It’s now April, bring on April showers and golf season!! Strength training is a very important factor when it comes to improving your golf game and decreasing the risk of injury during the season. This article will provide you with some strength training tips to decrease your handicap as well as injury potential this year. There are many areas that are important to a successful golf swing, drive distance, or putting precision such as balance, flexibility, posture, core stability, strength and power, and cardiovascular fitness. Today we are going to look at strength and balance exercises more specifically.
Golf is a game as much about precision and accuracy as it is about strength and balance. Correct form offers a high percentage of shot accuracy, but muscular strength and balance also play a large part in the body’s ability to propel the golf ball forward, more importantly, propel it forward to where you want it to go! The primary muscle groups used during a game of golf are legs, chest, hip flexors, back, shoulders, rotator cuff, and abdominals. Performing exercises goaled towards improving strength and stability in these muscles in the pre-season as well as during season will significantly improve your golf game as well as reduce the risk of suffering from common overuse injuries associated with avid golfers.
Here are 4 examples of strength exercises to give a try:
Purpose: strengthen legs and improve balance
-stand with 1 foot in front of you and 1 foot out behind you
-keeping your torso straight, lower your body down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and you have 90 degree angles in both knees. Then return to starting position and repeat 11 times.
2.) Dumbbell Chest Press
Purpose: strengthen chest and improve shoulder stability
-Lying with your back on a bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand over your chest with wrists facing away from your face.
-lower the dumbbells down and out to sides until your biceps are parallel with the floor and your elbows are at 90 degrees. Return to starting position and repeat 11 times.
3.) Side Lying Dumbbell External Rotation
Purpose: strengthen the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff
-Lying on your side, hold a dumbbell (3-5lbs) in your hand with your wrist facing the same direction you are looking. Rest your elbow on your hip bone and maintain a 90 degree angle at your elbow.
-Lower your locked wrist towards the floor until your forearm is parallel to the ground and return to starting position keeping a 90 degree angle at your elbow. Repeat for 15 reps on each side.
Purpose: strengthen core and shoulder stability and mimic the action of a golf swing.
-sitting on a stability ball or bench, hold a dumbbell or medicine ball in your hands and keep your arms straight throughout the movement.
-“chop” the weight across your body, from your hip to over the opposing shoulder and back. Keep your core tight and body stable during the chopping motion for the most benefit. Perform 12 reps per side.
Balance is also an important part of golf exercise training as this is the main component involved in hitting the ball properly on the way down. A simple exercise to improve your balance is to stand on 1 leg for approximately 45 sec to 1 minute per leg 3 times each. As this becomes easy challenge yourself by closing your eyes or standing on an unstable surface such as a BOSU ball, pillow, or even couch cushion if performing this exercise at home.
If you have never taken part in a strength training routine, be sure to see your doctor for approval before performing any of the exercises pointed out in this article.
Email Michelle@CORE-Condition.com for more strength exercises to help your golf game and reduce injury this season.
Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES