Four Fitness Areas That Can Help Improve Your Golf Game
Many women golfers will resolve to get fit this year. By adding cardio, core conditioning, weight training, and flexibility exercises to their fitness programs, they can also improve their golf game and maybe lower their scores this summer.
The golf swing is a complex motion that requires many muscles and many movements. The game of golf itself can be an intense mental exercise requiring focus and foresight. Improving overall fitness can help women golfers develop an efficient and effective golf swing, as well as a sharp mental game.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you have a personal trainer, work with him or her to develop a fitness routine that can also benefit your golf game. To view videos that demonstrate various golf-specific exercises, check out MyPypeline.com.
Cardio benefits include weight loss and increased energy. An increase in energy level from a cardio workout can lead to more stamina on the golf course. If a golfer is out of shape, she can lose swing power and concentration by the end of the round. This loss of focus results in sprayed shots and mishits. Low energy also affects the number of holes golfers play. Golfers who are too tired after nine holes rarely play a full eighteen. Out-of-shape golfers may have to use riding carts, an expensive alternative to walking.
To increase stamina, include a cardio workout in your fitness routine. Walking is a good place for golfers to start, since a typical round can mean walking almost five miles. Aerobic kickboxing, running, or classes at the gym (aerobics, step, or dance) can break up the monotony of being tied to the treadmill and kick-start an otherwise boring fitness regimen.
The basic motion of the golf swing is a turn. The backswing turns away from the golf ball; the downswing turns through the ball. A conditioned core provides a solid base for this turning motion. A strong core also stabilizes the back and lessens the chance for lower back pain, a common complaint of golfers.
There are many inexpensive ways to condition your core. Simple exercises such as “the plank” and abdominal crunches can be performed without any special equipment. A good all-around core-conditioning apparatus to have is a stability ball. Even if you just sit on it while you watch TV, your core muscles will be engaged and working instead of relaxed. Pilates, either through formal classes or using DVDs at home, can also effectively condition your core muscles.
Increased muscle tone allows for a more powerful golf swing and longer shots. Weight training does not necessarily mean bulking up muscles. Muscles will become more toned, but not as bulky, if lighter weights are used and the number of repetitions is increased.
Just like core conditioning, weight training doesn’t require special equipment. You can go out and buy a whole set of weights or join a gym, but you can also use items around your house, such as canned food or bottles of water. Golfers can see their swing power increase with lateral raises and bicep curls. It’s also important to focus on your legs. Leg muscles can help you drive through the ball with more force on the downswing. Squats and lunges are an easy and inexpensive way to work your legs.
Flexibility is usually the last thing golfers consider in their fitness program. Some golfers don’t even stretch properly before a round. But flexibility is crucial to the overall golf swing. You have to turn away from the ball and through the ball in a typical full swing. You need to be flexible enough to make a proper turn.
Stretching can be the easiest way to increase your flexibility. Even just swinging your clubs at home on a daily basis can help increase flexibility. For a more rigorous routine, golfers can try yoga or Pilates. No matter what flexibility routine you use, always remember that it is imperative to stretch and limber up before you take a swing on the course.