Last month we posted some golf tips from the pros to help improve your game. This month, we’re giving out tips for exercises and stretches you can do before getting out on the course to help get a few strokes off your score card and more yardage on your drive.
Exercises that improve your overall strength and flexibility will improve your game not only by helping you get the ball farther along the fairway, but also by reducing the overuse of arms and wrists that can lead to tennis elbow, and preventing strain on your lower back. This is why exercises that work on your core are just as important as strengthening the muscles in your arms. Having greater strength and flexibility while you rotate through your swing will help maintain good alignment and increase your range of motion.
As with any new exercise regimen, talk with your doctor to make sure it’s okay for you before starting.
This one is good to strengthen your core. Start by lying face down on the ground, palms on the floor. Raise up, keeping your back flat and engaging your abdominal muscles. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat.
You can also do a side plank. For this you will rest your body on your forearm with your shoulder directly over your elbow. Then lift your hips so your body is in a straight line.
If you’re feeling very adventurous, you can try the 30-Day Plank Challenge.
This helps correct limited internal hip rotation. Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your clenched fists between your knees. Then separate your feet as far as possible without your knees or hands losing contact with each other. Repeat, 3 sets of 10 or 15.
This one also helps with your hip rotations, and is fun because it actually uses a golf club.
Sit straddling a bench. Hold a club behind your back with your arms so it comes through your elbows, with your palms on your stomach. Without moving your hips, rotate your torso to the right, hold for two seconds, then return to middle. Repeat to the left. Do 10 repetitions per side.
This one helps reduce the risk of shoulder injury. You start out standing up. Then bend forward at the waist and lean until you can set your hands on the ground so you’re on all fours, but without your knees bent. Slowly walk out into a push up position, or as far as you can get without bending your knees. Then walk your feet up to your hands. Once you feel a stretch, walk your hands back out, and repeat for 10 repetitions.
Side Step Ups
This exercise helps with lateral stabilization of the hips. You start by standing next to a step or 8-inch platform. Place one leg on the platform. Lean into your planted toe to ensure this leg is lifting your weight, and then lift up so your leg on the platform is completely straight. Do two to three repetitions of 10-15 for each leg.