Have you been wanting to improve your fitness? Have you been hoping to lower your scores by working on fitness related to golf?
We have a great tutorial for you today so cover those questions and bring you solutions. For starters, yes, you can improve your golf performance by improving your fitness.
Why do you think Professional Golfers are so good at golf? They have incredible fitness that allows them to generate power and control in their golf swings.
The majority of pro players have great strength that allows them to hit the ball really far and make the course easier. Wouldn’t you rather hit a wedge into the green for your approach shot than a 4 iron?
So let’s focus on a few of the reasons improving fitness may help you:
- Power – being able to hit longer distances
- Control – muscle control that helps you control your swing
- Flexibility – all the bending and twisting that a swing requires
- Prevent Injury – golf exerts a lot of energy on muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints
- Stamina & Endurance – remaining strong the whole round and not fatiguing which could result in poor performance or injury
Quick Tip: 6 Golf Exercises to Build Muscle
Muscles & Relation to Golf Swing
To be honest, almost all of your muscles are somehow used throughout the swing. The back and torso twists during the swing, the hands and arms control the club, and the legs drive power to the torso and arms.
Your face muscles even work when you grimace from exerting power into your swing and golf ball ha! Let’s look into what muscles are used for the different motions in a golf swing.
- Key Muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Chest Pectorals, Core, Latissimus Dorsi (Back), Forearms
- Abdominal Obliques – help rotate the torso
- Core Abs – generate power and stability
- Back – the driving force in the golf swing that helps the arm move towards the body, rotate, and extend
- Gluteus Maximus – thigh rotation and lower body stability
- Pectorals (Chest) – help shoulder muscles and rotation and are vital for smooth golf swing
- Forearms – golf grip and supporting wrists
Golf Strength Building
Now let’s talk strength building the proper way for a golfer.
The golf swing is a motion that requires fluidity and flexibility due to all of the twisting and turning of the body. You don’t want to get jacked in the gym and struggle to turn and rotate in the golf swing as a result.
Instead you should be doing strength and power building lifts that make your muscles more dense and improve bone and ligament strength.
Strength lifts require short bursts of heavy weights. You don’t want to lift high reps and light weight because this is what inflates the muscle size and bulks you up.
You also won’t make near the strength gains you’d normally see from heavy lifting if you lift lighter weights instead.
Strength Lifting Tips:
- Reps 1 -6
- Sets 3-5
- 80% or so of your 1 rep max
- Rest a few minutes between sets to allow muscles to recover
- Proper form to prevent injury
- Compound lifting not isolation
The biggest takeaway is compound lifting and full body lifting. You want your whole body to be equally worked and you want to avoid muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances can result in injury.
Overall, be smart and lift with caution. You don’t want to lift with improper form and injure yourself because this will only delay your return to the golf course and cause your skills to diminish during the time off recovering.
RESOURCE: Golf Fitness Program with PDF Downloads
Golf Flexibility & Injury Prevention
Before you can begin practicing it’s critical to stretch. With all the different muscles you use in a golf swing it is very easy to pull a muscle and sideline you for a few weeks.
Stretching increases your flexibility and allows you to make better turns in your swing which can ultimately add some distance to your clubs.
The following are several stretches recommended for you to do when you get to the golf course each day or from home as well:
Toe Grab- Bend over and touch your toes with legs staying as straight as possible for 10-15 seconds. This will stretch your hamstrings out. You commonly do this on the course without realizing it when you pick up your ball from the hole.
Slow Twists- Extend your arms out on each side of your body and twist in each direction multiple times to loosen up the back while keeping your feet planted and lower body still.
Arm Circles- Extend your arms out on each side and move them in a circular motion forwards for your first set and backwards for your second set.
Shoulder/Chest Stretch- Hold a club out in front of you horizontally with a hand on the grip and another hand near the head of the club. Raise it over your head behind you to stretch out your chest and shoulders.
Wrist Stretch- Hold a club in the center of the shaft with one hand so that equal lengths of the club remain on each side of your hand. Now rotate your wrist from palm up to palm down and back several times then switch hands. Your wrists are easily injured in the swing so make sure they are warmed up and loose as well as your back.
You can also add some light weights and do weight-stretching to add-in some strength building as well to your flexibility training.
Stamina & Endurance
Have you ever gotten through several holes and all of a sudden felt fatigued and tired?
This is no fun when it happens because the rest of the golf round you have to deal with a fatigued swing and the results are usually poor. You can go from a good round to a bad round if you fatigue before the finishing holes.
