After another turbulent year, it’s difficult to know what 2022 holds for the golf season, but we can make sure you’re ready for whatever it brings with 10 of the best exercises to do before heading back out onto the golf course.
What muscles should you exercise for golf?
Our glutes shut down, hamstrings tighten, and hip flexor muscles shrink when we sit for long periods of time, which can not only affect your hip mobility but your golf swing too. When sitting in front of the computer, we also have the tendency to round our upper backs, which puts our thoracic spine and neck out of alignment, affecting our torso rotation, which is another essential area of the body to get moving after a long hiatus from golf. Here are some easy exercises you can do to re-engage those important golfing muscles:
1. Lunge with Torso Rotation
This is an excellent exercise for warming up your lower body and rotating your upper body in preparation for your backswing.
Take a stride forward with your right leg in front of you and bend into a lunge, with both legs sitting at a 90 degree angle at the knee. From here, twist your torso in the direction of the forward leg (in this case, your right). Then, with the other leg forward, repeat.
2. Backswing Shoulder Practise
Your shoulder movement is imperative to your golf swing, especially the backswing. For this exercise, take your usual golf stance and address a would-be golf ball. Whilst in this stance, take a club and lay it on your back shoulder (right shoulder for right handed player). As the club lies on the shoulder, rotate the body as if carrying out a normal backswing. Push the golf club away from the body and off the shoulder. This should be the correct position to put yourself in at the top of your backswing. Repeat this process frequently to ready your body for the upcoming season.
3. Torso Acceleration
This workout helps you create a stronger upper-lower body sequence and teaches you how to activate your transverse abdominals during your swing. Take a full backswing while attempting to keep your lower body from shifting. Keep your shoulder plane from leveling out at the top. Return to the contact position with little or no lower body mobility from here. Finally, spin your entire body to the finish line while keeping a solid, steady posture and shoulder plane.
4. Core Strength
Muscle tone in the stomach and back must be increased to improve core strength. The twisting action in your backswing provides more power when your core is strong. Traditional abdominal strengtheners include stomach crunches and leg lifts, although isometric workouts can be done at any time.
For 60 seconds, simply tense your abdominal muscles. Another effective core exercise is to lie flat on your back with your arms out to the side. Grasp your knees and bring them to your chest. Without raising your shoulders off the ground, roll your knees to one side and then the other.
Stiffness in the shoulders, back, hips, and legs prevents the club from fully extending during the swing. Bring one arm straight out in front of you, palm up, to flex your arm muscles. Take your second hand and place it on the outstretched hand's palm. Gently press your bottom palm down, directing your fingers toward the ground. Hold this stretch for a short while before relaxing and repeating. Switch over to the other side and repeat the same stretch with the other arm on the bottom.
6. Stretching your Quads
If a golfer's quadriceps aren't properly stretched, they can be prone to cramping. Luckily, loosening them is a basic stretch.
Stand with both feet flat on the floor and use a door frame or even a golf club to keep yourself steady. Bend your left leg and knee, and use your left hand to push your left foot as close to your buttocks as possible.
In your quad, you should feel a stretch. Hold this position for 15 seconds before switching to the other leg.
7. Upper Body Strength
Strengthening the upper body muscles can be beneficial to generating a better clubhead speed. Push ups, bicep curls, and triceps extensions are all effective upper body exercises you could try.
One effective chest-strengthening exercise is: Begin by lying flat with your back on the floor, arms stretched out from your body. Each hand should hold a weight - opt for one that’s easy enough for you to lift. Lift your arms off the ground, holding onto the weights, and point them toward the ceiling until they are parallel to your body. Hold, before slowly lowering your arms back to the ground with controlled movement.
Alternatively, strengthen your arms using your own body weight. Sit on the edge of a chair. Place your palms flat on either side of your buttocks and slightly behind you on the chair. Bend your knees while keeping your feet on the ground. Lift your buttocks and rise forward from the chair. Bend your arms as you slowly drop yourself to the floor in front of the chair, but don’t drop all the way and hold. Rather than using your legs to get back up, use your arms to return to your original seated position.
Find a comfortable position on the floor to lie down on your back, with your feet planted on the ground and your knees in the air. The distance between your feet should be slightly greater than shoulder width.
Bend at the waist so that your knees lift, before lowering both knees to the left side, keeping your back and torso fixed on the floor. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then return to centre and repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
Bend forward at the hips and place your hands and knees on the ground to get on all fours. Slowly stretch your hands out into a press up posture. Once you're in this position, move your hands towards your knees before lifting back onto your feet. Repeat this process ten times.
Alternatively, you can skip the all fours step of this exercise, by bending forward at the hips, placing your hands on the ground, and moving into a plank position while keeping your back as straight as possible. Hold the position for a few seconds before moving your hands back in towards your toes and lifting to stand straight.
10. Glute Bridges
This is an excellent workout for activating those muscles that have been dormant during the low season. This is a terrific warm-up activity to undertake before the season starts, and even before each round. Begin by lying down on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat on the ground. Press into the ground from your shoulders and your feet as you lift your hips into the air, activating the glutes at the same time. Hold your hips and glutes in a bridge-like position for a couple of seconds before lowering back down to the ground with controlled movements. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times.
Prepare for the golf season with Darren Clarke CBD
It can be hard to get back into sport after the festive season, and the anxiety of underperforming compared to your last season can take its toll. However, with these simple exercises we have outlined above, you could be in with a better chance of starting the season well.
Golf CBD oil and CBD gummies for golf could help you with both the physical and mental aspects of golf for the upcoming season, from helping you to get a better night's sleep, to alleviating some of the aches and pains associated with existing or recurring injuries.While we’re still in the winter months, take some time to read our advice for playing golf in the winter if you’re ready to get some early practise in before the golf season starts again!