Can exercise really improve your golf handicap? The simple answer is yes! The fitter you are the better you move. Low golf scores are a combination of skill and fitness. If you have the skills part down and you are still struggling to hold your posture, swing properly and hit the ball squarely the problem may be fitness and flexibility.
When people think fitness and golf they usually go right to strength training. It turns out that working out specific muscle groups, such as your core and hips, will improve your swing. None of that matters without good flexibility, though.
You can have the strongest core in the world but if you can’t rotate, your swing will consistently falter. Flexibility training affects key features of golf like:
- Range of motion
When planning your fitness training, look for stretches that work all the major muscle groups. This isn’t about building muscle, it’s about improving freedom of movement, so focus on stretching.
Strength is important in the game as well. Quite obviously, stronger muscles will hit the ball farther. But plan your exercise routine around more than just muscle building. Work on coordination, balance and speed, too.
Nothing ruins your game like exhausted muscles. Muscle endurance refers to being able to perform consistently, accurately and efficiently for all 18 holes. Running or using an elliptical trainer are two of the best exercises for muscle endurance. Either strengthens your heart and therefore your stamina, but the elliptical works the arms, shoulders and back along with your core, hips, and legs. If running or elliptical training are not your thing, try resistance exercises like plank moves, squats and lunges.
People who don’t play the game of golf don’t realize that it can be tiring to your cardiovascular system, especially if you leave the cart and carry or pull your clubs. By the ninth hole, fatigue can set in and your swing will suffer. Cardiovascular exercises will minimize this problem. Great cardio is anything that gets your heart pumping. Examples include:
- Jogging outside or on a joint-cushioning treadmill
- Fast walking
- Dance classes
- Stationary bikes
Working up a sweat will result in more endurance later as you work your way through the course. Getting fit through regular exercise will not only improve your golf game, but it will also improve your life and reduce your risk of injury and cardio-vascular disease.
Stop in to Premier Fitness Source and let one of our certified exercise professionals discuss ways to improve your game, and as an added benefit, your general health.
We can show you a variety of golf specific exercises to make your time on the course more successful and fun, while at the same time improving your overall fitness level.