Even the most fervent golfers can’t find the time to play every day (although it’s much easier to when you live in a 55+ community with a golf course). Just like any game, long absences from playing mean that you’ll get rusty and simple swings suddenly feel Herculean in effort. Luckily there are easy exercises golfers can do every day to keep their game fresh and their swing true.
Think your high-priced golf clubs will lower your handicap? Try these exercises to see which matters more: your 9-iron or your core strength.
The core might be the most integral region of the body for perfecting that swing and this exercise is intended to shore up the strength of this important region. By rotating this area, you work the four abdominals, vital in your core’s health.
Although there are several variations on this theme, golf experts recommend sitting on the ground, heels on the floor, with your chest 45 degrees from the floor. Grip a medicine ball (or dumbbell), rotate to one side, touch the weight to the ground, then rotate to the other side, repeating for as many reps as are comfortable. Don’t forget that your head should be following your movements and exhale with each touch.
Still confused? This video is a great demonstration of how the exercise looks when properly executed.
Lunges with Rotation
This exercise is intended to strengthen the lower body while creating a more distinct separation with the upper body, critical when it comes to creating distance. This also does not require any additional equipment so it can be done anywhere (but best to avoid doing in public).
Place your right knee on the ground, with the left foot firmly on the ground, making sure the knee does not extend beyond the toes. Now comes the rotation, which is what makes this exercise so effective. Take your right elbow and place it over the left knee and stretch your left arm towards the ceiling as much as possible. It is recommended that you do two to three sets of fifteen on each side.
This fitness expert has images of himself performing the exercise for better clarity. Just like core rotations, there are many varieties of this exercise.
Another lower body exercise, hip crossovers, stretches the lower back muscles and tendons. These muscles are used primarily at the top of the backswing and the follow through.
Lie down on your back with your arms making a T-shape with your body. Bend the knees with your feet farther apart than your shoulders. Then simply twist your knees to one side, touch the ground with that knee, then move to the other side. Touching your knee to the ground might prove impossible for some, but it’s important to get it as close to the ground as possible. For a demonstration of the proper routine, Golf Influence has a great video and explanation for perfecting your technique.
This exercise extends the hamstrings and lower back, integral not only for a powerful swing but also helps with maintaining general fitness in any sport or activity.
Much like hip crossovers, start with your back on the ground, legs bent with your heels as close to your body as possible, toes up. Then, tighten your glutes and move your hips toward the ceiling. You’ll know you’re doing it properly if your body is forming a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. It really is as simple as it sounds.
Another exercise that only requires a willing mind, the lateral squat, stretches out your hip abductors, glutes, hamstrings, and quads, making it the perfect exercise to remedy a lacking swing.
Stand with your feet slightly apart and wider than your shoulders. Then shift your hips to the right side and down, bending the right knee but keeping the left knee straight, then switch to the other side. Some clasp their hands together in front of them, while others have their hands behind their heads – so do whatever is most comfortable for you. It’s also important to keep your feet flat on the ground with your toes pointing directly in front of you. Here is one example of how this exercise looks.
Want more ideas on how to improve your golf game while at the gym? Check out Golf Influence's comprehensive guide to workouts that will help your game. As always, consult your doctor before starting any exercise program and plan a fitness regimen with their advice. Then hit the course like you never missed a day.