Fitness Exercises for Golf
There are many aspects of a golf swing which dictate the success-fulness of the shot. The major parameters include the technique, tempo and timing of the shot execution which can all work simultaneously together to produce an accurate shot towards the target. Another aspect of the golf swing can be enhanced is the power generated during the swing. As with boxing, the power of the shot means little if technique and accuracy is not yet mastered, but increased power for the intermediate and advanced golfer can aid their game by hitting longer drives off the tee as well as longer iron shots.
Muscles involved in a golf swing
The golf swing involves various muscle groups working simultaneously to produce a successful shot. Below is a brief list of the major muscle groups involved during the swing.
The core muscles – these include the lower back and the muscles of the abdomen. Long drives and iron shots involve the rotation of the trunk both during the upswing and follow through. A lot of the power is generated from the rotation of the torso, and therefore a powerful and flexible core will produce a quicker and more powerful swing.
Shoulders – The entire swing involves the shoulder muscles contracting through a wide range of motion. The shoulders contracts as the golf club is brought back during the upswing to raise the arms upwards and are forcefully recruited during the downward swing and follow through.
Legs – the quadriceps (four muscles which compose the thigh), glutes (backside) and hamstrings (muscles to the rear of the upper leg) all aid in maintaining posture during a swing. Maintaining sound swing posture right through to the eighteenth hole will reduce rogue shots during the latter stage of the course.
Exercises for the golf swing
There are various effective weight training exercises which can enhance power and muscle functionality. We have included a brief selection below and outlined which muscle groups the exercise targets.
Side plank twist
Targets: Core muscles
How many? 8-15 reps per side
Instructions: Lay on one side on the floor whilst keeping the forearm of the arm closest to the floor running perpendicular to the body and supporting the shoulder. The thigh of the bottom leg, hips, and the side of the lower torso should be in contact with the floor. Place the foot of the top leg in front of the bottom foot, so to aid stability. Straighten the body by pushing the hips towards the ceiling, so the body is supported by the feet and arm closest to the floor. With the free arm, point towards the ceiling, so the arm is fully outstretched. Bring the outstretched arm around in front of the body, allowing it to bend slightly so it can twist below the body whilst also rotating the body at the same time. Reverse the movement so the arm is again pointing to the ceiling. Repeat for repetitions and then repeat for the other side.
Dumbbell shoulder press
How may? 8-10 reps
Instructions: Stand erect grasping a dumbbell in each hand. Bring the dumbbells to the shoulder level ready to be pressed above the head with the palms facing away from the body. Maintaining sound posture throughout, press the dumbbells above the head by extending the arms. Keep a slight bend in the knees during the lift, but minimise any additional body movement. Slowly lower the weight to the starting position and repeat for repetitions.
Targets: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes
How many? 8-10 reps
Instructions: If you do not have access to a leg press machine then replace with the barbell squat (ask assistance from a personal trainer if you are new to the movement). Load the leg press with a suitable weight (begin very light at first to become confident with the movement) and sit on the seat. Position the feet a couple of feet apart and extend the legs to take the sledge off the catch. Rotate and slide the side bars to release the catches (machines differ, so your machine may be much different than this description). Descend by bend at the knees, allowing the sledge to slide down the railings, ensuring total control. Stop when the legs are bent at nineteen degrees and then forcefully extend the legs to the starting position. Repeat for repetitions. Rotate and slide the side bars to place on the catch at the end of the set to “rack” the sledge.