10 Best Exercises to Improve Your Golf Game

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Most casual golfers who experience pain, or even just have a few bad games, assume there’s something wrong with their swing. While poor swing mechanics might be the cause, it’s more likely a sign of weakness and inflexibility. If you’re looking for the best golf exercises to improve your golf game, look no further.

Golf is ballistic, involving sudden moments of exertion. It’s also one-sided: Players swing 75 to 100 times from one side of their body, which can often create muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. If only we were all ambidextrous and could play righty on the front nine and lefty on the back nine.

Before you consult a swing coach, take a close look at your physical fitness. Chances are the key to a better game on the links is a better off-the-course training program that creates the flexibility and mobility to execute proper swing mechanics. 

Golfer Tony Finau on Why Stretching Is Key For Golfers (1:10)

Note: If you think you’re injured, or you feel pain during a workout, immediately stop and consult a doctor.

Here are 10 great golf exercises that will loosen your hips, stabilize your shoulders, build total-body power, and strengthen your golf swing overall.

Best Golf Exercises to Improve Your Game

1. Seated Rotations x 10 reps each side

Seated Rotations

Hirurg/Getty Images

Why It Works

Seated or standing rotations improve your rotational mobility, a key component of the golf swing.

How to Do It

  1. Sit straddling a bench, or squeeze a pad or towel between your knees, to start. 
  2. Hold a golf club, dowel, or PVC pipe in one of two positions: behind your back with your arms so it sits in the crook of your elbows, or across your shoulders and traps as you would a barbell.
  3. If you choose the former, set your palms flat on your stomach and maintain your posture. 
  4. Without moving your hips, rotate your torso to the right and hold for two seconds. 
  5. Return to the starting position, then continue to the left and hold for two seconds. 
  6. That’s 1 rep. Alternate sides on each rep. Try to go a little bit further each time.

2. Standing Ys x 10 reps

Y-Raise

Beth Bischoff

Why It Works

Improves shoulder mobility and also counteracts the negative impact of sitting.

How to Do It

  1. Stand bent over at the waist with your back flat and chest proud, as if you were about to do a deadlift, to start. 
  2. Beginners should start with just their bodyweight but more advanced individuals with greater mobility can hold a golf club with a supinated grip (palms facing up). 
  3. Pull your shoulder blades back and down and raise your arms over your head to form a Y-shape. 
  4. Return to the starting position with control. 
  5. That’s 1 rep.

Pro Tip

Make sure to initiate the movement with your shoulder blades, not your arms.

3. Inchworms x 10 reps

Inchworms

James Farrell

Why It Works

Inchworms stabilize the muscles in your shoulders and hips, and may also help prevent “golfer’s elbow,” reducing the risk of shoulder injury.

How to Do It

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, to start. 
  2. Bend forward at the waist and set hands on the ground. 
  3. Slowly walk your hands out into a pushup position. 
  4. Then, making sure to keep your knees straight, walk your toes toward your hands.
  5. That’s 1 rep.

4. 90/90 Stretch x 10 reps each side

90-90 Spinal Twist

Christopher Malcom

Why It Works

This move opens up your shoulders and low back, helping to build flexibility and mobility.

How to Do It

  1. Lie on one side with the bottom leg straight and the top leg bent with inside of knee on ground. 
  2. Rotate your trunk back attempting to put the top shoulder blade on the ground. 
  3. Hold two seconds, then return to the start position.
  4. That’s 1 rep. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch. 

5. Side Plank x 10 reps each side

Side Plank

Beth Bischoff

Why It Works

Side planks open up the hips, preventing back pain.

How to Do It

  1. Lie on one side with your body in a straight line and your elbow under your shoulder, feet stacked, to start. 
  2. Push your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from ankle to shoulder. 
  3. Hold this pose for three seconds. Be sure to keep your head in line with your spine—don’t sag or bend.
  4. That’s 1 rep. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch. 
  5. Do 10 reps on one side, then switch. 

6. Medicine Ball Parallel Throw x 10 reps each side

Medicine Ball Parallel Throw

James Michelfelder

Why It Works

Medicine ball throws improve your ability to store and release energy and improve your swing speed. 

How to Do It

  1. Stand facing a wall about three feet away, holding a medicine ball at waist level, to start. 
  2. Rotate your trunk away from the wall. 
  3. Then, in one motion, initiate the throw by thrusting your hips toward the wall, followed by your trunk, arms, and the ball. 
  4. After the ball bounces off the wall, catch it with one hand under the ball, the other hand behind it, arms slightly bent. 
  5. That’s 1 rep. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch.  

7. Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throw x 10 reps each side

Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throw

Justin Steele

Why It Works

Rotational throws build up your core power, which will help your swing speed and muscle balance.

How to Do It

  1. Stand with your hips perpendicular to a wall, holding a medicine ball at waist level, to start. 
  2. Rotate your torso 90 degrees away from the wall, then rotate 180 degrees and throw the ball at the wall, catching it on the rebound.
  3. That’s 1 rep. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch. 

8. Physioball Pushup x 10 reps

Physio Ball Pushup

Beth Bischoff

Why It Works

Pushups on a physio ball challenge the scapular stabilizers, which are vitally important for shoulder and back movement.

How to Do It

  1. Start in a pushup position, with your hands on a physioball and feet on the floor, to start. 
  2. Lower yourself so your chest barely touches the ball. 
  3. Control the ball as you push up, pushing your chest as far away from the ball as possible.
  4. That’s 1 rep.

9. One-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press x 10 reps each side

Single-Arm Dumbbell Press

Justin Steele

Why It Works

This movement not only builds strength but also shoulder stability.

How to Do It

  1. Lie down on a flat bench, with your left glute and left shoulder blade on the bench and right glute and right shoulder blade off the bench, holding a dumbbell in your right hand, to start. 
  2. Slowly lower the weight until your elbow is horizontally level with your shoulder. 
  3. Return to the starting position. 
  4. That’s 1 rep. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch. 

10. Glute Bridge x 10 reps

Glute Bridge

Beth Bischoff

Why It Works

The glute bridge is perfect for activating those muscles you’ve been sitting on all day before hitting the links.

How to Do It

  1. Lie face-up on the floor with knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor, to start. 
  2. Squeeze a rolled up towel between your knees. 
  3. Fire your glutes and bridge your hips toward the ceiling, so only your shoulders and heels remain on the ground. 
  4. Lower your hips to the start position.
  5. That’s 1 rep.

The better you move, the more powerfully you can play. 

Courtesy Image

Why You Should Trust Me

Pete Williams is a NASM-certified personal trainer who, for more than 20 years, has written about training and performance for Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and other publications. He’s the author or co-author of a dozen fitness books, including Mark Verstegen’s five-book Core Performance series.



Source
Las Vegas News Magazine

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