Here on Cape Cod the golf season is winding down. But the golf exercise season is just getting started!
We’ve had a lot of great weather and some brave souls are still out there on the golf course in spite of the early morning chill. I plan to be playing 18 holes this Tuesday even though temps are predicted to be in the low 40′s for much of the morning. But even I, addicted to the game as I am, will soon have to give in to sanity and put the golf clubs in storage for a few months, at least until a January thaw.
But I don’t want to go into hibernation completely. In fact, the off-season is the best time to get ready for the next on-season. It’s precisely when you are not playing golf that you want to get into a routine of strength and flexibility exercises that prepares you for next year’s golf.
Golf Exercises for the Off Season: Recently I discussed this subject with Kathy Ekdahl of PersonaBestPersonalTraining. com and co-publisher of the GettingGolfReady Program for golf fitness produced by GolfGurls.
I recorded our conversation and you can listen to it here:
If you prefer to read a summary of her remarks read on:
- Off season is the best time to “ramp it up” with your golf exercise program. If you have any lingering soreness or minor injuries from playing, take the first couple of weeks off to rest and repair those tired muscles. But early winter is a time to start getting stronger and work extra hard on exercises without worrying about any impact on your game.
- It’s time to work the upper back muscles with exercises such as rowing, lap exercises as well as working on your glutes and abdominal muscles to build up your core. This is where you generate most of your power. Strong core muscles will keep your upper body safe. (Editor’s note: If you are unsure of where you should start, watch at least the first three free videos from our GettingGolfReady program. The program is all about conducting a golf fitness self-assessment and I think you will find it helpful.)
- Start slow, especially if you are not someone who has exercised regularly. 4 weeks of 3 sets 8-12 reps of exercise is a good start. It takes 4-6 weeks to build strength. If you pile on too much weight too soon, there is a chance you will injure yourself. In fact in the beginning you might want to just use your body weight and then slowly increase the weight using small hand weights. As you progress, be wise. Soreness is fine, but not pain. Each week evaluate, and don’t add more weight and more reps in the same week. Alternate as your strength increases.
- As spring returns begin to include some power exercises for swing speed. Speed drills using a medicine ball or elastic tubing can increase the power of your golf swing.
- And don’t forget the importance of stretches, getting a massage, visiting your chiropractor, off season is not only a time for strength training but it’s a time to heal your body as well.
Hope you found these ideas helpful. I also recorded additional podcasts with Kathy, covering subjects such as the best flexibility exercises for golf, exercise equipment questions, nutrition and injuries. They’ll be posted in the next few weeks. In the meantime, get up off the couch and start moving!
Do you have an off season exercise routine? How do you stay strong and flexible for golf? Add your comment below.