As a golfer, you know that it takes much more than a good drive and a perfect swing to come in under par on the green. Although it may not appear like it to an outsider, the game of golf is very physically demanding. Strengthening your physical abilities is just as important to the game as taking lessons or buying new equipment.
If you’ve had a streak of bad games or have experienced pain, don’t just assume there’s something wrong with your swing. Instead, look closely at another potential cause: weakness and inflexibility.
Golf involves many sudden moments of exertion. It’s also one-sided: most players swing from one side of the body, which can often create muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. As a golf instructor, I always suggest to do a 30 minute warm-up before hitting the course. Doing some simple stretches, toe touches, jumping jacks and rotating your hips will loosen your muscles as well as your lower back. Simply warming up can reduce the risk of injury by 50 percent.
If you are committed to staying in good physical shape, an optimal golf workout should focus on your arms, back, legs, thighs and core muscles. You can start with any of these areas and adjust your regime according to your current strength level.
After you have found a workout that fits your style, do the same regime for at least one month, and then evaluate whether your body has improved, and adjust your workout accordingly.
Although a gym membership would be beneficial, you don’t necessarily need more than a dumbbell, medicine ball or kettlebell to get started, all which are relatively affordable and can be used at home.
I recommend combining cardio and weight lifting; begin by training one muscle group per day and do cardio exercises before and after each workout. This approach will help you build strength and endurance and can also help you lose weight in the process. Use weights comfortable enough so you can do 10 reps per set, 3 sets per exercise. Make sure to rest in-between each set.
It is also important to note that you should aim to do a proper cool down session after playing a round of golf. Doing a few gentle cardio exercises and stretches will help to prevent injuries and will relax your strained muscles. While it is correct that accuracy is a big factor in determining distance, the difference will present itself when you are facing a player with a similar accuracy, but better strength. When it comes down to it, maintaining your physical health will keep you in the game for the long-haul.