The potency of preparedness in winning all battles, from the most ferocious to the most trivial of them is an undeniably proven fact. It appears winning does not come easy. It may be considered the reward for proper preparations, including planning and testing strategies and tools.
As the warrior sharpens his blade and warms up for battle with a few swings of his sword so the sportsman must ensure that his body is ready to cooperate with his desire to compete and win. This means that he is required to be fit in all ramifications, so that he can play at his best.
Golf is one game considered as the game of the rich and affluent because it costs a lot of money to play when you consider the registration and training costs. It is expected that a lot of people think it is not much of a serious game but it is.
To be a great golf player, one must know more than the basics of playing the game and have lots and lots of practice. More importantly, he must be fit to play the game. There are two sides to the fitness required for playing golf; the physical and the psychological.
Physical Fitness in Golf
Golf is a game that involves more than just swinging a club at a ball. It requires a lot more than that and so the body of the player is very important and must be in great shape if he must play golf properly. To do this, a golf player must exercise regularly.
Any fitness trainer would make you understand that different sports require different exercises to be fit for effective playing. Golf requires that some muscles be stronger and more developed than others. The gluteal muscles are an important part of golf.
Developing The Gluteal Muscles
These muscles are also called the glutes. They have been referred to as the ‘king of the swings’ many times as they provide the power, stabilization, and mobility that the lower body needs. This effect can be seen in the hips predominantly. If the glutes are poorly developed, chances are the swings will be faulty.
Some common swing faults associated with underdeveloped glutes include an S-posture, loss of posture, reverse spine angle, etc. Strengthening these muscles should be one of the top priorities of a golf player.
Some of the exercises to strengthen the glutes include:
- Side Step-Ups
- Medicine Ball Core Rotations
- Lunges With Rotations
- Glute Bridges
- Mini-Band Walk Forward
- Knee Hugs
- Sword Draws
- Cat Camels
These exercises help you to tone and strengthen the glute muscles, mini –band walk forward.
- Develop The Mobilitiy Of The Hips
Another part of your body that you need to play golf properly are you hips. Exercises that help your hips be mobile and stable are compulsory additions to your exercise routine.
Some of these exercises include:
- Quad Rocking
- Hip Crossovers
- Mini-Bank Sideways Walk
- T-Hip Rotations
- Medicine Ball Parallel Throws
- Medicine Ball Perpendicular Throws
- Drop-Step Lunge
- Knee Hugs
- Backward Lunge with Tilts
- Lateral Squats
Some of these exercises stretch the muscles affording increased flexibility while others activate the muscles to increase mobility during play.
For example, you can help your hips perform accurately well by mobilizing them using the quad rocking exercise. You should breathe properly during the exercise which involves you going down on all fours and keep your hips moving backward and forward.
Strengthening The Back and The Core
What fitness is there without working on these parts of the body? They are also important for golf players. Just as there are a lot of exercises to work on the muscles in these locations in the gym, there are also some that can readily be done at home.
One simple exercise to work your core is the ‘inverted hamstring stretch’.
Just as it helps you to loosen up your hamstrings, preventing back pain, it also helps you fire your cores properly. Playing golf requires you to stretch during the swing. If your core and back muscles are not properly developed, you could get terrible injuries.
The ‘world’s greatest stretch’ is an exercise that increases the golf player’s stretch threshold by lengthening every muscle in their core, those attached to the hamstrings, and the whole back. A few other great exercises to strength a golfer's core and back include:
- Medicine ball core rotations are also an important feature on the workout list of the golf player.
- Cat camels work on the upper and lower back as well as the core.
Most golf injuries involve the back and if golfers will be safe from such injuries, they have to build strength and flexibility into their back muscles. Strengthening your core will both improve your swings and protect you from injuries.
Build A Steady, Strong Base In The Legs
These are probable one of the most trivialized parts of the body when it comes to playing golf. “It’s not soccer!” most people are quick to think. This is true.
Golf is one of the many sports that require a good understanding of legwork to play right. A little misalignment of your legs can cause a terrible injury or game loss.
It is also noteworthy that whatever strength or force drives a swing comes from the legs. This makes possible the assertion that weak legs will result in weak swing. With strong legs you also have increased spend and are better able to avoid some injuries.
Some exercises to help strengthen your legs include:
- Romanian deadlifts
- box jumps
- lateral band-walks
- lunges with rotation
- leg swings
- mini band walk forward
- lateral squat
- single leg dead lift
- side bridge with leg lift
- single leg squat
- single leg bridges
When your workout includes your legs, you have a greater balance and hip control during your swings.
Psychological Fitness in Golf
Strong muscles will be a waste with the wrong mindset in playing golf just as they will be in any other endeavor. Work on keeping yourself relaxed and nerves calm. The calmer you are, the less tense your muscles are, and the greater your chances of carrying out moves skillfully and successfully. This is as important before your games as it is after. You must consistently have a relaxed mind in order to avoid making silly mistakes. You can calm you nerves by taking deep breaths, meditating, or stretching (like in yoga)