Golf & Fitness Exercises

By Patrick Cameron
Stretching the hips and shoulders will help your golf swing.
Stretching the hips and shoulders will help your golf swing.

Golf requires contributions from virtually every part of your body. The swing works like a whip running up from the feet all the way through to the wrists and hands. As you progress, your swing becomes more fluid and you tend not to feel the muscles working. But they are there. Having an exercise routine that builds power and flexibility in these muscles will help you hit the ball farther and keep you injury-free.

Power Exercises

Building the big muscles involved in the golf swing can give you better drives through impact and increase distance. Shoulders, core muscles and thighs are all vital big muscles that must be toned to increase power. You don't need weights or machines to perform basic exercises that will make for a stronger swing at impact. Squats, in which you keep your back straight, feet shoulder-width apart and bend so that your thighs are parallel to the ground, are good for core and thigh muscles. Push-ups, where you lay face down and balance on your toes and hands, then push your body up from the ground and back down, help you shape and hone the core, including the stomach, shoulders and back muscles.

Swing Exercises

Having solid swing mechanics will keep you out of trouble on the course. The swing is a game of timing and certain exercises sharpen the muscles involved in the nuances and mechanics of your swing. You don't need fancy equipment to work on your swing mechanics. A simple exercise, known as the speed drill, helps generate greater speed in the hands, wrists and forearms. Extend one arm out in front of you and open and close your hand as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Rest for 60 seconds and then repeat. A good rotational exercise can help create more club head momentum. The table twist involves getting down on your hands and knees with your right hand behind your head. Rotate the body, bringing your arm up so that your elbow points at the sky, then down so that it sits under your left elbow. Do this five times and then switch arms.

Flexibility Exercises

Shoulder and hip rotation are keys to your swing. Ninety-degree shoulder rotation requires flexibility to produce the type of results you want off the tee, fairway, sand trap or around the green. The table twist, which can be used for swing mechanics, will also help with flexibility. Do a trunk and lat extension lunge with a golf club in the left hand. Lunge forward on to your right knee, left leg extended out in front of you. Raise your right arm above your head and extend it to your left, leaning on the club in your left hand for balance. This will increase the flexibility in several key areas, including the legs, hips and shoulders.

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