For years, golfers were not considered the caliber of athlete as a football player or marathon runner, but recently that perception has changed. When pro golfer Tiger Woods began sharing his detailed workout routine, more and more golfers took to the gym to improve both their fitness and their game.
Golfers need to have a well-rounded fitness routine because the sport requires strength, flexibility, and endurance, which means that knowing what kind of exercises to do — and when — is key to increasing your skill. Many professional golfers now have strict training schedules with targeted fitness and stretching routines.
Whether you are new to golf or an avid golfer looking to improve your game, these exercises can take you to the next level.
Cat-Cow is a staple stretch/pose in yoga, but the way it stretches and strengthens back muscles, make it an important option for golfers. Since golfers need to achieve that perfect swing, being able to build flexibility, especially in the back, is central to golf fitness.
For this exercise, get on all fours with your arms either below or slightly forward of your shoulders and your knees under hips.
Once there, breathe in and then drop your stomach while lifting your head and your gaze forward.
Hold there for a few moments and then push into the floor and arch your back, dropping your head down. It might feel good to nod your head “yes” or shake your head “no” to loosen the muscles in your neck.
Repeat this exercise at least five times in both positions. If you need an extra stretch in your back, return to a neutral position and then curve your body to bring your right shoulder and hip closer together. Repeat on the next side.
Having a strong lower body can make a huge difference in your golf game. All of your power comes from your legs, so ensuring that your legs are both strong and loose will benefit you and your game in the long run.
When muscles are too weak, they can tighten up because they are either working too hard or too long. Golfers have to stay loose because twisting the body to get the perfect swing requires flexibility, and without that, many athletes find it difficult to get the right shot. By strengthening your muscles, you will actually help them get looser, too (along with a dedicated stretching routine).
Squats are both an effective and versatile exercise to strengthen your glutes and quadriceps. When you are just starting your exercise routine, simple bodyweight squats may be all you need to build muscle. However, as you increase your strength, you should consider variations of squats including squat jumps, goblet squats, and split squats.
Each of these variations offers a different benefit for your body, and can be part of your well-rounded golf fitness routine.
Remember, whenever you are doing squats, to be sure your form is correct. Bad form in squats, and any other form of strength training, can lead to muscle strains and injuries.
Having a strong core helps keep your body in the perfect position to get a good swing. Core rotations and an exercise that will take your golf game to the next level.
To do these, sit on the ground. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, as if you were setting up for a push-up. Then, lean back so your torso is around a 45 degree angle from the floor. You should begin to feel your core engage to keep you up.
Rotate from side to side, touching the ground with both of your hands before switching. Make sure you keep your feet on the ground.
To build even more strength or for an extra challenge, use a medicine ball, dumbbell or other weight. Do the same motion, but instead of touching your hands to the ground on either side of your body, touch the weight to the floor instead.
Core rotations are great for golfers, so it could also be advantageous to incorporate rotations and twists into other exercises, too. For example, adding twists to your lunges can help with strength, balance, and flexibility.
Weight lifting and building flexibility is important, but don’t forget to include aerobic exercise into your fitness routine. Golfers need endurance for long days on the course, and aerobic exercise can help you build that endurance, as well as improve your overall fitness.
If you’re not into running, you’ll be glad to know that aerobic fitness goes beyond grabbing your tennis shoes and hitting the road. You might consider cycling, swimming, or even just walking. Additionally, high-intensity interval training is a form of aerobic exercise that can build muscle and aerobic capacity at the same time.
Golfers, though, may want to focus on walking, as that is similar to the activity they undertake on the course. Setting your body up for success will help you better your golf game and take it to the next level.
While you may not be running across the golf field, knowing that you are in shape to spend many hours a day on your sport should be rewarding.
HIIT Training (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a great way to improve your overall strength which can be beneficial when your taking swings on the golf course.
See Your Progress with ZOZOFIT
Once you’ve created your own fitness routine, start measuring your progress. It’s important to see how you’ve changed over time because that will help you make informed decisions about what you need to spend more time on or where you are ready to increase the weight and build upon your base.
Measurements will give you a fuller picture of your fitness. Relying on weight to measure fitness and progress is imprecise because muscle mass weighs more than fat.
With ZOZOFIT’s 3D body scanning technology, you can visually see your muscle gains, as well as body fat percentage. Having accurate measurements at your fingertips means that you never have to wonder about the progress you’ve made over time.
For golfers, being able to track fitness in this way is crucial, especially because golfers spend a lot of time traveling. ZOZOFIT can give you the boost you need to continue improving your fitness.
Be sure to watch your favorite players compete at the ZOZO Championship this Fall.