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Sep 18

Off-Season Training for Golf

Bridget Logan Women's Golf Reporter

It’s about that time again. The end of the golf season is in sight and the perfect time to begin an off-season golf-training program. Maybe next year we’ll come to the course a little slimmer, a little stronger, and a little more flexible than ever before.

This is the first article in a three-part series describing a women’s year ‘round training program for golf. This series will include an Off-Season Golf Program, a Pre-Season Program, and an In-Season Program. (Note: It is highly recommended that you consult your physician or health care professional before beginning a new physical program!)

Women today are constantly thinking about the shape, tone, and strength of their bodies. As we run, swim, skate, and enjoy our aerobics, we are burning calories and improving our cardiovascular system. However, if we add a little weight training to the program, we will begin to see greater changes in that size, shape, and strength. Those fat areas begin to decrease and the stomach muscles flatten as the abdominal muscles begin to tighten. Those fat, baggy areas on the back of our arms will tighten and the cellulite in other areas will give way to well toned muscles.

Besides feeling and looking better, we are now becoming stronger, more flexible, and more in balance. These are the things that will make a tremendous impact on our golf game. The improvements to our body may not make the ball go into the hole, but it will improve our mental and physical abilities, which should with practice, improve our golfing abilities. It won’t hurt the way we look in those new golf shorts either!

In our training, as golfers, we need to emphasize our hands, forearms, trunk rotators, back, and legs. As we train, it is important to increase our flexibility. Because the golf swing emphasizes a rotary movement, it is important to work on our trunk movements and our forearm strength.

Following is a list of possible exercises. You may want to consult with a professional trainer or workout specialist to design a program especially for you.

I believe this program will add strength to all of your major muscle groups. Try to work on these exercises 3 days a week with 1 day of rest in between. If they seem too strenuous for you, reduce the number of reps in the beginning and then increase them gradually. You might also pick out a few of the exercises to try in the beginning and then add an additional exercise each week. Exercise is a good thing, but you do NOT want to hurt yourself before the season begins. Sometimes, it’s better to work out with a friend, especially if you’re new to an exercise program or are a little unsteady.

Off-Season Golf Exercise Program

Lying Leg Crossover (for your hips and obliques)
?1 set – 15 to 25 reps each side
?Lie on your back.
?Hold an object (like a broom) behind your head with a grip that is wider than your shoulders.
?Try to keep your shoulders on the floor.
?Move the right leg over the left leg, as far to the side as possible.
?Keep the leg close to the floor.
?Return the leg to it’s starting position and repeat the movement with the left leg.
?Lock the knees and keep the legs as straight as possible.
?Inhale as you move the leg over, exhale as it is returned.
•Leg Pull-In (for your lower abdominals)
?1 set – 10 to 25 reps
?Lie on the floor with your hands under your buttocks and your palms down, legs extended.
?Bend the knees and then pull the upper thighs up to meet your midsection.
?Lower your knees and upper body to the starting position.
?Inhale as you go up and exhale on the way down.
?To increase the difficulty, you can hold a light dumbbell between your feet.

Seated Barbell Twist (for your obliques)
?1 set – 20 to 50 reps each side
?Place a light barbell on your shoulders.
?Sit on the end of a bench or chair with your feet firmly on the floor.
?Turn your torso to the right then turn all the way to the left.
?Keep your face to the front, back straight, and head up.
?Inhale to the right and exhale to the left.
?Variations: can be done standing, use broom handle instead of barbell, hold barbell in front of chest.

Barbell Side Bend (for your obliques)
?1 set – 15 to 30 reps each side
?Stand up straight with your feet about a one and a half feet apart.
?Place a light barbell on your shoulders.
?Keep your back straight and your head up.
?Bend down to your right as far as possible then bend down to the left.
?Bend your waist only, not the hips or knees.
?Inhale to the right, exhale to the left.
?Variations: Can be done seated, can use a broom handle.
•Hyperextension (for your lower back)
?2 sets – 8 to15 reps per set
?Lie on a bench with your upper body extended over the end.
?Lock your legs in place or have someone hold them.
?The bench should stop at your hips.
?Place your hands behind your head.
?Bend down at the waist so upper body is vertical to the floor.
?Raise your torso straight up until slightly past parallel.
?Return to starting position.
?Inhale up, exhale down.
•Lying Rear Deltoid Raise (for the rear deltoids)
?2 sets – 10 per set
?Lie face down on a flat bench (higher is better).
?Hold dumbbells in each hand as arms are hanging down with palms facing each other.
?Keep your elbows locked and arms straight.
?Raise dumbbells with arms straight to shoulder height.
?Lower to the starting position.
?Inhale up, exhale down.

Standing Close-Grip Triceps Press Down (for your outer triceps) – for LAT Machine
?2 sets – 10 per set
?Stand erect, head up, feet about a foot and a half apart.
?Hold the bar with hands about 8” apart and palms down.
?Bring your upper arms and elbows to your sides and keep them there.
?Start with your forearms up (touching biceps).
?Press the bar down until your forearms are perpendicular to your upper arms.
?Inhale down, exhale up.
?Variation: Use a rope over a door with weight on the other end; use a wider and/or reverse grip.

Seated Palms Down Barbell Wrist Curl (for your inside forearms)
?1 – 2 sets – 15 to 20 per set
?Hold a barbell (or broom handle) with both hands, palms down, about 18” apart.
?Sit at the end of a bench or chair with your feet on the floor about 2 feet apart.
?Lean forward with your forearms resting on your upper thighs.
?Wrists should be over the knees.
?Lower the bar as far as possible.
?Then curl the bar back up as high as possible.
?Do not raise your forearms off your thighs.
?Inhale up, exhale down.

Seated Palms Up Barbell Wrist Curl (for your outside forearms)
?1 – 2 sets – 15 to 20 per set
?Hold a barbell (or broom handle) with both hands, palms up, about 18” apart.
?Sit at the end of a bench or chair with your feet flat on the floor about 2 feet apart.
?Lean forward with your forearms resting on your upper thighs.
?The backs of your wrists should be over the knees.
?Lower the bar as far as possible.
?Then curl the bar back up as high as possible.
?Do not raise your forearms off your thighs.
?Inhale up, exhale down.

The exercises above are ones that I have used and found effective in the past. They are not the only ones or necessarily the best, but they’re the ones I know. I hope you find them interesting and inspire you to get in shape for next season. If nothing else, swing a weighted club. Even try swinging it in the opposite direction (left-handed and right-handed). There are many training aids available… shop around!

Two articles describing programs for Pre-Season Training and In-Season Training will follow this article. Some of the exercises will be the same and may refer back to this article.

•Never risk hurting yourself.
•Consult a physician or health care professional before beginning any workout program.
•It’s always a good idea to consult with a trainer or exercise professional to design a program specifically suited to you.
•Work out with a friend.

Related Articles

Pre-Season Golf Training

In-Season Golf Training

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Bridget Logan

Bridget Logan