If you’re an avid golfer and live in the Northern U.S., it can feel like the winter months move by as slowly as a sloth trying to finish a marathon. Instead of deconditioning after putting the clubs away, this is the ideal time to review any weaknesses that have hindered your golf game. Take full advantage of the winter offseason to work on your golf fitness conditioning–it’s almost a guarantee you will start the season stronger and more fit and agile than you were before.
Ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered yes to any of the above, now is the time to add a whole new component to your preparation for the upcoming season. There’s no question: golf is hard on the body. There’s an increasing awareness of the significance of fitness training for golf, highlighted most recently by five-time PGA winner Bryson DeChambeau. He’s credited his targeted workouts and increased fitness with being able to hit the longest drives of his career, described in this article from Men’s Health.
Doing golf-specific workouts during the winter months will not only enhance your performance but will do wonders for your overall health and fitness. A tailored, well-planned, well-executed golf workout will help to improve your endurance, flexibility, strength, power, reduce the risk of injury, and may help lower your golf scores!
There are many ways to address the golf-fitness paradigm. Trying to analyze and correct every physical weakness and flaw in your swing can be time-consuming, mentally exhausting, and frustrating. Golf requires highly specific torso rotation, complex hip and shoulder movements, and sequential neuro-conditioning. Since Golf is such a complex game, trying to create a fitness routine on your own can lead to injury and result in more frustration.
My approach to designing winter golf fitness programs is to strengthen and condition the body to perform a high-level golf swing without injury. I do this through a combination of Dynamic Flexibility and Movement and Tabata, a form of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). Dynamic Flexibility and Movement utilizes functional movements involving the body’s force and momentum to take a joint through its full range of motion. These same exercises can also be done as a warm-up prior to tee time or other activities to prepare for optimal performance and reduced risk of injury.
HIIT consists of short alternating periods of intense exercise with recovery periods of passive or mild-intensity movement. The intense training used in HIIT includes precise moves to strengthen the golf-specific muscles of the legs, hips, torso, back, and arms. Using this strategy is an excellent way to improve golfers’ balance, power, coordination, endurance, flexibility, and overall fitness.
Here’s what a sample workout looks like:
A knowledgeable and experienced trainer should always take your present state of fitness into account to give you challenging but safe workouts.
If you love the game of golf and want to play for years to come, winter golf conditioning and year-round golf workouts will keep you playing at your best. So whether it’s the great outdoors, time with friends, or the challenge of the game itself that lures you to the golf course, make sure you’re getting the most out of your preparation for the season to make every glorious moment count.
To find a winter golf fitness program that meets your specific needs, contact a Fitness Professional who is knowledgeable in the areas of Dynamic Movement and Tabata Training. If you haven’t worked with a fitness professional before, please read our blog, “How to Choose a Personal Trainer.” To learn more about how we may help you, visit our Fitness Programs pages for more information.