What the Heck Is Golf Workout Routine?
Golf is a largely misunderstood sport. You will be forgiven for thinking that all you need to do at the green is take a swing at the ball and walk some distance and repeat the same action. Golf is more than just hitting a ball and walking. What you may have no idea of is golf works out your whole body as you carry around your golfing gear, take swings and walk around the green.
This is why you need a golf workout routine to ensure your muscles do not get sore after a round of golf regardless of your handicap. The golf workout routine may not replace the exercises you undertake to improve your swing, but it may become one of the best golfer workout programs to enhance your game. You may then incorporate them into your exercise routine.
Why Start a Golf Workout Regimen
In recent times, golf players have killer physiques that are as outstanding as their game on the green. Exercise is not just for the physical look but clearly vital to the game. To achieve that coveted handicap, you have no choice but to get into shape. A golf workout routine need not be a strength training contest; rather it should point towards improving your game and reducing chances of injuries.
A lot of skill goes into that one swing and perfect coordination of movement determines the shot. The twisting and turning of your spine can lead to serious injury if your body is not ready for the movements. Strength training programs including those that reinforce your core take care of your body and minimize the risk of injuries. You may be required to walk for 4 to 5 hours lugging a 30-pound bag containing your golf gear at the green.
Your body needs to be prepared for such intense activity. Weight training will ensure your fitness levels are good enough for the course. Unlike other sports that you can simply pick up and be good at, golf requires some level of commitment to develop your flexibility. Watching specific videos on golfing can additionally help you improve your skill and dexterity on the green.
The repetitive nature of golf movements may lead to a series of injuries. The TPI certification contributes a lot in understanding the bodily functions during a golf swing. When you undergo these tests, whether you are an amateur or pro, your fitness level is ascertained and you become aware of your strengths and limitation as a golfer.
The golf swing, particularly a hunched back during putting, places a lot of stress on a golfer’s back. Back pain is one of the commonest problems for golfers but the pain is not limited to the back only. Surprisingly, golfers suffer more from tennis elbow than from golfer’s elbow. Tennis elbow is an inflammation or soreness on the outer part of the upper arm near the elbow. Golfer’s elbow is tenderness at the inner side of the right elbow.
Shoulder pain occurs at various points of the golf swing especially when raising the hand for a swing. For the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome affects the nerves of the hands, making them painful. Pain in the wrist at the base of the thumb is as a result of tendon inflammation. During the back swing, the pain is typically at the bottom of the thumb.
A driver or long irons can sometimes place stress on the knee and may cause re-injury to an already injured joint. Your fingers may lock up in the case of a trigger finger. This happens when the flexor sheath is restrained. When you make repetitive movements like swinging and hitting during a game of golf, the bones of the wrists bang together. From this repeated impact, you may experience some pain popularly referred to as impaction syndrome. You will experience the extensor carpi ul naris (ECU) tendon subluxation when the wrist tendon slides in and out of its groove. You may experience pain or numbness in your pinky finger from the way you handle the club.
From the injuries stated, it is clear that golfing utilizes the whole body and each part is prone to injuries. Exercises tailored for the golfer can minimize and even eliminate the risk of these injuries. The best golfers work out plan not only focuses on the core, resistance training or weights but also on the skill. You also learn how to improve your game by gaining familiarity with the golfing gear.
Commence Golf Workout Routine!
Like any other exercise regime, you need to be assessed and considered fit enough to undertake exercises. The assessment also points towards the difficulty level you can handle during the exercises.
The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) is a useful resource for assessments. You will get certified professionals who assess and understand your bodily functions. The assessment also lays the ground for improving your game. If you are up for it, you can do a self-assessment using videos courtesy of TPI. The tests check your movement, flexibility, stability and mobility since your golf swing and body depend on them.
It goes without saying that warming up is good for the body as it minimizes the risk of injuries and soreness. Take 5 to 10 minutes of easy exercise like walking. You can park your car some distance from the golf club to enable you to get in some walking time into your warm up routine. Stretching comes highly recommended to warm up muscles and joints. Strive to stretch your whole body.
