Strength and Mobility for Golfers
Best Exercises for Golfers
Most golfers think there is something wrong with their swing when they feel pain during/after playing. While you may need to work on your approach, chances are your body is lacking some of the mobility and strength that it needs to actually perform the movement. The stronger and more mobile you are the better you will be able to hit the ball. And the longer you will be able to play.
Golf is also a one sided sport. To avoid overuse injuries take a few swings with the other side. Constantly swinging with one side will eventually cause muscle imbalances increasing your chance of injury.
So before you fire your swing coach, try out these exercises and see if it helps.
Focuses on: Chest and Core
How: Start on hands and knees with shoulders directly over hands. Step each leg back with a shoulder width stance and draw your belly button into your spine and squeeze your glutes. You should never feel planks in your low back. Lifting your hips higher and tucking your pelvis are the usual cues to keep your back in a better spot.
Goal: One minute.
Focuses on: Rotation through the core. (Obliques, Rectus Abdomonis)
How: Start with an anchored band or cable machine about shoulder height. Stand tall and with feet shoulder width, Pull the band and rotate keeping the arms straight and shoulder height. Breathe out as you twist out. It is more important to be able to control the motion, then you can progress to exploding out and controlling the weight on the way back in.
Goal: Find a weight/tension you can control at 12 slow reps per side.
Focuses on: Posterior Side (Hamstrings, Glutes)
How: Start standing tall with feet shoulder width. Hinge at the hips poking your but back while keeping the natural curvature of your spine and lower back. The weight should slide down the legs towards the floor. Go down as far as your hamstrings will let you. While maintaining spinal alignment return to the top and squeeze the glutes at the finish. You shouldn’t feel it in your lower back.
Goal: Start light, find a weight you can do 15 slow and controlled reps.
Do this stuff as much as possible. It should feel good. Or at least make you feel better then when you started.
Focuses on: The upper back (Thoracic Spine)
How: With the right side of your body on the floor and your knees and hips bent at about 90 degrees, bring your palms together and extend your arms in front of your chest. Put a firm pillow or cushion beneath your head for support. Exhale as you rotate your torso to your left, lifting your left hand over your body and bringing your left shoulder and arm to the floor. Hold the stretch position for two deep breaths before returning to the starting position.
Goal: Perform 10-20 reps on both sides of your body, hold the last rotation for 5 breaths.
Focuses on: Internal/External Rotation of the hips.
How: Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet as wide as comfortable. Let both legs fall to one side trying to get both knees to the ground (its okay if they don’t get there). Bring the legs back to center and repeat movement to the other side. To increase difficulty try it seated on the ground without using your hands.
Goal: 10-20 reps per side.
Focuses on: Hip Flexors, Hamstrings
How: Start on all fours, swing the right leg out planting the foot next to your right pinky. Wiggle the left leg back, and tuck the left toe. Try to straighten the left leg without raising your hips. Once in this position you can “explore the room” focus on the hamstring in the right leg and the hip flexor of your left (front of your left leg). Oscillate around searching for areas of tightness. When you find them you will know! Repeat on the other side.
Goal: Minimum :30 seconds per side. You can hold these as long as you want and focus on the different areas of tightness.
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