Cardiogolf Holiday Game Improvement Program

With the Holiday Season approaching, your golf game may go by the wayside.  Don’t throw all the work you have done this summer down the drain by neglecting your body and game these next couple of months.  Don’t wait for the New Year to start to get in shape and improve your golf game. Start Cardiogolf today…

Cardiogolf is a great way to exercise and work on your golf game

Create Your Own Home Gym

So you have decided it is time to get into the best golf shape of your life.  But, finding time to make it to the gym may be difficult.   No more excuses! We now have a solution to your problem. To prevent weight gain during the next couple of months, consider creating your own golf specific gym in the comforts of your own home.

A balanced golf fitness program includes strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility exercises. But you do not need to buy expensive equipment or remodel a room to reach your fitness goals. In a space as small as 6 x 6 square feet, you can easily create a golf specific gym. Armed with a fitness plan and a few relatively inexpensive items, you can begin to transform your body and improve your game.

Claim Some Space

Determine an area in your home that has enough room for you to swing a golf club safely. Be realistic. Maybe it’s time to clear out the room you are using for storage. If you will be working out by yourself, a 6 x 6 square foot area will do, but if you will be working out with a partner consider a larger area. The ideal ceiling height is 9 feet high to swing a full length club, but even if you do not have high ceilings, you can use a short practice club.  My Cardiogolf program available on DVD is specifically for indoor use. For more information and to order Cardiogolf

Consider installing a floor length mirror so you can see yourself swing and keep an eye on your posture and technique during exercise.  Most importantly, make sure you are creating your gym in an area of the home where you want to spend time. A ceiling fan will keep you comfortable as you workout and help keep the room ventilated. Buy a small refrigerate to hold bottled water, fruit and protein drinks and add shelving to hold clean towels.
Be creative, decorate one side of the wall with your favorite family photos or better yet, cut out swing sequences of professional golfers from magazines and tape them to the wall.  Try to emulate their swing positions while you rest in between sets of your exercises.

Tone up your technology: install a small television and DVD player. This gives you the option to play golf instructional and exercise DVDs or watch your favorite TV program while you workout.  Adding speakers to your I-Pod or MP3 player allows you to listen to your favorite music. Having entertainment options will help to motivate you and keep you working out longer.

Outfitting Your Gym

You do not need to go out and buy large pieces of equipment or spend a lot of money to transform your area into a golf specific gym. With inexpensive fitness accessories available at your local sporting goods store you can create a gym that will rival that of the PGA Tour fitness van.

Set of Dumbbells
It is important to get a good range of dumbbells – 3 pounds, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, etc. As you begin to work out, you are going to get stronger and you will need to challenge your muscles by adding more resistance. There are several models that offer adjustable weights that help save space and eliminate clutter in your room.

For an overall golf specific workout, you will want to develop upper body strength.  With dumbbells, you can do a battery of exercises to develop your chest, back, biceps, triceps, shoulders, wrists and forearms. Weakness to these muscles may cause pain and instability in the golf swing; lifting weights will help ward off common golf injuries.

Regular Gym Bench or Step Bench

An adjustable bench lays flat, inclines, and can straighten upright to help you isolate specific muscles. A step bench is ideal for cardiovascular training and lower body exercises and can be used as a regular gym bench as well.

With a bench that inclines, you will be able to focus on developing certain muscles. For example in a good golf swing, muscles in the upper and lower arm provide the strength needed to swing the club to the top on the correct plane. Chest press exercises on an incline bench isolate pectoral and shoulder muscles more when done on an incline bench than on a flat bench, so you are able to adjust your workout to target specific muscles used in the golf swing.

Balance Ball
Also known as a Swiss ball, fit ball or stability ball. This training aid will be one of your most used fitness accessories. The balance ball will help you work on your core body muscles-the abdominals and back muscles.  A primary benefit of exercising with a balance ball as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles to do so. Balance balls can also double as a gym bench or a chair and is easy to move and store and can challenge your body’s balance in ways that a stable bench cannot.

Core stabilization is crucial to your overall golf performance. Your core or torso which encompasses your hips, abdominals, back and legs are the stabilizing muscles during a golf swing; these muscles hold a position while other parts of the body are at work.  A balance ball is effective in strengthening your core muscles, as well as increasing your flexibility, range of motion and improving balance.  In my opinion, it is the single most important golf specific accessory you will own. Balance balls can be used in conjunction with dumbbells, medicine balls and resistance bands.