Stretching prepares the muscles for activity. You want to stretch to the point that you feel comfortable and good in the targeted muscles. In case there is a pain, you may be doing the stretch in the wrong manner or there may be a problem in your body. While stretching, you must continue breathing while holding the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Inhale deeply and exhale while folding forward or backward for the stretch. Continue breathing and stretch every time you exhale.
Which Muscles Matter?
In golf, the backswing, downswing, ball strike and follow-through all utilize a myriad of muscles. Core muscles are significant in generating torque and enhancing the club head speed. For your posture, the hamstring muscles play a vital role. Using your quadriceps, flex your knees.
The upper back muscles are useful during the back swing muscles and can have an impact on your spine. The shoulder muscles play a great role in gathering speed for a powerful swing during golfing. Your wrists are supported by the forearm muscles which also manipulate the golf club. The fingers and wrists are significant in a round of golf so the focus needs to be on these body parts during stretching.
Advantages of Stretching
When a golfer, whether amateur or professional stretches, the muscles loosen up and relax. This enhances accuracy during golfing and you can improve your game by swinging harder and faster. Your body becomes flexible while also easing your movement during swings. Once you stretch, you shield yourself from getting conditions that cause irritation in the knees, shoulder and elbow joints and muscles.
Bear in mind that when the stretches are done incorrectly, you can damage your ligaments and joints. Before stretching, however, warm up first and if at any point of the stretching you feel pain or severe discomfort, stop immediately. This would be because you may have stretched too far.
Quadriceps Golf Stretches
Quadriceps is the muscles in the front of the thighs. You can stretch your quadriceps by standing with your back to a bench. Cross your arms over your chest. Put your left foot on the bench. Place your left knee behind your right knee and tighten your buttock muscles. The result is a stretch in front of your left thigh.
For your backswing, turn your shoulders and torso to the right. Twist your left shoulder and trunk towards the ground. Repeat this stretch for the opposite side of your body.
Back Muscle Golf Stretches
Place your feet apart and stand with the back of a chair facing you. Hold the back of this chair with both hands. Keep your spine straight and move your body down and away from your hands to your armpits until you get the sensation of a stretch.
Hamstring Golf Stretches
These muscles at the back of your thighs are the hamstrings. To stretch them, hold your club behind your shoulders while standing next to a step. Place your right foot on the step and bend your upper body forward, with a straight spine, leading to a good stretch at the back of your right thigh. Stay in this position for 5 seconds and turn your back and shoulders to the left and right. Do the same for the opposite side.
Hip Golf Stretches while Seated
While seated on a chair, put your right ankle on your left thigh. Using your right forearm push on the right knee; lean forward at the waist and you will feel a stretch in your right hip. The stretch should not be uncomfortable or painful. Repeat on the opposite side.
Hips and Back Muscle Golf Stretches
While sitting on a chair, put your right ankle on your left thigh. Use your left hand to hold your raised right knee and feel that stretch in your right buttocks. When at the top of your backswing, copy the position of your right hip and turn your shoulders to the right. Repeat this stretch on the left side.
Front Hip Muscles Golf Stretches
Hold your golf club using your right hand while kneeling on your right knee. Put your left foot forward and bend your knee. Stabilize yourself by putting your left hand on the left leg. Have your back straight and tighten your abdominal muscles. Place your weight on your left leg and lean forward. You will feel a stretching sensation at the front of your right hip and thigh. Repeat this for the left side.
Wrist Golf Stretches
You can stretch your wrist forwards and hold your hand palm down in front of you. Grab the top of your fingers and pull up your wrist while having a straight elbow. Repeat for the opposite side.
While stretching your wrist downwards, begin by holding the arm forward with the palms facing down. Pull the wrist down and stretch the right forearm and wrist. Replicate for the opposite side.
