Six exercise essentials to improve your game
Nicole Palacios, BSc
What do you think of when preparing for your golf game? You might think of the course youll be playing on, the partner youre going with, or the clubs youll be using, but what about the unconditioned muscles youll be using?
What do you think of when preparing for your golf game? You might think of the course you’ll be playing on, the partner you’re going with, or the clubs you’ll be using, but what about the unconditioned muscles you’ll be using?
Like any sport, golf requires certain muscles to work more than others, and if these muscles are not prepared, your game can suffer. According to golf pro Sean Richardson, British Columbia regional coach for the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s elite junior program and assistant coach for the University of British Columbia’s golf team, golfers should train as any athlete does, and that training includes regular exercise. Richardson says that a golfer needs to think like an athlete in order to make good decisions and be more prepared on the golf course.
If you’re currently in the gym hitting the weights, that’s terrific! You may already be improving your game. Regular training for strength and posture is integral to any golfer’s workout. With the proper conditioning, your muscles will be ready to offer you the game you’ve been looking for.
Richardson reminds golfers that good posture allows a player to maintain better dynamic positioning through the swing: “With better posture, you achieve better rotation in the swing and therefore more consistency.”
If you’re looking for more consistency in your golf game and would like to condition your golfing muscles, do these exercises several times a week. Each time do two sets of each exercise except the Ball Half Pikes.
Professional golfers like Tiger Woods and Mike Weir understand that exercise helps them improve their swing, drive, and balance, and now it’s your turn! Next time you’re in the gym, try these six key exercises to bring your golf game up to par.
Muscles targeted: Upper back (trapezius and rhomboids)
How to do it: Seated at a rowing machine, select a weight that you can pull for 12 repetitions. Grasp the rowing handles, straighten your arms, and lean back about 25 degrees. Tighten your abdominals and slowly pull your elbows back, keeping them close to your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat 12 times.
Muscles targeted: Shoulder (rotator cuff)
How to do it: In a standing position, grasp tubing or a weighted cable and pull your elbows into your waist. Stand tall and keep abdominals tight. With one hand, pull tubing across centre of body until it feels tight, and then release. Repeat 12 times. Change arms and repeat another 12 times.
Muscles targeted: Forearm flexors and extensors
How to do it: Sitting at the end of a bench, grasp a light weight in your hand and lean forward over your legs. Rest your working arm on one leg and slowly curl your wrist toward you, palm up. Lower wrist and repeat 12 times. Rotate arm so palm faces down, curl wrist up, and lower. Repeat 12 times.
Muscles targeted: Buttocks, hamstrings, and quadriceps
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Turn feet out about 20 degrees. Tighten abdominals to support lower back and allow arms to hang loosely at sides. Slowly drop buttocks back as if you are about to sit in a chair. Watch that knees stay behind toes as you lower your weight back into your heels. Tighten buttocks and exhale as you rise from this position. Repeat 12 times.
Ball Half Pikes
Muscles targeted: Transverse abdominus
How to do it: Lie face down on an exercise ball and slowly roll forward. Keep legs on ball and walk hands out in front into push-up position. The farther out you are from the ball, the more difficult this exercise is. Tighten abdominals and straighten back and legs. Slowly pull hips up toward ceiling and pull belly button toward spine. Your body should form a triangle with your hips at the top. Lower and repeat 20 times.
Muscles targeted: Arm pronators and supinators
How to do it: Sitting at the end of a bench, place one end of rubber tubing under one foot and run it up the inside of your leg. Hold other end of tubing in fist with thumb pointing up. Pull tubing as you slowly turn palm upward and then back to the starting position. Repeat 12 times. Now reposition tubing on outside of leg and turn palm downward. Repeat 12 times. Repeat exercise with other arm.