As warm weather approaches, it is time for you to get ready to play golf again. As all golfers know, it is easy to start feeling tired early on in the season. Your swing can also suffer, because the rotational muscles of the shoulder and torso still feel the cramp of being unused all winter. This may take a toll on your scores, or worse still, may cause injuries.
A preseason workout routine is highly recommended for golfers. It involves as much stretching as possible because tension is the enemy of a well-coordinated golf swing. “Tempo” is a term often used by golf swing coaches, and it refers to the natural rhythm of a good golf swing. These exercises loosen and lengthen the muscles of your shoulder and torso, which helps you develop a consistent tempo more easily. So, the sooner these exercises make it into your daily routine, the more fun you’ll have during those first few rounds on the course.
It’s important to begin with 5-10 minutes of light cardio exercise, just running in place or jumping jacks will do. This allows warm blood to fill your muscles, thereby loosening them and making the following stretches more effective. Allow yourself to breathe naturally, and take full, deep breaths as you’re performing these stretches.
Head rolls – 30-60 seconds: Roll your ear gently to one side, toward your shoulder. Tilt your head back, then forth, and repeat on the other side. This relaxes the tension in the neck, and encourages shoulder flexibility.
Shoulder stretching – 2-3 minutes: Raise your right arm directly in front of you, then bring it to the left, wrapping your left elbow around your right arm and using it to gently bring your right arm closer to your chest. You will feel the stretch in your outer right shoulder. Reverse this process for the left side. This allows for much greater range of motion and smoother rotation in your golf swing, which translates into more consistent shot making.
Side stretching – 1-2 minutes: Raise your right arm directly above your head with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean your shoulders to the left and sway your right hip slightly out. You will feel a stretch along the right side of your body from your finger tips to toes. Reverse this process for the left side of your body. This stretch targets the outside of your arms, outer hips, and most importantly, your abdomen, which will further enhance your rotational stability and flexibility.
This routine can also be incorporated into a weight-lifting routine that focuses on developing the core muscles of your back and abdomen, as well as your shoulder muscles and hip flexors. Sit-ups, crunches, and push-ups are good exercises for when you’re unable to make it to the gym. Use this routine twice, when you’re warming up and cooling down, for best results.
The exercises discussed above are just a few basic exercises that you can do to get fit for golf. Are there any other exercises that had a positive impact on your golf swing? Please share your experience in the comments section.