Shoulder Golf Stretches
Stand with your feet at a width similar to the width of your shoulders and hold your left elbow with the right hand. Have your left thumb point up and bend your left wrist towards this thumb while rotating your trunk to the right. Pull your left elbow until you feel a stretching sensation on your back. Repeat the same for the right shoulder.
Here's a cool video showing both neck and shoulder stretch:
Core Muscles Golf Stretches
To stretch your core muscles, fold your arms over your chest while standing with your feet at shoulder width. Twist your trunk in a backswing movement while bending your knees and leaning forward. Move from your backswing to the follow-through. It is advisable to do this stretch in front of a mirror to scrutinize the various swing positions you get.
Would you like to prevent golfer’s elbow and minimize the possibility of a shoulder injury?
The hand walk may just be the answer. Stand and bend forwards at the waist while placing your hands on the ground for you to be on all fours. Walk your hands until that point when your hands are in a pushup position. With straight knees, your toes need to move towards your hands. When you feel a comfortable stretch, move your hands back out and repeat 10 times.
The Doorway Stretch
Have your hands at eye level on each side of the frame of an open doorway. Stand still and lean forward as you get a gentle stretch on your chest. Hold this position for 20 seconds and repeat thrice.
Hold each end of a resistant band and wrap it around a solid surface. Pull your arms back and keep them straight while bending your elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades and repeat two sets of 20 reps.
With straight elbows, directly in front of your arms at shoulder level, hold a band at both ends, forming the letter T with your body and arms. Pinch your shoulder blades together as your arms move out widely.
Posture exercises are not complex. The secret is ensuring that your spine is in tandem with your golf stance for an efficient golf swing.
With your hands on each end of a resistant band, stand on this band and stretch it with your hands until the band is taut. Move your weight to the right and raise your left leg as high as you can go. Put your leg down and do the same for the right leg. You can do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
Hang the resistance band on a door frame. Pull this band to your right as you sit on a chair that is corresponding to the door. Ensure you are holding the resistance band loosely to your right. With your elbows bent, sit up straight and turn your arms and torso towards your left, from the door. Concentrate on the turning sensation and perform 15 repetitions of 3 sets.
Unlike the name above that sounds combative, this exercise is actually gentle on the body. Stand with weights shoulder-width apart while on the other end of your leg that lunges. Hold it for 5 seconds and push up to your original position. Do this 8 times at 2 repetitions.
Single Leg Squat with Arm Reach
This exercise strengthens your hip. You want to do a leg squat while reaching down with the dumbbell. Stand on your right leg and hold the dumbbell with your left hand. Dip it downwards and across your body as you squat. Bend at the waist while you squat and balance yourself. To enhance your balance, grasp a sturdy surface as you squat. You can perform two repetitions of 8 sets. Do this for both sides of the body.
To enhance the power of your swing and body rotation, these exercises performed on a regular basis will yield results.
The 90/90 Stretch
For flexibility, mobility and opening up of your shoulders, the 90/90 stretch is the move to make. To achieve the 90/90 stretch, lie with the bottom leg straight and the one on top folded with the inside of the knee facing the ground. Twist your trunk as if wanting to make the top of your shoulder to touch the ground. Hold the position for two seconds and go back to original position. Repeat 10 times while changing sides.
Lateral Pillar Bridge
This move opens up your hips and diminishes the likelihood of getting back pain. You perform it by placing your elbow under your shoulder while lying on your side and feet together. Create a smooth alignment from your shoulder to ankle by pushing your hips up from the ground. Pause for three seconds and keep your spine straight. Repeat this move ten times on either side.
Tennis Ball Spine Mobility Drill
Take two tennis balls, combine them using tape and place them at the lower end of your ribcage, beneath your T-spine. These balls need to touch the muscles of your back and not the vertebrae. With your hands at the sides of your head, perform crunches at least five times. Reach out into the air above you and with your elbows straight, drop your arms onto the ground and focus on getting the thumb on the ground. Hold the position briefly and change the ball positions higher up and replicate the move. Change the positions, 4 to 5 times.
