Take a Swing at These Golf Training Tips
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While golf is often viewed strictly as a leisurely hobby rather than exercise, in reality it requires proper and intentional training in strength and flexibility. This non-traditional form of physical activity may be capable of more than you think. Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer David H. Williams reveals the physical perks of playing a round of golf and the secret to keeping your golf game young.
The average golfer carrying their bag on the course burns around 700 calories. However, just because carrying your bag may burn more calories than using a push cart or even riding in a golf cart, it has the potential to cause muscular imbalances from consistently carrying it over one shoulder. Williams recommends carrying a bag with backpack straps in order to evenly distribute the weight.
Acclimate & Hydrate
Williams also advises to get acclimated to the heat by walking outside if you plan on playing in warm weather. Hopping on a treadmill and increasing the incline is beneficial preparation for walking the hills on the golf courses as well. If you do plan on playing any number of holes of golf in the summertime, it is vital to drink lots of water and be hydrated before you play outside and drink throughout the day. If you feel thirsty or dehydrated, it is more than likely too late and you are experiencing dehydration by that point.
Flexibility is key to longevity in your golf game. “Disassociating your hips with your upper body keeps your swing young and strong as you age,” says Williams. “This means it is important to have the appropriate mobility to rotate your upper body while keeping your hips aligned, which provides more power behind your swing.” Williams prescribes practicing good posture in your daily activities to help with rotation movements. Poor posture results in curvature of the upper back and makes it difficult to rotate properly with the spine is constantly flexed.
Strength training is vital in the power production of your swing on the golf course. Williams suggests incorporating the use of a medicine ball with speed-based movements and to not neglect strengthening your lower body. “When your lower body is strong then your swing is strong,” says Williams. “Your lower body is the base for your stability. Power starts from the ground up. While it’s important to do upper body strength training workouts, bulking up on muscle mass in the upper body can negatively affect your motility in your rotation and swing.”
To ensure the necessary strength and flexibility in your upper body, integrate back and strengthening exercises and hip mobility in your workouts throughout the weekend. As you focus on lower body, hop on the seated hip abduction and adduction machines in the gym or walk laterally with a resistance band around your ankles, with slow controlled steps. These movements strengthen the glutes, which serve as anchor muscles in your golf swing.
Even non-traditional forms of fitness, such as golf, are ideal alternatives to achieve physical fitness and serve as an enjoyable hobby. These exercises will improve flexibility, strength and core stability, and are tailored to keep you doing what you love for longer.
For more information about Cooper Fitness Center or to schedule a session with a Professional Fitness Trainer, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com or call 972.233.4832.