For those who love to play golf, you might spend the winter months just waiting for the snow to melt. However, even when you can’t be out on the course, you can be preparing your body for a successful season. Improving your game doesn’t always mean practicing your swing. Golf requires muscle power, endurance, and flexibility. You can improve your physical abilities to help avoid injuries and ensure that you perform your best throughout the game. With advice from NEBH athletic trainer and Level 2 Fitness Certified Titleist Performance Institute golf expert Bryan Truscott, LATC, CSCS, you can start the season off strong even before the grass reappears.
Warm Up: Stretches to do in the gym and before you play
A good warm up is important for all athletes. A warm-up will increase your flexibility and range of motion, both of which are important to your swing. It can also help you avoid overuse injuries, like rotator cuff tendinitis or lower back pain. These dynamic stretches are great to do before you work out and before you step on the course.
Strengthening your muscles, particularly your core, will help you add power and distance to your swing. A strong core will also help protect your lower back from injury, and allow you to work on building strength and power in your legs and shoulders. In the months leading up to your golf season, work on these exercises. You’ll be able to focus on your technique once the golf season starts if you feel confident in your core strength.
Golf is a long game, and it requires stamina to maintain the same power and form at the end of a game that you started with at the beginning. Working on aerobic exercises as part of your pre-season training will strengthen your muscles and create the stamina you need to succeed. Perform a cardio activity for 20-45 minutes at least 3 times per week to see results in your game. Walking, running, and biking are all great aerobic exercises to build endurance. To boost your training, try interval training. This type of conditioning involves alternating bouts of higher intensity work (10-60 sec) followed by easier submaximal recovery work (15-90 sec). You can start with 1 minute total time of high intensity activity (1-6 rounds). Then 5 minutes of slow recovery work. Studies have shown that interval training is not only safe for people, but you may get equal or better results while spending less time on your workouts!
Acquiring the newest equipment and practicing your technique will only help your game if your muscles are strong enough so that you can maintain proper form for every shot. Start working on these exercises over the winter and you’ll be ready to play your best game of golf in the spring!