I’m guilty of being “off season lazy” and do I know it tonight! This morning I attended Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Hundreds of golf club vendors, thousands of attendees, all surrounding one of the largest driving ranges in the country. And I visited them all. It took me three hours to walk the circumference of the driving range as I tested a number of belly putters and tried out a few new clubs. And because it’s winter in the north, I haven’t hit a golf club in two months. Big mistake. My aching muscles are telling me I should pay attention to the key advice in this post, written by our guest writer, Cara Pettersen from GolfDiscount.com
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How to Stay in Shape for Golf
Guest author: Cara Pettersen
It may be the dead of winter, but you don’t have to live in Arizona or Florida to continue working on your golf game. Staying active and developing an exercise routine during the off-season is important, especially if you play competitively.
While the spring, summer, and fall are devoted to more of the fundamental parts of your game, the inability to play during the winter is a good way to focus on your conditioning. Developing an off-season training program can make a huge difference in your game – even without hitting any golf balls. Listed below are some basic exercises to keep you fit and ready for the upcoming golf season.
1.) Plank: If you only choose to focus on one part of your body, make sure it is the core. Many people think if you want to get stronger, lifting weights is the most effective way. However, you generate most of your power from your core and not your arms. Especially if you are looking to add distance, doing a basic plank exercise will improve your core strength and stability.
To do so, begin in the plank position by using your forearms and toes to keep your torso 6 to 12 inches off the ground. While keeping your body straight and parallel to the ground, hold this position for 30 seconds. Once you repeat the plank enough, you will be able to increase to 45 or 60 seconds and rotate your hips to the left and right briefly touching the ground.
2.) Lunges: Doing a basic lunge with a medicine ball is a great way to improve power. While holding the medicine ball, perform a lunge with your right leg while simultaneously rotating the ball to the left. Repeat with the other side of your body. By doing so, you will strengthen your quadriceps, develop more flexibility, and be able to stay energized throughout the round.
3.) Hip Abductor: For this exercise, you will need either a club or a body bar. Set up as if you are addressing the ball with the club placed behind your shoulders. Lift your left heel up as if you are beginning your backswing while simultaneously rotating your shoulders so the butt of the golf club is facing forward. This will transfer 80-90% of your weight to your right foot and force your right hip to rotate. Do three sets of 10 repetitions for both legs.
If done correctly, you should see increased flexibility and strength because you are rotating your hips, not sliding them, giving your shoulders the ability to make a larger backswing and thus developing more power when swinging golf clubs!
4.) Lifts: There are many abdominal exercises that can help your game, but lifts are one of the best. Lay on your stomach with your arms and legs fully extended. Begin by lifting your right arm and left leg about six inches off the ground and holding it for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with the left arm and right leg. Make sure you are resting for 20-30 seconds between each repetition.
Lifts help with your abdominals, forearms, and legs. After a while, you should be able to hold the position for longer. If you keep lifts in your workout, come golf season you should see improvements in your posture and swing technique.
You may have noticed none of these exercises needs a gym or trainer. Regardless of whether you play competitively or for fun, by setting aside 20 minutes a couple days per week will help improve your conditioning and enjoyment of golfing.
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What do you do to stay in shape in your “off-season?”