Tag Archives: Golf Fitness

Mid-Summer Shape Up

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.

Power Exercises

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.

  1. Skating Cross Backs
  2. Jump Squats
  3. Slide and Glide
  4. Modified Kettle Bell Swings
  5. Modified Dips
  6. Modified Push-Ups

To learn how to do these and other golf-specific exercises sign up for my Golf-Fitness Package-Click here for more information.

Cathy Slide and jump squats 

Double Click on Image for Larger View Cathy slide and kettle bell swing Double Click on Image for Larger View Cathy dips and pushups Double Click on Image for Larger View

Click here to see my favorite training aide. 

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End of Year Golf Shape Up

As the golf season winds down, many people will not be playing as much golf, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work on your golf game. Don’t waste the last few months of the year, get your body and golf swing into shape.

I will post exercises you can do at home to improve your fitness level and game. Stay tuned…

Step on an elevated surface to simulate an uphill lie

Is Golf Making You Fat?

Cardiogolflogo3KPJ’s Golf Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

For every additional 30 minutes you spend driving in your car, you increase your chances of becoming obese by three percent, studies say. Although that may not seem like much, but within a few years, it could mean an additional 10 to 30 pounds. Add this to the time you spend sitting in a golf cart while you play golf and you could argue that playing golf could be making you fat.

Hitting a ball every five minutes with bouts of rest in between sitting in a golf cart is not considered appropriate exercise to lose or even maintain weight. Unless you are running to your ball from your golf cart and taking five practice swings before each shot, you are not getting enough exercise.

Playing golf requires a great deal of concentration and may be mentally draining, but swinging a golf club does not require a large amount of energy output. In golf, the energy output is primarily anaerobic (without oxygen) as opposed to running or swimming that are primarily aerobic exercises. Golf is considered a short-term energy sport using energy from the body that does not require oxygen, so you are not burning a lot of calories while you play golf.

Eat a hot dog at the turn and have a couple of beers and nachos after your round and you may actually be in taking more calories than you are burning. To get the recommended amount of exercise you will have to supplement playing golf with real exercise. Consider starting a golf-specific workout to kill two birds with one stone: work on your golf game and get some well needed exercise.

A well-rounded golf specific workout combines three components:

1. Cardiovascular Training

Walking is one of the best activities people of all ages can do to improve cardiovascular conditioning. Begin your program by walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes gradually increasing your time to 60 minutes. Walk at the fastest pace you can comfortably to carry a conversation, or try to walk fast enough to reach your target heart rate (55 percent to 90 percent of maximum heart rate). You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 then multiplying that number by 80 percent. The ACSM recommends that adults do minimum 20-60 minutes of aerobic activity 3-5 times a week.

Incorporating interval training into your program will help you increase your aerobic capacity. Walk as fast as you can for two minutes, followed by one minute of slower walking. Repeat this sequence 10 times for a total of 30 minutes of interval walking. Also try lifting your arms over above your head for two paces and then back down for two more while you walk to increase your heart and increase aerobic capacity.

2. Strength Training

Strength training or resistance training as it is sometimes called makes you stronger, to hit the ball longer and more consistently. Whenever one of my female students asks me how to get more power in their swing, I take them to the gym to show them exercises to increase their strength especially in their arms and hands, shoulders and torsos. The stronger you are, the faster you can swing the club, which in turn will give you more clubhead speed for more distance.

Essential muscles to develop for the golf swing:

* Abdominal muscles, external oblique muscles and legs: Strengthening these areas provide support for good posture at address and balance throughout the swing.

* Forearms and wrists: Strong hands and arms are important to be able to hinge the club properly on the backswing and hold the angle on the downswing for solid contact at impact and increased clubhead speed.

* Strong upper backs and shoulders: Developing the rhomboid, trapezoid and deltoid muscles allow maximum torso turn to get into the correct position at the top of the swing. Ideally, there should greater upper body turn then lower body turn at the top of the swing.

Strength training can help increase clubhead speed, but added strength will also benefit your short game as well. When your hands and wrists are strong, you will have greater motor control to help you with your touch around the greens.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility is the third key to a golf specific workout that will help you shave shots off your score. To swing a golf club effectively and consistently you need flexibility in all parts of the body. If your muscles are tight, you will be restricted how far you can turn back away from the ball and compromise your technique to get power. Tight muscles also slow motion needed to generate clubhead to get the ball airborne.

Adding golf-specific stretches can help in the following areas:

* Improve posture

* Prevent muscle soreness

* Increase range of motion to achieve a complete shoulder turn and more clubhead speed* Reduce risk of injury

Spending time in the gym will not only shape up your body, but will help trim your score and could keep off those unwanted pounds.

