Preparing Your Body for the Golf Course
From a physical standpoint, the game of golf can be quite deceiving. After all, there’s no running or jumping like in basketball, no throwing or pitching balls like in football and baseball and no monstrous commitment to cardio like in swimming or jogging. Where the sport of golf truly deceives us is in its seemingly leisurely pace and what appears to be the lack of extreme physical effort.
As anyone who’s played a round of golf can attest to, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you consider how your spine rotates during your golf swing and the speed at which you hit the ball, the stress a round of golf can put on your body becomes crystal clear.
Whether you golf once a week, once a month or a few times a season, preparing your body for the twists and turns on the golf course is the key to avoiding injuries and getting the most out of your game.
Five Tips to Avoid Pain and Improve Your Game
1. Include strength-training exercises in your golf routine. By strengthening all major muscle groups, you’ll not only maximize your performance and prevent a golf-related injury, but you’ll also increase your core body strength, flexibility and the flow of oxygen throughout your body.
2. Spend a full 20 minutes warming up and cooling down. Before you step onto the golf course, putting green or driving range, spend time stretching and warming up your muscles. This warmup should include a brisk walk or a gentle jog to help loosen your muscles and joints.
3. Stay hydrated, stay energized. Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Keep your energy level high from the 1st to the 18th hole by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids before, during and after your game.
4. Use a golf cart for carrying heavy clubs. Although carrying your golf clubs is a good way to get in some extra cardio and burn calories, it doesn’t necessarily make sense if you’ve got a particularly heavy golf bag. If necessary, use a golf cart and remember to push–not pull–the cart. If you do have to carry your golf bag, make sure to use BOTH shoulder straps. This will help spread the weight of the clubs over a larger area.
5. Take lessons. Professional golf instructors don’t just help you improve your game, they ensure you’re using correct posture and technique when driving and putting.
For a detailed list of warmup and cool down stretches, stop by our office and ask for our “Get In The Game Without Pain” golf brochure.