One thing we have learned from Tiger Woods is that physical conditioning is a key factor in a perfect golf game. Traditionally, golfers believed that the key components to address for making an ultimate golfer are instruction/shot making, mental preparation, equipment, and course management. But this is no longer the case since a golfer must be physically fit to perform well in the golf course. Been an athlete, a golfer should possess; Strength, flexibility, balance, power, core stability, body awareness and endurance.
Having established that exercise is a must to golfers we need to answer the following questions; how to do we work out and which part of the body should we emphasize on? What exercises help the golf swing? Which muscles groups and exercises hinder the golf swing? As a golfer, you can’t do any work out, you need to target the muscles you use on the golf course. Below are some of the exercises to help improve your golf swing;
1. Swiss ball Russian twists – Lie back on the Swiss ball then raise your hips until they are on the same level with the floor. Cup one hand over the other and extend your hands over your chest, then twist your torso to one side then to other while maintaining your balance. Repeat the exercise in 2-3 sets with reps of 12-15.
2. Lying Rotation – This exercise is done on a Swiss ball. You are supposed to lie on the floor with arms extended to the sides, rest your legs on the ball with hips and knees bent 90 degrees. With your shoulders on the floor rotate your hips and touch the floor with your knees. Repeat to the other side for 12-25 reps in 2-3 sets.
3. Push Ups– males should do at least ten while females do 5 Push Ups. Ensure that your elbow is at ninety degrees
4. Body weight squat– ensure that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Do a maximum of 25 squats with a two –second pause at the bottom position
5. Aerobic are also necessary, choose either a one-mile run, 1.5- mile cycling or 500m row. This applies to both male and female.
Exercises to Avoid
Avoid the following exercises if you want to improve on your golfing;
– Leg extensions– most golfers, have weak hamstrings compared to their quadriceps. These exercise focuses on the quadriceps making the hamstrings much weaker and thus difficult to maintain a good golf posture. You can opt to do split squats rather than leg extensions. Split squats work to improve the lower body muscles including the hamstrings
– Med-ball rotations- if done properly rotational core exercises are good for golfers. However, the weight of the medicine ball promotes bad form by putting the spine and flexion and making it hard to rotate the ball from mid-back. An alternate exercise for med-ball rotations is T-spine twists, these exercises improve your turn during a swing.
– Seated lats pull downs– this exercise leads to a steeper, arm swing because it makes the back muscles rotate your spine. Rather try the elbow-high row exercise, it helps several muscle groups in your back for better posture and golf control.
– Crunches- they increase the chances of back pain and golfers should protect their spines from unnecessary flexion. Push- back planks can be used as an alternative exercise, it improves the core muscles for increased power and stability
– Upright rows- this exercise causes dysfunctional swing due to the smashing of muscles and tendons into the top of your scapula. Bottom’s up press can be done to improve hand, forearm, and shoulder strength
Healthy diet for Golfers
Good nutrition is a supplement for good performance in golfing. Eat the following food types for healthy nutrition for golfing;
1. Maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar level by minimizing the amount of grains, bread, starches, and sugars. This reduces excess body fat, body fatigue and blood sugar imbalances
2. Eat high-antioxidant super foods and supplements- Antioxidants protect cells in our bodies and promote excellent health, recovery, vitality, and longevity.
3. Eat essential fats like omega-3. These fats are found in fatty fish, eggs, red beef, and some nuts. The fat is necessary for your brain function, immune system, the functioning of the heart, skin, endocrine glands and nervous system.
4. Drink a lot of water to keep your mind and body working properly. Water is very critical for optimal brain function and muscle performance. Drink water in between your rounds and 10 to 20 minutes before your rounds.