Unless you are a PGA TOUR Player or an Olympic Athlete, read on! The golf season is upon us and its time to make sure your equipment is in proper condition. I do not mean your clubs and other gear, I mean the most important piece of golf equipment, your body!
While it is great to start your golf season with lessons and time on the practice tee, you will get results much faster if you are in better golf shape. Even if you have not kept in good condition through the season there are a few simple things you can do without going to the gym. I want to share with you a few things I do to keep my condition golf ready and prevent injury.
WALK! That’s right, start a walking program! Something we can all do more of and the benefits are tremendous. Every step you take requires balance, coordination and stamina, all of which are crucial for good golf. Now, I am not talking about taking a leisurely “stroll”, but rather a more intense version as the pictures will demonstrate.
I call this my golf walk and while it may appear to be a little exaggerated, it will keep you feeling younger and more fit than if you are just strolling along. First, lets look at how older and less fit people tend to walk.
Here I am demonstrating the typical gait of someone out of shape or just not aware of the natural progression our bodies may take as we age. There is no reason to hasten this process so be aware of it and work to improve it.
The shoulders and posture are slumped, head down and the stride is short in length. This person will tend to have little or no shoulder movement or swing during each stride. If you are aware of this progression, why not work to improve it!!
I would recommend a more high-energy walk like this:
The first thing you want to do is make sure you are flexible enough to take a longer stride as shown. Also, you want to engage the shoulder and hips by swinging the opposite arm and leg (left foot forward and right arm forward and visa versa). This will stretch the hips and shoulders as they move in opposing direction. This separation is very important in making a golf swing and is a great pre-round warm up. Start slowly with this motion until you get the coordination perfected and then you can step up the pace.
A more advanced version of this would be “lunge” walking but it can be little tough on the knees and requires more strength and flexibility. Do not try the lunge walk unless you are fit enough or with a personal trainer.
Lunge shown here:
I have done a lot of training and put the time in the gym so I am able to do more advanced techniques. Most all of the training I do now involves using my own body weight.
My next blog post will demonstrate training moves I do to keep the power and body control at a high level for the more competitive golfer.