The Best Exercises for Golfers
While fitness may not seem top of mind to most golfers, it should be. Nowadays, more golfers partake in cross-training, also known as a varied workout program that combines different types of activities.
Why? Like with most other sports that require repetitive movement, golfers are prone to injuries and sore joints due to the nature of the golf swing.
To prevent injuries from occurring, there are a number of exercises you can perform that not only protect your muscles and joints, but may also improve your game. Keep reading for a guide to the best exercises for golfers.
Benefits of Cross-Training
If you're feeling skeptical about incorporating different exercises and types of movement into your training, don't be. By performing a combination of exercises—in addition to your regular golfing exercises—like strength training, core work, and dynamic movement, you can help strengthen your muscles and joints.
Cross-training can also improve your balance and flexibility, which are both key for golfers. Many of the exercises listed below focus on unilateral movement, meaning you perform the exercise with one leg at a time. This can help you build balance, stability, and core control.
Not only that, but cross-training can also improve your muscular endurance, which is important for golfers. Since a single golf round takes a considerable amount of time and effort, it's important that your muscles have the endurance to last through a single game. Without muscular endurance, you may not have the same power in your swing on the 14th hole as you did on the first.
To sum it up, by performing the best exercises for golfers, you can improve your core strength, balance, stability, and posture—all of which are crucial for a consistently powerful golf swing.
The Best Exercises for Golfers
Now that you know about some of the benefits of cross-training, it's time to dig into the best exercises for golfers. Below are seven of the most effective exercises that golfers can benefit from.
Lunges are a great unilateral movement in general since they recruit your core and demand lots of balance. This makes them a great choice for golfers, too.
To perform this exercise, start by standing with your feet together. Step your right foot forward, deep enough for a lunge, with your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Maintain this position, then rotate your arms to the right.
By including a rotation, this exercise forces you to learn how to balance. If this is too easy for you, try performing this rotation with a medicine ball.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat
Speaking of unilateral movements—the Bulgarian split squat is known as one of the toughest exercises around. That's because it requires you to perform a squat with only one of your legs at a time.
This exercise can build up leg strength, as well as enhance your core control and balance abilities. Place one leg on a bench and step forward with your other leg. Make sure your knee doesn't go past your toes.
Then, squat down with the forefront leg, while maintaining your balance. Repeat on the other side.
3. Single Leg Deadlift
Tired of these unilateral movements yet? The single leg deadlift is another great exercise golfers can add to their arsenal.
This exercise is performed similarly to a regular deadlift, except you'll only perform it with one leg at a time. Remember to hinge at the hips as you pull the dumbbell or barbell down your body.
A tried and true exercise, push-ups are great for building muscular endurance, core strength, and upper body strength. When playing golf, your upper body strength is crucial for determining the power of your swing. By building a strong upper body, you can set yourself up for a strong, powerful golf swing.
If traditional push-ups are too difficult, try bending your knees for an easier alternative.
Similar to the lunge exercise mentioned earlier, the squat recommended for golfers involves a rotation. It activates your core more and requires you to balance.
Start by standing shoulder-width apart. Shoot your hips back as you squat down without letting your knees go past your toes. Once you've squatted down, rotate your arms or a medicine ball to your right, then return to the forward-facing position and stand up.
6. Bent Over Row
Another upper body exercise, the bent over row involves your lats, traps, and biceps—all of which are crucial for golfers. You can perform this exercise with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell.
Start by bending over, but remember to keep your back straight and core tight. With your arms parallel at your sides, bring the dumbbells up so that your lats and traps are contracted. For an extra challenge, hold the weights here for one to two seconds for an isometric hold.
7. Russian Twists
A strong core is essential for maintaining your balance, posture, and golf form. Russian twists are one of the best core exercises for activating your obliques.
To perform this movement, grab a medicine ball or lighter dumbbell. Sit on the ground with your feet in the air and bent at an angle. Lift your weight of choice up, holding it with both hands, and rotate to the left, back to the center, and then to the right.
That's one rep. Perform as many of these as you can and watch your core grow stronger.
Take Your Game to the Next Level
Hopefully, you now have a good understanding of why cross-training is beneficial for golfers, as well as some of the best exercises for golfers. While there are certainly many more exercises than the ones included on this list, this should serve as a good starting point of core, foundational movements.
Interested in a golf membership? Consistent play is the only way to truly get better, and Piqua Country Club offers a variety of membership plans you can choose from. Contact Piqua Country Club today for more information.