Want to get better at golf? Hit the gym! Despite golf’s reputation as a sedentary activity, it’s actually a physically demanding sport that requires a high level of fitness, and an intentional workout can really improve your game.
Let’s take a look at the types of workouts that will best support your golf game.
1. Warm up
The warm up prevents injuries and gets your body ready to work. A good warm-up should include some light cardio, such as walking or jogging, and some dynamic stretches, such as arm circles and leg swings.
Strength training helps build muscle so you can generate more power and control in your swing. Start with 5 lbs., and do 3 sets of 5 repetitions with a brief rest period between each rep.
The benefit of weight-training in a gym is that you can choose between using weight machines for targeted muscle groups or to use free weights and work on specific areas. Since arms and shoulders are essential to your golf swing, it’s a good idea to start with these muscle incorporating exercises: bicep curls, triceps extensions, and shoulder presses.
The core is the center of your body and essential for a powerful golf swing. Exercises like planks are the best way to build your core muscles. Perform a high plank on your hands and toes or go lower on your elbows if you experience wrist strain. It’s recommended to start with planking for 10 to 30 seconds and work up to a minute or two. You don’t need to plank for longer than that to see results. Start with three planks a day and then work up to more, doing a couple reps with rest in between.
4. Squats and lunges
For building core muscles and strengthening your legs to walk 18 holes of golf, doing squats and lunges is key. For beginners, doing as many as 5 lunges or squats might be enough to get your legs burning. Build up to three sets of 10 to 20 reps for each side. For these exercises, it’s important to ensure proper form. Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees throughout each rep and make sure your knees don’t fall in or outward, which can add strain to joints.
5. Crunches and leg raises
Along with planks, crunches and leg raises help develop and sculpt your abdominal muscles. Start with 10 to 20 reps with a goal to do three sets of 20 reps daily. When doing a crunch, be sure to hold your neck straight rather than tucking your chin to maximize the work of your abs. For leg raises, keep your feet engaged by alternating between pointing and flexing your toes to give your ankles a job, too.
6. Yoga, Pilates, and stretching exercises
Yoga, a mind-body exercise, can help you improve your flexibility, balance, and coordination. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that can help you improve your core strength and flexibility. Both these can be done in a class setting at your gym or in the privacy of your home with a video. There are several free apps for your phone or videos available on YouTube to help get you started. Flexibility is so important for a good golf swing and even if you don’t take a yoga or Pilates class, there are many different stretches that can improve flexibility, such as hamstring stretches, quad stretches, and calf stretches.
7. Medicine ball
Exercising with a medicine ball can improve balance, coordination, range of motion, and your overall performance on the course. Doing just a few minutes of reps with a medicine ball to your workout can have a big impact. This exercise is one of our favorites as it mimics the movement you use while swinging a golf club while adding strength training to the mix.
8. Cycling, running, swimming
Since golf is a game of fortitude as you power through 18 holes, focusing on endurance training is essential to any workout plan. A 20-minute session of cycling, running or swimming is a good starting point. If you opt for running, incorporate bursts of running with intervals of rest or mix it up by running stairs or up and downhill. This type of training helps you stay strong and energized throughout your round of golf.
9. Personal training
Some golfers prefer to work with a personal trainer, while others prefer to follow a fitness plan that they can do on their own. There are many different golf-specific programs that you can do to improve your fitness and, if you are serious about improving your golf game, it is a good idea to work with a golf fitness trainer. They can help you develop a personalized fitness program that’s perfect for your training goals.
No matter where you are in your golf fitness journey, remember to be patient. Golf training takes time and effort so don't get frustrated if you don’t see results overnight. Just keep working hard and you will eventually see improvement in your game. Bring along a friend to add some fun to your training. Working out together can help you stay motivated and accountable.
We find it’s also easier to stick to a fitness routine when you feel good in your workout clothes. Choose functional and fashionable items made with moisture-wicking, antimicrobial materials. If you’re planning to wear your workout clothes outside the gym, be sure they feature sun-resistant UPF 50+ to protect your skin.
At KINONA, function is key to our brand. Our fabrics are low maintenance and made to last wash after wash so you can play, sweat, wash, and repeat knowing your clothes will always look fresh.
It’s never been easier to get your fit on while looking and feeling great.