Spring is here! And what better way to enjoy the longer days and warmer weather than an exciting round of golf. But before you grab your clubs, tees, and Savvy Girl purse, it’s important to remember that you need more than golf gear to prepare for a game. You need mental and physical endurance as well.
Golf is a challenging sport that offers many health and wellness benefits, and a successful game depends on your ability, strength, and strategy. So, with the holidays far behind you, it’s time to get your swing (and body) back in shape for this year’s golf season.
Try these easy to follow Savvy Girl Golf tips, and see for yourself how regular exercise and strength training can improve your game:
Every golfer knows that flexibility and balance are crucial to staying ahead of the competition. Tightness in the shoulders, back, hips, and legs restricts the extension of the club as you swing, which can affect your score and result in injury.
Stretching is key! Try taking yoga classes or stretching on a regular basis to increase your flexibility and posture. An easy way to develop hip flexibility is to lie flat on your back and pull one knee to your chest—with the opposite leg extended. Hold the flexed knee for a total of 30 seconds, then switch. Repeat this movement for 2 sets on each leg.
Wall sits are also a great hip strengthening exercise. Doing this exercise 10-60 seconds for 1-3 sets will help support hip rotation. When you head out to the course, grasp the golf club with your hands about 24 inches apart. Hold the club straight out in front of you at chest level. Stand with your knees slightly bent. Swing your arms and club to the right and then to the left—keeping your arms parallel to the floor at chest level—without turning your chest and head.
The stronger and more stable your core is, the less likely you are to develop lower back pain, which can ultimately cut your golf season short. Stomach crunches and leg lifts are basic abdomen strengtheners. Squats with a medicine ball are also highly effective. Place the medicine ball between the wall and curve of your lower back. Bend your knees and lower 5-10 inches—keeping your shoulders and hips square. Hold for 3 seconds and then stand back up. Do this for 5-8 reps, and you will feel the difference.
Another great workout is to take either your left or right leg and stand on a pillow—keeping the opposite foot off the ground and raise the knee even with your belt line. Hold for as long as possible. Once you lose your balance with the planted leg, switch to the other side and repeat. This will activate your abdominal region, creating both stability and strength throughout the core. For a great core stretch, lie flat on your back, arms to the side, and bring your knees to your chest. Gently roll your knees to one side and then the other, without lifting your shoulders off the floor.
Like any great sport, golf requires practice, practice, and practice. An effective way to improve your game is to watch golf improvement videos on YouTube or have your swing videotaped, so you can see your swing’s strengths and weaknesses. Use a weighted club or your favorite club and continue to practice your swing (inside or outside) to help limit the early season rust.
Don’t forget to watch your diet! Making smarter food choices will benefit your overall health and leave you feeling less vulnerable to injury. Keep a bottle of water on you to stay hydrated and prevent leg cramps—Lucky for you the Savvy Girl Signature Golf Purse has over 29 compartments to conveniently store your healthy snacks and water, so it’s easy to follow this tip.
Other Helpful Exercises:
Try this variation of exercises regularly to improve your flexibility and core strength:
Stationary Golf Swing with Medicine Ball – Assume golf posture and begin slowly rocking your shoulders as if swinging a club—slowly increasing range with each swing. Benefits from exercise include increased power output, stable base, and more consistent ball striking.
Alternating Arm and Leg Extension– Place your hands and knees on the floor, while your back remains flat. Simultaneously extend your left arm and right leg to opposite positions. Hold this position for several seconds—with your arm extended out in front of you and your leg extended behind your torso—then alternate with your opposite arm and leg. Do this range of movements for 10-15 reps. This exercise is great for strengthening your lower back muscles.
Remember to practice stretching before each exercise to avoid injuries. And to make it more fun, invite fellow golfers to work out with you.