Visit www.cardiogolf.com for more golf-specific exercises.

Send your questions and comments to Karen at KPJ@swingbladegolf.com

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Boston Golf Expo Special-Week 10/Day 2 Cardiogolf Game Improvement Program

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KPJ’s Game Improvement Program

I was in Boston all weekend, dishing out tips and advice at the annual Boston Golf Expo. I would like to  thank all the participants by providing them with a recap of my presentations.  All the week, I will post tips and drills that I demonstrated at Golf Expo.

Monday-Shape Your Body Trim Your Score

Today-Tuesday-How to Cure Your Slice

Wednesday-Golf-Specific Exercises

Thursday-How to Groove a Consistent Golf Swing

Friday-The New Golf Swing

How to Cure Your Slice

The Slice is about as frurstrating as the common cold.  There are so many different strands of the slice virus, that you may have to try a lot of things before you find something that works for you.  Today I want to give you a few fixes for you to try to get your swing technique back on track and fix your slice.  Even if you don’t slice, these are good drills and tips for you to practice to perfect your technique.

Drills are a good way to practice because they help you get some feel without a lot of thought.  Simply repeating a drill a few times can help you groove a new move or feel.  I will even do an entire practice session just doing drills to get my swing back on track or when I have played or practiced in a while.  The drills that I am going to show you today are specifically for a slice, but also they are to help you improve your swing technique.  When your swing technique improves your bad shots actually get better and you start to minimize your mistakes. Here are a couple drills specifically for slicing.

The Slot Drill-

There are a lot of ways you can cure your slice, but one of my favorites is to focus on the right elbow—moving it into the “slot” on the downswing. The slot is a position just in front of the right hip, where the right elbow sits under the left, the club swinging on a shallow inside-out arc.

Think of how you would swing a baseball bat at a pitch that comes in chest high. You instinctively know to drop the right elbow under the left. The same holds true for hitting a golf ball. What makes it more difficult is that in baseball your body and the bat swing on the same horizontal plane, but when you bend at the hips to hit a golf shot, the shoulders, arms, hips and club all must move on different planes.

That’s why focusing on your right elbow position is a great thought for slotting the club on the correct plane. This position will soon turn your slice into a draw.

The right elbow drops into the slot
The right elbow drops into the slot

Right Palm Drill-

The goal of any good golf swing is to deliver the clubface square at impact. But few amateurs know how to do that consistently. Learn to do it, and you control the ball.

Here’s a visual concept that will help you: Take your normal grip with your driver and address a ball on a tee. Now open your right hand and rest it along the shaft so the palm is facing the target and your fingers are pointed down. Notice how the palm mirrors the angle of the clubface.

When you take the club back, let the palm go for a ride in that position, resting against the shaft. If you let the clubface rotate naturally, the palm moves underneath the shaft as you swing the club to the top. On the way down, the palm gradually rotates back to impact, occupying the same position it held at address. Keep in mind, the right palm mirrors the clubface: Square up the hand, and you’ll square up the face. Rehearse this a few times, keeping an eye on the palm.

Understanding the relationship between the right palm and the clubface is a great way to fix a slice—it encourages the club to come down inside on a shallower plane, helping to produce a draw.

Think of your right palm as controlling the clubface
Think of your right palm as controlling the clubface

Stop Hanging Back Drill-

If you have too much weight on your back foot at impact — two signs that you do are slicing and hitting behind the ball — practice swinging on a downslope.

Gravity will pull you down the hill as you swing through, so you’ll naturally shift to your front foot.

Swinging downhill should also improve your swing path. Players who hang back tend to cut across the ball because their arms pull inward or flip the club to the left. With your weight moving toward the target, your arms are free to extend down the line (right).

So find a downslope — the front of the practice tee or when you walk off a tee box — and groove that forward shift. You’ll start hitting all your shots more solidly.

Hitting shots on a downhill slope will help you shift your weight
Hitting shots on a downhill slope will help you shift your weight

On-Course Exercise

Commit to warming up before play or practice. Throughout this program, I will give you several warm up routines to help you prepare for your round and help you prevent injury. Watch this short video to see how you can incorporate Pilates into your game. Click here to watch a short video

Off-Course Exercise

Complete the Pre-Swing Muscle and Joint Warm Up chapter from the Cardiogolf DVD.  To order your own copy of Cardiogolf visit cardiogolf

Email me your questions and comments to kpj@swingbladegolf.com