Medicine Ball
One of the most effective ways to train your core for a powerful golf swing is with weighted medicine balls. You can do many rotary movements that mimic the golf swing, but with the added benefit of resistance from the weight of the medicine ball.  You can also perform many traditional gym exercises with a medicine ball as well. Medicine balls come in different weights and sizes.

Training your body with a medicine ball will not only develop dynamic power, but coordination, body awareness, and overall stability. Medicine balls provide functional, multi-dimensional training including the three planes of movement; forward to back, side to side, and rotational. You can do medicine ball chops over your head, diagonal chops across your body and rotational chops from side to side for a complete golf specific workout.

Resistance Bands
An alternative to cable pulley systems that are staples in most gyms are resistance bands. Made out of a variety of elastics and rubber, resistance bands provide both positive and negative force on the muscles, improving strength, range of motion and cooperation of muscles groups. Available in different resistance levels, these bands can increase the variety of your golf specific workout. They can be tied to a pillar or fixed in a closed door, are inexpensive and easy to store.  Not only do they help increase strength and speed for a more powerful golf swing but help increase flexibility at the same time.

Like the medicine ball, you can do many rotary movements that mimic the golf swing. Placing the resistance band under your left foot and holding the other end as if you were griping a club, you can pull the band back to work on your backswing. Change feet and you can now work on the downswing and follow through of your swing.  The resistance from the bands will help you increase strength, range of motion, and speed.

Exercise Mat

Exercise mats can be used for sit-ups, stretching, yoga and Pilates as well as simple calisthenics like jumping jacks and running in place. Exercise mats reduce aerobic impact, provide cushion and help prevent slipping while exercising. You will want to always use a mat while you stretch at the end of your workout. The importance of flexibility cannot be underestimated in the golf swing. Increasing flexibility may help reduce risk of injury while you play golf. Inflexibility inhibits your range of motion and renders your swing less efficient and creates compensations. Your neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, ankles, and all soft tissue in between are involved in the golf swing and need to move freely to reduce compensatory movements. Stretching regularly will help you increase your flexibility and reduce the chance of injury.

Optimal flexibility makes it easier to maintain your posture and hold the club in the correct positions. With an exercise mat you can perform a variety of golf specific stretches, Pilates and yoga routines to keep your swing fluid and loose.

Practice Clubs and Swing Trainers
You will want to keep a variety of golf clubs handy in your gym to practice your swing in between sets of exercise.  Swinging two clubs or a weighted club before you workout is a great way to warm up and keep your swing fluid.  There are numerous swing training aides designed to help you build strength and help get you into the correct swing positions that are ideal for home use. Some clubs are equipped with a training grip to help put your hands in the correct position.  Practicing daily with swing training aides can help you groove your swing and correct swing faults without having to go to the driving range.

Home gyms are convenient, always open, there is no waiting to use machines and you can watch the TV programs or listen to the music of your choice. If your goal is to get in the best golf shape of your life, you don’t have to spend a fortune. You can increase your power and flexibility by selecting the right fitness accessories and formulating a program of your own. Here are some guidelines for designing an effective workout:

Always warm up for five to ten minutes. It’s best to perform movements that
work the major muscle groups and are similar to those you’ll doing more
vigorously later on.

Perform at least twenty minutes of aerobic exercise. Jumping rope, riding a
stationary bike, or walking vigorously are examples of aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise uses the major muscles of the body continuously over an
extended period of time.

Do resistance training at least twice a week. This can be done in
combination with an aerobic workout or separately. Seek balance in your
program, working the various muscles of your upper and lower body equally.

Include flexibility exercises in your workouts. It is best to stretch near the
end of your workout when your muscles are warm and most receptive.

Finish with a five minute cool-down that allows your heart rate to ease
gently back to its resting pace.

Buyer’s Guide
-Dumbbells, exercise bands, gym benches, mats and medicine balls available
at your local sporting goods store.

-Cardiogolf available at

-Balance ball available at

Cardiogolf Holiday Game Improvement Program

With the Holiday Season approaching, your golf game may go by the wayside.  Don’t throw all the work you have done this summer down the drain by neglecting your body and game these next couple of months.  Don’t wait for the New Year to start to get in shape and improve your golf game. Start Cardiogolf today…

This FREE program is designed for anyone who wants to improve their golf game and kick-start their golf fitness. Simply sign up for my blog and receive weekly golf and fitness tips that will guide you through a 6-week game improvement program. You can subscribe to my blog on this page, simple type in your email address in the box in the right-hand column of this page.

