How to Improve Your Approach to Golf + 3 Resistance Exercises to Try
Golfing is an excellent way to exercise, build relationships with others, and connect with nature all at once. However, the game itself can be challenging and leave you frustrated with your playing performance.
Improving in any competitive sport can often feel time-consuming and unproductive, especially when faced with droughts of bad performances or rounds where you don’t meet your own expectations.
The following tips and tricks can help you attain your new personal best on your local golf course or upcoming sporting event.
Establish a Healthy Cardiovascular Program
Your mind constantly processes information and catalogs experiences to help your body deliver appropriate responses and reactions. Sometimes those responses include passing judgment on your own performance at a particular task.
Consistent physical activity is shown to reduce performance-based anxiety by increasing blood flow and mental acuity, according to various researchers.
Try introducing 30 minutes of exercise of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking, for three days a week.
This cardiovascular program will help you gain significant health benefits and improve how you react and respond to new information, including nervousness, lapses in concentration, or even self-doubt when you’re faced with a tough lie from your tee shot.
Add Resistance Exercises to Your Training
Consider how you swing a golf club. The power and momentum with which you strike the ball begins in your hips and then builds as it transfers through your core into your arms and, eventually, your golf club.
While you might commit yourself to an active, healthy lifestyle, the muscles you use in golf are quite different from the ones you would use to run a marathon. Introduce the following conditioning exercises into your training routine to target the muscles most used in golf and improve the power of your hips, trunk and shoulders.
Glute bridges target the gluteus maximus and influence how much power and strength your hips can produce.
How to do it: Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips towards the ceiling, so that only your shoulders and heels are on the floor. For added difficulty, try Single Leg Glute Bridges.
Medicine Ball Twists
Medicine ball twists target your obliques and strengthen trunk rotation.
How to do it: Sit on the floor with knees and hips bent. Hold a medicine ball with both hands. Tilt back slightly balancing on your hips with bent legs positioned as you tap the floor with the held medicine ball to your left and right.
Banded Shoulder Internal and External Rotation
Band rotations target the stabilizers in your shoulders.
How to do it: Bend your elbow 90 degrees with your fist in front of you. Squeeze a towel under your armpit, preventing it from falling out. Grab the end of a resistance band and slowly pull the band across your body, keeping your elbow bent. Stop when you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds or as directed. Slowly return to the starting position. For the external shoulder rotation, pull the resistance band out to your side with your elbow at your side and the towel tucked under your armpit. Stop and hold for 30 seconds when you feel a stretch. Slowly return to the starting position.
Being in the Moment
Golf, like many sports and events, requires elements beyond physical conditioning and approach. Developing mental toughness and concentration techniques can help you overcome both internal and external stresses from regrets or mistakes made while playing.
Practicing Tai Chi or implementing daily meditation can be useful exercises to conquer obstacles while on the course. Trust in yourself and take every moment in front of you for what it is, and over time, you will be able to enjoy every round of golf no matter what number is on the scorecard.
Have a great summer, and good luck with your next round of golf.
About the Author
Justin Shenal is the Health and Fitness Specialist at Cone Health in Greensboro. He is a Certified Exercise Physiologist who received his degree in Kinesiology from SUNY Brockport where he also competed in NCAA cross country and track & field programs. His prior experiences in exercise programming and cardiovascular conditioning brings significant expertise to Sagewell Health & Fitness.