There is still plenty of summer and time left to play your best golf ever. If your game hasn’t improved as much as you wanted to this summer, try adding some golf-specific exercises into your daily routine to help you move better and swing more freely.
Contrary to popular belief, golf is an explosive sport. Like other explosive sports (football, track and field, tennis), you start in a static position, then swing as fast as you can, in a matter of seconds, to speeds of up to 100 mph.
The body needs to train to move explosively as well as change speeds rapidly and generate quick busts of motion in different directions. Here are a few examples of exercises that will help you do this. These types of exercises may not look like what you do in a golf swing, but they use the same muscles and movement patterns used in the golf swing.
These exercises have you start in a static position, then move explosively while changing directions quickly, just like in the golf swing. Here are 6 exercises to help you build strength and speed. Thanks to our model Cathy Vasto for demonstrating these exercises to help you develop explosive strength for golf.
In the golf swing, the spine must stabilize as other parts of the body move. So it is important to strengthen core muscles. If core muscles surrounding the spine are weak, then those muscles can’t contract to create resistance to allow the arms to swing freely through the ball.
It is important to strengthen core muscles, not only to create power in the golf swing, but to protect the spine from the force of the golf swing.
This series of classical Pilates moves, collectively known as the Series of Five or ‘Ab 5’, is essential for golfers who want to improve core strength and stability.
In these exercises, you will be stabilizing your spine and core muscles as your arms and legs move in different directions just like you have to do in the golf swing.
The thoracic spine, which is basically your upper torso, is designed to be mobile and allow rotation. We need to twist and turn the upper torso over a stable platform of our low back, hips, and legs to create power in the backswing. If you lack mobility in your thoracic spine, you’ll be restricted on how far you can turn your torso, therefore limiting your backswing. Here is an exercise to help you increase the mobility in your thoracic spine so you can learn to make a better turn.
Thoracic Spine Stretch with Exercise Ball
Using an exercise ball, into a side lunge position balancing the ball steady.
Place one hand behind your head and slowing lift your arm, shoulder up to the sky as you twist from your thoracic spine.
Look to the sky, hold position for a moment and return to the start position.
Repeat motion for 8 to 10 repetitions on both sides.
This golf strength exercise will help you develop power in your lower body with the core rotational movement needed for maximum golf swing speed and distance.
Your core including the supporting muscle groups such as shoulders, arms and forearms play help supply you with the power you need to create clubhead speed. The wood chop exercise is a great way to work on your core muscles while increasing your heart rate to improve endurance.
Stand, holding an exercise ball, golf club or hand weight with your arms extended.
Squat down as you touch the ball to the ground by your right leg.
Stand up and extend your arms as you press the ball up to the sky over your left shoulder.
Return to the squat position as your touch the ball to the ground again by your right leg.
Repeat motion on the same. Do 8 to 10 repetitions on one side and then repeat for the same amount of repetitions on the opposite side.
This exercise has the same movement pattern used in the golf swing.
To learn how to do this exercise and other golf-specific exercises visit Cardiogolf.com.
I posted over 100 golf-fitness and instructional tips in 2015. So in case you missed some, I will re-post my favorite ones over the next several weeks. Let me know which is your favorite blog post.
Favorite Tip #4- How to Power Up Your Golf Game Part 2
As I stated in Part 1 of Power Up Your Game post, there are many factors that determine how much power you generate, but one of the most important factors is how well you rotate your torso and hips in the golf swing.
Learning to turn your upper body independently from your lower body is important to create ‘separation’ between the upper and lower body. The separation creates a rubber band effect at the top of the swing to unwind and release power on the downswing.
Sit on a chair or exercise ball holding a club parallel to the ground as shown.
Rotate your upper body to the right, keeping the club parallel to the ground as you stabilize your lower body. The idea is to turn the upper body independently from the lower body.
Hold position for a moment then return to the start position and then rotate the upper body to the left. Hold position for a moment and return to start position. You should try to turn your shoulders and torso together and feel a twist in your waist.
Repeat rotating from side to side for 8 to 10 repetitions on each side.
Come back tomorrow for Part 3 of How to Power Up Your Golf Game.
I teach Golf and Pilates. I am a LPGA Master Professional and Certified Personal and Pilates Trainer