For the complete program, you will want to order my Cardiogolf fitness program available at

The program officially begins on November 15, 2010.  Sign up for my blog to start improving your game.

The 6-Week Program

During the following 6-week plan you will work on and develop all the key aspects of your game. I will include exercises that can be done indoors as well as practice tips for the driving range. Starting with a full review of the basic fundamentals, you will progress to learning the basic swing motion and then target the areas of the game that will enable you to make the most immediate and noticeable improvement to your scoring. I will also include basic golf fitness exercises that will help accelerate your game improvement.

Each week of the program focuses on a different aspect of the game. I will give you an overview of the technique and then ask you to commit to practicing the exercises and drills during the week.

It is important that you try to perform the recommended exercises on a regular basis.  Consistency is the key to game improvement.

For the complete program, you will want to order my Cardiogolf fitness program available at

For specific question please email me at


Golf Fitness Tip of the Week


Free up Your Neck to Get Rid of a Reverse Pivot

The reverse pivot is one of the most common swing faults among the average golfers. Ideally, you want your weight to shift to your back leg, away from the target, on the backswing to create power. A reverse pivot happens when the weight goes towards the target on the backswing and the weight ends up on the forward leg at the top of the swing. The spine may also tilt towards the target on the backswing indicating a classic reverse pivot.  In a reverse pivot it is virtually impossible to create momentum on the downswing resulting in loss of power. For many, a reverse pivot comes from having a stiff neck.  If your neck is stiff or lacks flexibility then it is virtually impossible to rotate your body correctly.

Allowing your head to rotate slightly on the backswing encourages your spine to rotate in the correct fashion and your weight to shift into position. Increasing flexibility in your neck will not only help you fix the reverse pivot, but will help you create power in your golf swing. By freeing up your neck, you will be able to create the correct body motion in your swing.

Neck Rotation

Turn your head to one side, keeping your chin level and hold for 20 seconds.

You can add a little more stretch by pushing your chin with your fingertips.

Repeat exercise on the other side.

Neck Flexion

Flex your neck to bring your chin as close to your chest as you can go and hold position for 20 seconds.

Slowly raise your head back to look at the sky and hold position for 20 seconds.

Lateral Neck Stretch

Looking straight ahead cock your head to the side as if you were trying to bring your ear to your shoulder. Hold position for 20 seconds.

Keep your shoulders relaxed. Avoid lifting your shoulders.

Repeat excercise and opposite side.

Stay tuned for more golf fitness exercises…

Cardiogolf Classes in Charlotte


2008 LPGA Teacher of the Year

Karen Palacios-Jansen

At the Charlotte Athletic Club

  • Six-Week Cardiogolf Program (4 person minimum)
  • Starting November 2nd through December 7th, 2010
  • Tuesdays at 1:30 pm at CAC

What is Cardiogolf?

It is a program to help people develop strength and flexibility specific to golf.  The routine is a combination of swing drills and golf-specific exercises.  Using short practice clubs, regular clubs, weights and medicine balls Karen will take you through a battery of exercises and drills to help you improve your swing technique and body motion.  She will also help you work on your specific swing flaws (if you have any) and answer any questions you have about your game.

Karen will also be available for private lessons.

FOR MORE INFORMATION and to sign up EMAIL Karen Jansen at or Meghan Trainor at

KPJ’s Golf Fitness Tips

Dear Readers,

After a brief break this summer, I am back to help you improve your golf game.  Stay tuned for tips of how to improve strength, flexibility and endurance specific to golf.  I look forward to working with you.



Flexibility in golf must focus on developing and maintaining an optimal range of motion about the shoulder joint, the spine, the pelvis and hips, and all though the leg muscles and joints. Rotational flexibility is very important in many aspects of the golf swing.

Stretching for Golf is to increase the range of motion within muscle –tendon unit. The goal is to improve and maintain flexibility. Stretching is also an effective method of preventing injuries to muscles ligaments and tendons. Start by doing a general warm up for 5-10 minutes before stretching. We recommend that a) all stretches be held for at least 20 –30 seconds, b) breathe continuously and smoothly during all stretches, c) stretch to the point of tension, not of pain, and d) incorporate stretching into your daily routine. Here are a few exercises specific for golf to incorporate into your daily routine.  Remember that stretching a few moments every day is preferable to a marathon session once or twice a month.

The 10 Most Common Injuries in Golf

Preview Cardiogolf

Find out your golf personality

Send me your questions and comments –

I teach Golf and Pilates. I am a LPGA Master Professional and Certified Personal and Pilates Trainer