An exercise regimen can improve posture and balance.
©Jupiter Images, 2009 Avoid exercises that cause muscle fatigue during the golf season.
Whether a golfer is a novice, a recreational golfer or a skilled tournament player, staying in peak physical shape is important for a successful game. Golfers can improve their balance and posture while increasing the strength and technicality of their golf swing by completing these expert-recommended exercises, which they can do year-round in the privacy of their own home.
For training purposes, golfers should divide their calendar into three separate phases or seasons according to the Titleist Performance Institute. The off-season is a three- to four-month period from November to February. The pre-season is a one- or two-month period in March and/or April. The In-Season is a five- to six-month period roughly from May to October. Golf conditioning is most successful when there is a designated focus based on the time of the year. Even golfers who live in or travel to warmer climates and have the opportunity to play year-round should still divide their calendar into three phases for fitness purposes.
The Off-Season Segment focuses on posture, balance and stability. During the off-season, golfers should work on getting as strong as possible through weight training and the use of a stability ball. Improving posture and balance are crucial to improving the overall golf game.
The Pre-Season Segment focuses on power and coordination. Coordination drills should be a high priority during this season of workouts, as well as learning how to use the strength at a higher speed.
The In-Season Segment focuses on mobility and endurance. During the golf season, golfers want to avoid exercises and conditioning that will cause muscle fatigue. This is why stretching, cardio and mobility exercises should be the focus of this season of training.
Balance and Posture Exercises
Having good balance and posture is imperative for a good golf swing. Here are some exercises golfers can perform at home to improve their balance and posture:
- Wobble Board Lateral -- Using a golf club or cane for support, golfers should stand with one foot in the center of a wobble board. While balancing on one foot, they should slowly lean from side to side to lower the wobble board gently to the ground. They should repeat the exercise while standing on the other foot.
- Stork Turns -- Golfers should stand on one foot, locking the other foot behind their knee. They should cross their arms across their chest and use their hips to rotate their lower body back and forth. They should switch legs and repeat.
- Step Overs -- Golfers should step forward with their right foot directly in front of their left foot. They should plant their right foot on the ground and bend straight forward, extending their left leg behind them, as far as possible. They should alternate feet and repeat.
For a Powerful Swing
Golfers who would like a stronger, more powerful swing should focus on exercises and conditioning that involve weight training and muscle strengthening, such as these, which are recommend by Golf Digest:
- Wall Sits -- Golfers should lean with their back against a wall and slowly lower themselves into a sitting position. They should remain in this position for several seconds or until their quads begin to burn. Golfers should repeat this exercise several times a day.
- Weight Training -- To strengthen their upper body, golfers should try simple weight training exercises such as dumbbell presses, pull-ups, pushups and rowing.
To Strengthen the Core
If golfers don't have strong core muscles in the stomach, hips, buttocks and lower back, their golf swing will inevitably suffer for it. By performing core-strengthening exercises three to five times a week, golfers will notice a dramatic improvement in their overall golf swing. They should try exercises such as:
- Mini Band Walk Forward and Sideways -- Golfers should secure an exercise stretch band around their legs above the knee and around their ankles. They should walk forward with small steps, keeping their knees bent and alternately driving their elbows back with each step. They should be sure to keep their back straight and their knees over their toes. Golfers should repeat this exercise taking small steps to the side, keeping their legs fairly straight.
- Hip Crossovers -- Golfers should lie on their back with their arms outstretched at their side and their knees bent with their feet shoulder-width apart. They should twist their bent legs to their left side until both legs touch the ground, and then twist to the right, keeping their shoulders on the ground and their abs tight.
- Lateral Squats -- Golfers should stand with their feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and their toes pointing forward. They should shift to the right and down, bending their right leg and keeping their left leg straight. They should return to a standing position, and then shift to the left and down, bending their left leg and keeping their right leg straight. They should then alternate legs.
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