Get ready for Spring right now! Start a golf fitness program to prevent common injuries and to strengthen and gain flexibility in your muscles. A good fit body will help avoid early season injuries that will take 4-6 weeks on the average to heal when they happen. That could take you right into the start of summer!
Avoid those injuries by doing some exercises to strengthen the muscles in your lower back, shoulders and wrists. For your lower back, start by concentrating on your core abdominal muscles. Being fit in this area takes the majority of the strain off the lower back. There are many great abdominal exercises, choose the ones that you prefer best. Exercise Balls work great.
For your shoulders and wrists, concentrate on the areas around the rotator cuffs and the top of the wrist. Push-ups and some light weight lifting are great for the shoulders. Wrist curls with those lightweights work wonders. Also, don’t forget about your hands; try using some grip strengtheners. Remember the golf swing starts with a good grip!!
As you add strength, learn some stretching exercises as well to increase your flexibility. If you have not tried it before, Yoga is an excellent way to build core strength and flexibility. This flexibility will not only aid in avoiding injuries but also make your golf swing more effective.
Now is the time to change those habits that have been holding you back. Since you cannot play as much or even hit balls, this is a great time to think about and work on your mechanics in a full length mirror or even with your home video camera.
First concentrate (as you work on your strengthening and flexibility exercises) on your set up. The goal here is to get your body fit to achieve a posture that is well balanced. Since balance is a key element to any athletic motion, it becomes much easier to make the motion in balance when you begin in balance.
If you have house or garage area that is usable, setting up a net and mat to hit balls into will help change these mechanics into feel before the Spring.
So when it’s cold outside and it’s too nasty to go out, your golf game can benefit! Begin a conditioning program for your game. Exercise to strengthen muscles and stretch to gain flexibility in order to avoid injury and be ready for the Spring. Work on swing mechanics to improve your ball striking. Keep your chipping and putting practice going to maintain feel. Nurture your golf game this winter and when Spring comes you can come out ready to shoot low scores!!
Matthew Truong, CPGA