Golf Fitness: Core Stretching For Strength and Flexibility
Golf has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. This can be seen on any of the professional tours. For example, golfers are noticeably fitter (in their core) and more muscular than say 15 years ago. Tiger Woods is considered to be the forefather to this change, sparking others after him to do the same.
Golfers experience injuries when teeing it up because they’re not prepared for all of the movements in the golf swing. Here are some inexpensive ways you can improve your golf fitness at home.
Medicine Ball: Strength
Medicine balls, found inexpensively at sporting goods stores or online, are very helpful. Holding a medicine ball while doing a lunge with a twist at the waist is a great exercise. It helps strengthen the lower back, core, and the quadriceps. Start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps, alternating lunges with each leg.
Another great exercise with a medicine ball is called a Russian Twist. Sitting on the ground, slightly tilt back and raise your feet toward your chest. Hold the medicine ball and rotate side to side, touching the medicine ball to the ground. Strengthening ab and core muscles is the goal of this exercise. Three sets of 20 reps is a good start.
Core Stretching: Flexibility
A flexible core is also key to a good swing. Keeping the muscles in the core stretched give more flexibility. Here are some stretches you can do. On the ground, lie on your side with your knees bent and slowly rotate your arm to the other side of the floor, opening your chest. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, really focusing on getting a good stretch, and return to the start. Turn to the other side and repeat the process. This stretches the lower back and core.
Another stretch involves lying face down on the ground and raising your legs and arms at the same time. Hold in the raised position for a second or two and return your arms and legs to the ground. Repeat the motion 5-10 times to get a full stretch. This is a great exercise to strengthen the lower back referred to as the Superman exercise.
Fitness is an important component in developing a good golf swing and avoiding injuries that can keep you off the golf course. Proper stretching and an overall level of fitness help your game more than you may imagine.