You’ll Always Break 100…………….Step 2
Exercise, General Fitness and Posture
A golfer may play golf every day and the next golfer may get out on the links only two times a year. However, both golfers must consider themselves athletes in training if they are to play well and be injury free. This by no means is t hint that you must conduct the daily rigors of an Olympic participant though. But you must have a daily exercise routine with stretching and posture enhancements.
Any daily routine that incorporates both stretching and pushing is all that is necessary, but remember that the most important exercises are from the waist down. Posture and flexibility are more important than brute strength, but you must have power in your legs. Your goal should be to become a flexible, light recoil spring, rather than a champion body builder. Your daily routine can be simple or complex. I consider mine very simple but effective.
Each morning before I shower (it’s always best to have a set time) , I perform my daily exercises, and here are what they are:
1. Full Body Rotates; While standing with arms outstretched to the sides at shoulder height, and legs spread apart, I keep my body completely still from the waist down while rotating the upper torso from left to right about 20 times. You might also like doing this with a curtain rod on your shoulders or even your driver.
2. Push Ups; Against the wall if necessary, from the knee position, or a complete full stretched push up without modification. It doesn’t matter. Depending on your physical condition do what works for you. Do between 10 and 20 of these. As your strength builds, you can convert to the traditional push up.
3. Stretch out those leg muscles; While standing with legs spread and hands on your thighs, shift you body weight as far left as you can, then as far right as you can. Do this about 20 times before moving on to the next exercise.
4. With legs positioned with one foot forward and one foot back, support yourself with the wall in front of you, then stretch out those achieve tendons. Don’t bounce, just stretch. As your balance increases you can forget about the wall and just take a fencing pose and stretch.
5. Walking Lunges; Take 10 to 20 steps forward while lunging. Remember to keep your knees bent after making contact with your step.
6. Jumps; This is probably the best all around exercise you can do. Simply stand in place and jump as high as you can about 20 times. This is incredible for your legs. You may look fooling doing this at the course, but I recommend it before any round of golf.
7.Modified Sit Ups; You don’t need to come all the way up, but put good tension on your core muscles. 20 of these will do. The back is the most susseptable of muscles for golfers and this will help prevent back issues.
The next three exercises are what I call my “Tee Box Exercises”. These are the exact same exercises that I perform before stepping up to the first tee. If you’re like me, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself before teeing off at the first tee, and these won’t. I don’t want to do some “Super Jock” workout and then hit a 50 yard drive, or even worse. That is why I developed the “Tee Box Exercises”.They are quick and easy, yet they help reduce the likelihood of getting a pulled or strained muscle when trying to play my best possible game of golf.
A. Swing the Club. This was a recommendation of the man who was probably the greatest swing expert of all time, Ben Hogan. Muscle memory is a huge part of what golf is all about. By practicing the proper swing sequence at a reduced speed you will reinforce to your muscles the proper swing pattern when you get ready to tee off. The first movement is to start the hips moving in the direction of the backswing. Now you should be pulling your hands back. To begin your downsing pull down with your hands, and end with a controlled, balanced finished position. Sounds simple doesn’t it, but this is the only proper swing sequence for consistent and powerful golf swings. You can view this online (YouTube) by googling “Ben Hogan explains his swing.” This is infinitely important. I like to watch this 2-3 times a week, and before every round of golf. This exercise will have to be done differently when done in your bedroom versus outside. Inside you can choke down on an eight iron, or have a cut off, weighted or modified shaft, whatever you have room fro in your bedroom. Just practice swinging your club. Concentrate on stretching. Stretch on the backswing and the follow through. Just swing it around and stretch thos muscles. REMEMBER: Swing your hands; not your clubhead. Casting the clubhead is not the proper way to swing a golf club.
B. Isotonic Palm Push; With hands to chest height, palms facing each other, push hands against each other for 10 seconds, let off for 10 seconds, then push for 10 seconds. You can do this exercise at least 10 times.
C. High Marching Strides; While stand in position, lift your right leg up with your right knee bent. Lift it all the way to your stomach or chest if possible. Do the same with your left leg. Do this stretch at leas 10 complete sets. It’s also a good idea to hold the legs in the up position if possible to help stretch them out.
Exercises are mandatory to strengthen and stretch the muscles and prevent injuries. Remember; better flexibility equals better golf. So far we’ve concentrated on muscle memory so that you know how the body feels when performing golf functions when functioning properly. You must work on this “Feel” every day, and especially before every round. So far, however, we’ve done nothing for the putting portions of your golf game. Before beginning play, you must sharpen the feel of your putting muscles also. I do this by taking 10 balls to the putting clock and encircling the hole from about one foot from the cup. I put all 10 balls. Then I do the same process from two or three feet from the cup, and putt the 10 balls. Then five fee from the cup, then eight to ten feet, and finally take 15 to 20 putts (lags) from as far from the cup as the clock will allow. When you do this, you have now sharpened your feel. You are stretched, relaxed, confident, flexible and ready to stroke the ball well.
Posture is not quite the same thing as exercise, but it is equally important. Many times players seem to “hit the Wall”, as joggers say, about the 14th to the 16th holes. Suddenly, they are famished, totally exhausted and dragging around like death warmed over. Totally drained of strength. This is caused from poor posture as much as from anything else. The simplest way that I know of to combat this, is to put your club behind the small of your back, hood your arms around the club at the elbows, and walk from shot to shot this way. A good system for doing this is to take whatever club you just used to make your last shot with and put it in the small of your back. Keep trading clubs as you play your game. Before long, you’ll see a marked difference in your posture if you play very often. Even if riding in a cart you can do this to and from the cart. (This was a tip that I picked up from Gary Player.)
Not only will your golf game improve, but you’ll be pleased with the overall improvement in you health. If you are aware of any medical problems, or if you have any questions, you should always consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program. Again, I want to emphasize that your objective is to increase your flexibility and endurance, not to build bulk or pure strength for the sake of being “strong”.