Place your head on a pillow and lie on your back. Take the upper leg to the side and hold down the knee. Place your top arm to the opposite side of the body and twist your torso while keeping your pelvis stable. You will feel a stretch at the upper back of your body. Pause for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat the exercise again on both sides.
Anti-Rotation - Plank Rows
Place your feet wide as you take the plank stance. This is to ensure you remain stable as you raise one hand off the floor. To challenge yourself, put your feet together. Tighten your core as you slowly raise your hand on your side in a row-like gesture. Repeat for each side. To increase the difficulty, use dumbbells and shift how you lift your foot off the floor one at a time.
No part of the body should move, save for the limbs that are being raised. This gives the exercise its name anti-rotation-plank rows. Despite its name, it actually enhances the strength of muscles involved in rotation during the swing. Repeat this exercise 3 times of 6 rows for either side.
You can choose to perform this exercise by either sitting on your heels or while on all fours. With one hand on your head, let your elbow cut through the air from the floor and twist it through the T-spine. Let there be no other undue movement especially from the pelvis. Do 5 repetitions on each side.
Enhance your mobility from your hips to the T-spine using the Spiderman stretch. Put your hands on the front foot and reach into the air, rotating from the torso while swapping your hands. Pause for 5 seconds in this position and repeat the same for the opposite side. For a more challenging pose, keep the back knee off the floor and do a hamstring challenge immediately after lunging.
For an improved rotational mobility that is vital for your golf swing, seated rotations work. You achieve the seated rotation by straddling a bench and holding a golf club behind your back. Allow the golf club to rest in the crook of your elbows. Let your palms lie flat palm down on your stomach. Twist your torso to the right and pause for two seconds. Go back to your original position and repeat the same for the other side. Do a repetition of 10 for each side without moving your hips.
Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throw
The medicine ball perpendicular throw enhances your core power which in turn influences your swing speed and muscle stability. Achieve this move by having your hips at right angles to the wall. Twist your torso 90 degrees from the wall and turn 180 degrees and hurl the ball to the wall. Catch the ball as it bounces back. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Physioball Push ups
Your shoulder and back movement depend on the scapular stabilizers that can be challenged by the physio ball push up exercise. For the physioball pushup, be in a pushup position while placing your hands on the ball. With your feet on the floor, go down to your chest just barely touches the ball. Manipulate the ball as you push your chest up, as far away from the ball as you can and bring your chest down. Repeat this move 10 times.
Dumbbell Bench Press - One Arm
At the green, you require a lot of stability. The dumbbell bench press can enhance this stability. Give your body a dose of this exercise when you lie on a bench with half your body on it and the other half of your body off of the bench. Hold the dumbbell with one hand and above your head with the other hand. Take the dumbbell low until it is at the same level as your shoulder. Complete 10 repetitions on either side.
Your glutes do not get much action especially if you spend most of your time seated. Experience the Glute Bridge with your knees at 90 degrees and feet flatly placed on the floor. Lie facing the ceiling with your knees at 90 degrees; have a rolled towel in between your knees and pull yourself up towards the ceiling with only your shoulders and heels on the ground. Bring back your hips to the floor and repeat 10 times.
Cooling down after any workout regime is beneficial to your muscles and frame of mind. Stretching after a game of golf is beneficial to your posture and will prevent back pains and other injuries later. After a golf game, you require to cool down for 10 minutes after that. The buildup of lactic acid and bunched up muscles as a result of the exercise may lead to injuries if not handled carefully.
Include a myriad of stretches in your cool down to diminish potential injuries resulting from movement and stressed from the game. Make a choice to walk for 100 meters. You can benefit from a walk especially if you parked farther away from the clubhouse. The warm up exercises you began with can also be utilized as a cooling down exercise.
Mixing up these exercises is key in beating boredom and stimulating your body over time. This is to prevent burnout. You want to be fresh when you are getting onto the tee box.
Here's also a cool infographic from pedalgoa.com