Deer Creek Golf Club has helped and taught many players golf strength and conditioning workouts to better their game. Focusing on this type of fitness is a great way to target specific areas that could be affecting your golf game. Golf fitness involves a lot of mobility work and balance that can translate into a better swing. There are four main areas that should be focused on when thinking about golf fitness:
- Rotational strength
Adding these elements together and into your regular fitness routine will only be beneficial to your swing and overall golf game. In addition, keeping up with proper fitness can prevent your body from feeling pain which can be caused by incorrect form or weaker muscles. Practicing this type of fitness can target all the muscles needed when playing golf.
Balance is often the part of golf fitness that gets forgotten or doesn’t get the amount of attention it deserves. Here are some tips and workouts to incorporate into your fitness routine to focus on balance.
Single-Leg Hip Circles
Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight over to your right leg and slowly lift your left leg out to the side. After establishing your balance, begin making circles out to the side with your left leg. Try to maintain stability and balance in the knee and ankle of the left leg to reduce too much movement. All movement should be in the left hip. Do it five times clockwise and counterclockwise, then switch legs and repeat.
Highwire Shoulder Raises
This is a combination of shoulder work and balance. Start with a light dumbbell (5 to 10 lbs) in each hand, and your arms should start by your side. Place your right foot directly in front of your left foot as if you were walking on a tightrope or highwire. Once you find your balance, lift your right arm out to the side until it is parallel with the ground. While keeping that balance, lower your right arm and repeat with the left arm. Continue until you’ve completed 10 reps on each side.
Switch legs and repeat.
Grab a club and set up as if you were about to knock a 30-yard chip onto the green. Bench your trail knee (right knee if you are right-handed, left if you are left-handed) and lift that foot off the ground. Maintain your balance in this one-legged set-up potion and practice your chip shot. Aim to keep that trail leg up in the air and keep the clubhead from touching the floor for at least three perfect shots at a time.
Once you have mastered this, switch the foot that is in the air and try to get three perfect shots without the front foot touching the ground. As you master the skills, up the distance of the chip shot to 50 yards and so on.
Stability and balance go hand in hand in most sports and workouts. It is no different in any golf training guide. If there is a lack of stability, then the swing of any golfer will be compromised. Here are some stability training workouts to work on.
Starting on all fours, lift your knees off the ground so that you are now in a high plank position. Slowly alternate between one hand tapping the opposite shoulder and placing it back on the ground. This type of exercise strengthens core and cross-body stability. It also helps protect your lower back and helps efficiently transfer force through the spine while maintaining the angle.
Side Leg Side Reach
Get your balance on one foot and keep the opposite foot low to the ground, then reach side to side without losing your balance. Let your head and upper body lean in the opposite direction to maintain a nice long line from the tip of your head to your foot. This will help build up stability in ankles, knees, hips, and spine in the frontal plane and help transition weight side to side like you would in a golf swing. Do this for three sets of 10 reps on each side.
For this exercise, you will use a cable machine or a resistance band. Have the cable or band directly out to your side and hold it in your hands directly in front of your sternum and begin stepping forward and dropping into a lunge. Switch between legs and only lunge as deep as it is comfortable. This will help build rotational stability over a dynamic lower body, which in turn helps with a more efficient transfer of force from the lower body through the core to your arms and club.
Rotational Strength Training
It’s pretty obvious that rotational strength is important for a golfer’s swing. There are a few ways to improve your rotation, which also means improving your swing. Being consistent with golfing exercises and stretches is a big part of golfers being able to continuously improve their rotation and swing. Here are a few ways to do that.
Stability Ball Twist With a Dumbbell
Starting by lying on your back with shoulders on the stability ball and hips off in a bridge position. Keep feet a little wider than hip-width apart, and have the dumbbell straight above at chest level. From this position, maintain a strong core, keep your hips in the bridge position, and slowly rotate towards one side and then the other. Make sure to keep your arms straight and feet pressed on the floor. Repeat five times on each side.
Half Kneeling Cable Lift
In a half-kneeling position with the knee down closer to the cable machine, maintain proper hip, knee, and ankle alignment on the forward leg. It is important to maintain a strong core and bring the weight towards your chest and then simultaneously rotate and push the weight away. Keep bare at eye level upon full rotation, control the movement through your core and avoid twisting through the lower back. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Half Kneeling Resistance Band Rotation
In a half-kneeling position, the front knee should be closest to the wall. Place a ball between your leg and wall, grab a resistance band and create a little tension with arms pulled shoulder width apart and slightly lower than shoulder height. With your front knee pushing the ball to the wall, rotate your upper body away from the front leg. There should be little to no movement through your hips. Follow the movement with your eyes throughout the rotation. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Power is something every golfer strives for because power can translate to more yards off the tee and to the irons. Here are a few power exercises to add to your workout regime:
- Slam Skater Vertical: Using a medicine ball, stand on one leg at a time and slam the ball side to side, maintaining your balance.
- Split Power Jump: Starting in a lunge position, power through grounded feet and keep your core tight and explode up.
- Weighted Power Jumps: Power up from grounded feet in an explosive move. These can be done with or without weight.
- Squat with Med Ball Rotation: Stand with feet separated shoulder width apart and toes forward. With a slight bend in the knee, engage your belly and keep your arms straight as you rotate slightly and toss the ball to a partner or against the wall.
These exercises will help build strength and control in a golfer’s swing.