8 Great Exercises to Get You In Shape for the Course
Jack Nicklaus was arguably the greatest golfer of all time with 18 Major Championship wins and 73 PGA Tour wins. He was also the oldest to ever win the Masters, snatching his final win at age 46.
Nicklaus had plenty of natural skill and spent thousands of hours out on the golf course perfecting his technique. However, that wasn't all it took for the Golden Bear to become the golfing champ.
If you want to build a legacy like Jack Nicklaus, you're going to need to practice golfing exercises. Improving both your strength and your flexibility will take your golf game to the next level.
Check out our 8 most beneficial golfing exercises you should try before you hit the golf course again!
Golfing Exercises for Strength
Ultimately, it's good to have a workout routine that hits every muscle group. Even one or two full-body workouts a week will improve your stamina and power! Let's take a look at some of the exercises you should focus on to improve your golf game.
1. Calf Raises
Having a solid base can improve your swing by giving you more grounding power and increasing your balance. Calf raises not only help you bulk up your calf muscles but can improve your single-leg strength, too.
Start by doing two sets of 20 calf raises. As you feel your muscle mass increase, you can up these numbers. Make sure that at least half of your calf raises are done standing on one leg at a time to improve single-leg strength.
Core strength is crucial for any golfer. The stronger your core is, the faster your body can unwind when you swing, packing even more power, distance, and control into your shot. Plus, core strength increases your overall stamina and even your safety.
Begin with your classic plank position. That means your feet should be a few inches apart and your forearms should be rooted firmly on the ground with your elbows lined up with your shoulders. Hold this position for 10 seconds at a time until you're comfortable holding it longer.
As you improve, you can try variations on the classic plank such as the side plank.
Squats make a great addition to calf raises as they engage your calves, thighs, and glutes. To squat correctly, begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at the knees until your thighs and calves form a 90-degree angle.
Some golfers prefer to incorporate small hand weights into their squat routine.
4. Free Weights
With supervision and practice, you can begin using free weights to work your arm, back, core, and leg muscles. It is important that you work your way up to free weights, especially if you want to graduate to deadlifts.
Don't feel like you have to go crazy with free weights. Incorporating a few sets of bicep curls and other arm workouts can do the trick.
Golfing Exercises for Flexibility
The most common golf injuries result from strained muscles and tend to occur in the lower back, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. How can you avoid dealing with this pain? Increasing your flexibility with a regular stretching routine can be just what the doctor ordered.
1. Neck Stretches
In order to hit a line drive down the center of the fairway, you need a wide range of motion in your cervical spine. Normally, this function allows us to look left or right while the rest of our body remains still. In golf, however, you need that range of motion to do the exact opposite.
To improve your cervical spine range of motion, try this technique several times a day. Hold your arms straight out to your sides so that your fingers are parallel with your shoulders. Then, turn your head to the left and touch your chin to your left collar bone. Repeat this process on your right side, as well.
2. Shoulder Stretches
Looking for fluid power and consistency in your swing? Stretching out your shoulders can improve your technique and lower your chance of injury.
To stretch the muscles between your shoulder blades, try the knot stretch. Lay on your stomach with your arms crossed beneath your stomach so that your right hand reaches past your left shoulder and vice versa. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds before alternating which arm is on the bottom and which arm is on the top.
3. Wrist Extensions
To perform wrist extensions, you're going to want a small hand weight. Think 1 to 2 pounds!
Sit next to a table so that you can rest your forearm at about waist height and let your wrist dangle off the edge. Holding your small hand weight, allow your wrist to droop naturally so that your knuckles point toward the floor. Then, with your forearm still planted on the table, lift your wrist so that your knuckles point toward the ceiling.
Repeat this process several times with both wrists. Do not over-exert your wrist. Lift only until you feel slight tension.
Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility and balance. Plus, by practicing controlled dynamic movements, you'll find that you have more control on the golf course.
There are tons of free online resources to help you get started with a beginner's yoga practice. Head to YouTube and look for 15-25 minute yoga classes that you can follow along with one to three times a week.
Improve Your Game On and Off the Golf Course
We can't all be a Jack Nicklaus, but that doesn't mean that we can't improve our golfing skills both on and off the golf course! Practicing these golfing exercises will give your body the skills it needs to carry your technique and lessen your chance of injury.
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