I hope the exciting Master’s tournament got your golf blood boiling and you’re ready to kick off the season in style. Fitness style!
I’ve been playing golf for 48 years now. Wow, I must be old! Not too old. My dad started me when I was two with a five-iron he had sawed off and had custom made for a toddler. In addition, I have been fascinated with fitness since age 12. As a scrawny kid, I quickly became fascinated with how lifting weights helped me as a passionate hockey and football player in school. But it would take me many years to learn how fitness could uniquely improve my golf game.
As soon as the Minnesota snow would thaw in the Spring I would play and practice golf every day, all day. Nothing else mattered and I would put my weight resistance routine on hold. Around August, it was time for two-a-day football practices and lots of banging weights. I loved pumping iron, but each season I noticed it would throw off my golf swing timing horrifically. The tightness and pumped up feeling I loved in my upper body was impeding the fluidity of my swing, and my club head speed and consistency suffered.
So learn from my mistakes. If you truly want to use fitness to improve your golf game, you need to focus on the following areas:
- Leg Power – Like almost every sport, the power in golf comes from your lower body. A powerful leg drive and hip turn will generate the greatest club head speed and thus the greatest distance. If you think the power comes from your upper body, just try hitting a golf ball with your legs together! You won’t hit it very far but it is a great drill as it reminds you how important the lower body is in the mechanics of the swing. Golfers who try and muscle the ball with their upper body lose distance, accuracy and their consistency truly suffers.
- Core Strength and Stability – A strong core is necessary to maintain a proper spine angle throughout your golf swing. If your core is weak, or starts to get fatigued on the back nine, your spine angle will be compromised. Even the slightest movement of your spine angle will throw off your swing plane and make it much harder to get the club back squarely to the ball. There goes your consistency. Also, a strong core is imperative in preventing low back-aches and pains or spinal injuries.
- Flexibility – Some golfers work out and are strong. Many golfers are twigs and would blow away in a brisk wind if it weren’t for their golf cleats! But all good golfers, men and women, have one physical attribute in common: Flexibility. This is why Michelle Wie can hit the ball almost as far as Ernie Els even though Ernie probably outweighs Michelle with about 70 pounds more muscle! Remember, you generate the power in your legs and your upper body is basically along for the ride. The greater flexibility you have in your spine, back muscles, arms and shoulders, the more of that leg power will equate to greater club head speed. Remember my story. Furthermore, tight muscles and joints are much more conducive to the common golf injuries in the shoulders, spine and back muscles.
So check out the video I put together—a great circuit-type workout to address all of these areas and more. Here is a sneak peek:
- Oblique Exercises – which are so important for a strong rotation.
- Leg Exercises – Butt, hip, quad, hamstring and calf exercises to boost your power.
- Core Exercises – Strong abs and back muscles are critical for golf performance and to thwart common golf injuries like low back aches and fatigue.
- Forearm Exercises – Using a wonderful attachment, the Total Gym Golf Core Grip, you will functionally strengthen your grip.
- Flexibility Exercises – I’ll sprinkle in some Pilates and Yoga based stretching movements to keep your club head speed jacked up and your muscles, joints and spine supple for life.
Watch, enjoy, contact me with questions and most importantly: Hit em’ straight!