To prevent this and help you last the entire 18 holes here are some Stamina & Endurance Building Tips:
- Jog a few miles each day or week for cardio stamina
- Practice rounds of golf where you walk instead of ride a cart to build stamina
- During official rounds, try to use a cart if you’re allowed so that you save energy and don’t have to exert energy from carrying clubs
- When lifting weights don’t lift to fatigue as you’ll train your muscles to fatigue. This will also cause longer recovery periods which is no good.
- Eat healthier & shed a few pounds
Health Benefits from Playing Golf
1. Benefits from exposure to the Sun
Being outside is enjoyable, but it is also beneficial to the brain and body. Sunlight provides vitamin D which improves bone development in children, and lowers the risk of depression and heart disease.
2. Healthful exercise
For many people, golf is both a fun activity and a means to get some healthful exercise. Golf is a soothing method to burn off excess calories, whether by walking the course, riding a cart, or practicing at the range, even if it’s just a nine-hole excursion. A single round of walking, carrying clubs, and swinging may burn up to 1000 calories.
3. Brain stimulation
Whether going for a jog or strolling the golf course, being physically active is a fantastic way to keep your heart and brain health. By being active, you ensure that your brain has a healthy, robust blood flow, which is necessary to operate properly today and in the future.
The game’s challenge boosts confidence and self-esteem, while the mental effort necessary in tallying points improves strategy and hand-eye coordination, keeping the brain busy in logical operations.
4. Enhances Communication and Mental Health
Learning to play golf is one of the most rewarding professional and personal endeavors you can undertake for healthy living.
From the health benefit of improving heart rate and blood flow, it also relieves stress and improves social communication.
Learning to play golf is a suggestive medical approach to reducing isolation, depression, and hostility, which could affect one’s mental health.
It has helped parents and teenage children communicate more effectively, it has introduced and built lifetime friendships, and yes, it has created new economic prospects and healthy living.
5. Cardiovascular (Heart) Health
Any kind of physical activity assists in pumping blood to the heart. Carrying your luggage, walking, and swinging boosts your heart rate and blood flow. It reduces your risk of stroke and diabetes and may have beneficial effects on blood pressure and bad cholesterol, particularly when accompanied by a balanced diet and lifestyle.
6. Relieves stress
Leave your home, leave your phone by your bed, and go to the golf course. Golf alleviates stress and enhances mental capacity, creativity, and problem-solving ability, unquestionably beneficial. Take a deep breath and bask in the light.
Your body instantly starts producing endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, that naturally improve your mood in ways that no antidepressant can.
7. Enhanced sleep
Exercise and exposure to fresh air have been shown to significantly enhance sleep quality. Walking the course will provide excellent exercise. Regular exercise helps you fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer. Sleep enables your muscles to recover and restore themselves.
8. Increased vision
The eyes, like everything else, have some muscle. We need to care about them and exercise them, just like we do with the rest of our bodies. Once we do, our eyesight improves. Golf needs excellent eyesight to zoom in on that round small white ball that may be hundreds of yards away.
9. Less stress on joints and low-risk of injury
Golf is typically regarded as a low-risk activity compared to various other sports. There’s less stress on the joints since the swings may be changed to the player’s specifications.
Golf games may be played at your speed and for extended periods, a distinguishing feature of the sport. Compared to other sports such as basketball or badminton, suffering a sports injury is far lower.
10. Weight loss
Are you aware that a single round of golf burns more than 1,000 calories? While this may not be perfect compared to other, more vigorous sports, it’s certainly better than lazing on your sofa at home.
When golfing, it’s preferable to forgo the mini-golf cart and make as much movement as possible. This will expedite the process of calorie burning even more!
11. Enhances physical fitness
As previously said, golf is a low-risk activity in comparison to the other sports that youngsters participate in today. You receive the benefits of exercising and being outside without the danger of injury, which is a great approach to improving physical fitness.
12. Golf injury prevention
Golf is a leisure activity with minimal risk of injury. Back, wrist, elbow, head, and eye injuries are common. Accidental contact with the ground might result in harm.
To prevent injury, try these:
- Stretch and warm up before playing, focusing on your back, shoulders, and arms. Exercises that include soft air swings or brief iron ball hits (a type of golf club).
Take notes. The technique is the finest anti-injury weapon.
- Keep four club lengths away from swinging clubs. Assist a swing in your group.
- Wear proper shoes, socks, gloves, and clothes.
- Get your golf equipment fitted before you buy it.
- During and after a game, drink water.
- Know the game’s fundamental rules and etiquette. Allow ground staff to summon you to play. Before swinging, be sure no one else is around. Wait until the group in front has left.
- Lift and carry clubs carefully, if required.
- In high heat, you may need to reassess your playing circumstances. Play in the early morning or late evening to avoid the warmest hours.
- If you get hurt, stop playing.
- Regardless of the severity of the injury, seek immediate medical attention.
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