Get ready for golf

Get ready for golf

In all sports, specific kinds of conditioning and strengthening exercises are critical to maximum performance. Tiger Woods, for example, spends considerable time concentrating on movements to improve coordination, balance, stability, flexibility and power.

Developing a strong, well-balanced body will put you way ahead of most golfers who think just practicing their swing will be enough. In golf, one side of the body is used differently than the other. That, in itself, can actually overdevelop some muscles while underdeveloping others.

Without question, technique is the decisive margin between average and excellent when it comes to enviable golf scores, but core strength and conditioning — which assure better control, power and flexibility — should not be overlooked.

There are an endless number of exercises that can be effective in strengthening muscle groups for golfers, but these are a few favored by some of the world's most famous pros. Although a single dumbbell can be used, a weighted medicine ball is the optimum choice. Add crunches, planks and pushups for overall core strength, squats and lunges for hips and lower-body muscles.

1. Start in a standing position holding a medicine ball or dumbbell.

2. Begin your lunge; as you step forward with one leg, rotate your upper body to that same side while holding the ball or dumbbell, arms extended, at chest height. Keep eyes forward, using arm movement to stretch upper body to that side.

3. Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg.

4. Repeat exercise 10 times for each side, 3 sets.

Used consistently, (three times a week) this exercise will improve swing speed, distance and the overall power of your swing.

1. In a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart, hold the medicine ball with both hands.

2. Following ball with torso, extend arms overhead to the right side.

3. Move ball downward, from high to low position, right to left across your body in a chopping motion.

4. Finish with the ball low across body, body facing left, knees slightly bent.

5. Repeat exercise 10 times for each side, 2 sets.

1. Start in normal golf posture, holding medicine ball where you would hold club.

2. Slowly move shoulders back and forth as if swinging a club.

3. Follow flow of movement, staying connected with shoulders, arms and hands.

4. Slowly increase range of motion to nearly 90 degrees

5. Repeat exercise 2-3 times per week.

Cindy Quick Wilson is a certified trainer at the Women's Fitness Company in Medford, which specializes in women's fitness and fitness nutrition.

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