By Kathy Ekdahl, CSCS, TPI L2, Personal Best, Personal Training
The golf swing necessitates a combination of strength and flexibility, stability and mobility. By
balancing out these oppositional traits, we can create a swing that is powerful and fluid. Here are
my top 6 fitness tips for the physical preparation necessary for a great golf swing:
- Develop a pre-round physical and mental warm-up. Physical warm-ups prepare our body for the task at end. But they also get the mind warmed up as well. Tailor your warm-up for a fluid golf swing for the round ahead!
- Maximize your thoracic rotation. Improving movement and mobility is never just about stretching. Muscles that have good flexibility must also have good strength to maintain that flexibility. Weak muscles are often tight muscles.
• Strengthen the glutes and hip rotators, the “kings” of the golf swing. The biggest mistake most golfers make is not training their legs, and especially their hips and glutes. Power translation begins with the legs. Find a squat, lunge or deadlift that suits your baseline fitness and build that leg strength!
• Strengthen the abs for stability and power translation. The abs act primarily as a spine stabilizer and an anchor for shoulder/hip separation. Good impact position requires lateral abdominal strength to create lag and translate power from clubface to ball, so make sure you include lateral body strengthening. Bird dogs, planks and side planks are all great anterior core exercises.
• Practice balance in every workout. Balance is a big part of golf, but balance is not just about practicing standing on 1 foot. Balance is a combination of stability and mobility (strength and flexibility). To improve your balance, begin with your core, your center of gravity, with abdominal exercises like those shown above. Add single leg work like lunges or split stances to involve the hips and glutes for better balance. And yes, practice balancing on 1 foot!
• To improve clubhead speed and hence distance, you must practice speed and power. Power and speed are built on a foundation of strength. Get strong, then add user friendly speed drills like kettlebell swings, med ball throws and KB cleans. To swing fast with control, you must go fast in the gym too!
About Kathy Ekdahl
Kathy is a personal trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Kathy is the author of Getting Golf Ready – An Introduction to Golf Fitness, available through Amazon. She has been featured as a golf fitness expert in IDEA magazine, a trade journal for the fitness industry, and offers golf fitness workshops to golf clubs and health clubs throughout Massachusetts. Find out more at her website: https://personalbestpersonaltraining.com/