GOLF GAME RESULTS: LONGER DRIVES.
Oftentimes when we think of getting in shape for golf, we break things down into three categories: Strength training, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. Certainly working on any or all of these areas will help to keep you fit on the golf course and beyond. But, there are other areas in fitness that can be useful for your golf game. These areas would be correct postural alignment, balance, and MUSCLE endurance. Muscle endurance refers to the ability to maintain posture and balance throughout the day, and during the added challenge of playing golf.
One of the most obvious posture, balance and endurance challenges in golf would be the ability to find and keep the correct spine angle while executing a swing. An additional challenge would be to keep the legs, glutes (butt) and hips engaged so that you can achieve proper drive with the legs while maintaining control of sway or spin.
So, here is an exercise that can help you at address and as you swing:
STEP ONE: With legs shoulder width apart, get in the “ready” position you see baseball umpires using—that is, knees are slightly bent, hands are on top of the knees (palms down), and the torso is HINGED FROM THE HIPS so that the butt sticking out behind and the back is FLAT, not rounded. You can even use a broomstick or dowel to place along your spine to check that your back is flat, and that it is being held at a 45-60 degree angle. Now, take your hands off your knees and place them on your hips, but maintain that angled position.
STEP TWO: Keeping this torso position, and the knees bent, step to the right with the right foot and then bring the left over to meet it. Then step back over to the left with the left foot and bring the right foot over to meet it. Go back and forth like this 30-40 times! This is building muscle endurance for leg action and for back muscles to maintain that spine angle.
STEP THREE: In the same set-up, add power to the move by doing the same side to side move with the feet, but get yourself a little airborne each time you step to the side. Having to stick the landing each time will build more strength and endurance in the muscles that help you keep the legs appropriately braced but active during the golf swing. And, having to control the landing is training for balance.
Note for Senior Golfers: Balance tends to diminish with age, partly because of a decrease in number of nerve endings, and a decrease in muscle mass. Most notably, our glute muscles tend to become de-conditioned. This exercise can really help to get the glutes (and legs) get more activated to help support your golf posture and swing.
All the best
© 2013-2020 Kristen Carter. All rights reserved. Kristen holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology, and is a Certified Health Coach and Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness Professional.