5 Exercises That Will Improve Your Golf Game
This month’s newsletter will give our followers 5 easy exercises to complete at home that will improve the golf game by strengthening the muscles most important in the golf swing. Many golf swings are limited by swing faults that can be corrected through exercise intervention. Par 4 Fitness has narrowed down the muscles that cause most of these faults and is ready to share how to fix those faults. The glutes are the king of the swing! The gluteal muscles are important in the golf swing because they provide stabilization, mobility, and power to the lower body, specifically the hips. If the glutes are weak we will see multiple swing faults including the sway, slide, early extension, loss of posture, over the top, S-posture, and reverse spine angle. These are all terms that most golfers have heard of at some point in their golfing careers. As you can see, weak gluteal muscles lead to a laundry list of faults and that is why they are the king of the swing. If we can strengthen the glutes, we can eliminate some of the problems that millions of golfers face.
- 1. Side Step-Ups
The first exercise in this program is the side step-up. This focuses on a muscle known as the gluteus medius. It provides lateral stabilization of the hips. Strengthening it will create a more stable base that can transfer energy through the upper body and into the clubhead. Follow the pictures and directions below to strengten the gluteus medius
I am using a bench. Start out on something smaller like a stair step or a 8’’ platform.
Raise your planted toe to ensure all of your weight is being lifted by the leg on the platform.
Straighten your leg at the top to completely work the glutes. This is a great exercise to strengthen the gluteus medius, gluteus maximum, hamstrings, and quadriceps in the involved leg. This will provide you with dynamic stabilization of the lower body, strengthen the glutes, and allow you to rotate around a more solid lower body. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 reps on each leg for best results
- 2. Lunges with Rotation
The second exercise in this set is designed to strengthen the lower body while creating separation between the upper and lower body. This separation is what allows the top players to create the distance they posses. The lunge is a basic leg exercise while the rotations provide you with the separation needed as a golfer.
Begin in a standing position and proceed into the above position with the back knee slightly touching the floor. The key to this exercise is using the lead leg to lower and lift your body weight. You do not want your front knee to extend past your toes. Make sure to take a big enough initial step to facilitate this.
This rotation is the move that makes this exercise so great. You will reach across your body as shown and try to straighten the other arm and point it towards the ceiling. This will create mobility in the thoracic spine and will allow you to separate and rotate better throughout the golf swing. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 on each side for best results.
- 3. Medicine Ball Core Rotations
We now move on to the abdominals. The abdominals are made up of 4 muscles (rectus abdominis, internal/external obliques, and the transverse abdominis. All four of these are worked during this exercise. The core is used throughout the golf swing and it is important that it is strong enough to allow for proper rotation and posture. Follow the picture below as a guide for performing this exercise.
I am using a 10-lb dumbbell but you can use anything from a simple golf ball to a 20-lb medicine ball for advanced weights. Try to keep your feet off the floor to work the rectus abdominis optimally. You will then rotate to the opposite side for one repitition. Perform 2-3 sets of 25-30 reps for best results.
- 4. Cat Camels
The fourth exercise is designed to create mobility in the spine and will strengthen the muscles around the hip, low back, and core. This exercise will allow you to rotate better and will give you a better idea of what your posture should look like.
This will simulate an S-Posture. It strengthens the erector spinae muscles of the low back as well as the hip flexors.
The camel phase of the exercise will activate the hamstrings and the abdominals to tilt the pelvis. This will give the thoracic spine mobility which will allow you to rotate the upper body. To find neutral, you want to be in the middle of these two pictures. This will eliminate S and C-postures seen in many golfers. Perform 2-3 sets of 20 reps for best results.
- 5. Sword Draws (Shoulder External Rotation)
This is a Par 4 Fitness favorite and will strengthen the rotator cuff and posterior musculature of the shoulder.
Start with a lightweight dumbbell and get into your golf stance. You will maintain your posture throughout the exercise to promote good posture in the swing. You will then begin to externally rotate your shoulder (Below). This will conract the posterior musculature and stregnthen the dynamic stabilizers of the shoulder. Focus on performing this exercise slowly for best results and maintain your posture!
Complete the movement by setting the weight at the top just as you would with your golf club during the swing. Perform 2-3 sets of 15 of each side for best results! Complete this set of exercises as to give your body a stable and strong base, a strong core, and strong shoulders. These exercises will eliminate some of the swing faults talked about earlier and will lead to a better, more efficient swing giving. This will make you more accurate and more powerful in aspects of golf.
Par 4 Fitness News
Par 4 Fitness is now the official golf fitness provider of the Florida Professional Golf Tour. The FPGTour is a professional tour based out of Orlando, FL. They offer competitive tournaments at competitive prices throughout Florida to the areas best professional golfers. They provide their players with some of the best payouts of any other professional tour, and we are extremely excited to offer their players with our services. For more information on the Florida Professional Golf Tour please visit www.floridaprofessionalgolftour.org. Par 4 Fitness newsletters are now shared in the F.S.G.A.’s GHIN Handicap newsletter sent out to their members. We are excited to be working with the country’s most established state golf association for the past 99 years! For more information on the Florida State Golf Association or for info on where to schedule your next golf trip, visit www.fsga.org.
Darin Hovis is the owner of Par 4 Fitness located out of Naples, FL. He is a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Professional and ACE certified personal trainer. Par 4 Fitness online programs are designed to help improve any golfers’ game anywhere in the world. Visit www.par4fitness.com
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