their legs and arms only. While it’s important to exercise these areas as well, everything starts with your core, and a strong core will trickle benefits down into every area of your game. And you can do so with a few simple exercises.
Keep your feet flat on the ground and your hands behind your head. Sit up and repeat.
Be careful not to put any pressure on your head with your hands. And make sure you contract your abdominal muscles and keep your back flat each time you sit up. Try holding it for longer each time to increase muscle strength.
Start off laying face down on the floor with your arms out.
Raise your arms and your legs up about 6 inches off the ground so that you look like Superman flying through the air. Hold the stretch for as long as you can. Not only will this stretch strengthen your abdominals but it will also work your glutes, back, shoulders, and hamstrings.
Seated Medicine Ball Rotation:
Sit on a chair and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. With both of your elbows bent, hold a weighted medicine ball close to your chest. Rotate from side to side while keeping your lower body still.
Check out some of our other tips for developing a healthy core.
- Work Those Wrists
The impact of exercising and strengthening your wrists can be amazing, especially if you’ve never done so before. It should be a part of every golf workout routine.
You can purchase a variety of wrist exercising devices. Or you can use your clubs to help you do the job.
Stand with your arms down by your sides, club in one hand. Using the wrist that is holding the club, bring the club up so that it’s parallel to the ground.
Repeat this action 15 times and do 2-3 sets. Try to do it at least 3-4 times a week. If you feel a burning sensation in your forearm, you’re doing it right.
The fluidity in muscle movement that swimming provides makes it one of the best exercises for golfers.
It will also help with flexibility, breathing, stamina, and balance.
When You’re Ready
When your mind and body are healthy, strong, and flexible, it may be time to work on your technique.
Even though the pros are either left or right-handed, they manage to find a balance in using both sides of their body. Most of us, however, are using most of one side and little of the other.
Staying in shape will naturally eliminate some of this discrepancy. But perfecting your swing will also do so. Read more here to find out how motor learning will help your golf game.
Start Doing Exercises to Improve Your Golf Game
Life can be busy and you may feel that you don’t have the time for other exercise. But working on your strength and flexibility could save you time in the long run, as it will prevent injuries and potential medical appointments.
Don’t feel like you have to tackle everything at once either.
You can start small by doing 10 minutes of stretching and exercising your wrists before and after each round. Or you could try going to yoga 3 times a week. If nothing else, do 3 sets of crunches 3-4 times a week.
Doing exercises to improve your golf game is as essential as perfecting your swing. Want to focus more on your health and fitness in 2019?
Check out our workout blog for other tips and tricks.