Winter is here and more than likely you’ve put your clubs away in storage until spring. But this time of year is still great for golfers, especially for those eager to set fitness oriented goals in order to get themselves in the best possible position to start the golf season.
This blog posts starts the first of a three-part series on essential exercises for golfers. We’re starting with the lower body; perhaps the most overlooked part of the golf swing. We need strong legs and glutes to stabilize ourselves during the violent actions of a golf swing. Many swing faults originate from weakness in our lower bodies, and, what’s worse, inadequate strength in the legs produces an inefficient transfer of power from the ground up. So, in order to build a powerful golf swing, we turn our attention to our legs. (Make sure to stretch afterwards; use a foam roller to help alleviate any soreness).
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with toes fanned out slightly. Lower into the squat keeping your knees wide. Let your arms swing forward to counterbalance, and as you squat, keep your weight in the heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes). Aim to get your butt down to at least knee level, thighs parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight, chest and eyes forward, and imagine a plumb line from your nose through your tailbone keeping body centered through the squat.
Stand tall in front of the step/ bench/ chair. Keeping your foot flat on the step push all your weight through the front foot. Keep your knee wide, do not let it move inward and extend your leg fully and stand tall at the top. Slowly lower back down to start position.
The Side Step-Up
Stand tall a little behind and to the side of the step. Place your foot on the step and keep it flat at all times. Push through the foot and stand nice and tall moving your body towards the step, extending at the knee and hip. Slowly lower back down to starting position.
Place a band loop around your legs just below the knees (start with a light band). Bend into a partial squat and keep your feet hip width apart. Step to one side and let the trail leg slowly move back to hip width apart. Either keep moving in the same direction for all reps or alternate sides.
Lie on your back. Bring your heels to your butt, toes up. Contract your glutes and lift your hips as high as possible. Raise your arms vertical with palms together. Extend one leg keeping hips and knees level hold 10 seconds. Switch to other side.
William Brett is a good friend of Pound Ridge Golf Club and TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor who works with golfers of all ages and abilities. An avid, single digit handicap based in Manhattan, Will conducts golf fitness evaluations on location, at your home, gym or even on the golf course. With data he gathers (which is compared to PGA averages), golfers receive a fitness handicap. Also, the results from the evaluation identify any weaknesses that can cause swing faults. Through this information Will is able to design custom golf fitness programs catered to the individual, making them stronger, more flexible and a better golfer.