Golf is one of the few sports that we can play for a lifetime.  What’s even more special about golf is that we can often play better as we grow older — especially if we keep ourselves in great physical condition.

However, even with regular exercise, the aging process naturally challenges both our general flexibility and strength.  Reductions in both flexibility and strength typically begin to influence our golf performance within our forties or fifties but become very apparent during our sixties and seventies.  It is our inability to maintain our distance through developing tightness that contributes to a loss of rotation flexibility in our hips and spine.  Moreover, loss of strength in our legs, chest, shoulders and arms contributes further to reduced clubhead speed.  It’s not uncommon to lose nearly ten yards per club every ten years that we age after forty.


Therefore, here are several important exercises that all golfers should perform, regardless of age, in our battle against the natural aging process.  If performed on a regular basis, the first three exercises can help improve spine and hip flexibility to maintain a full turn.  The last two exercises can help gain the needed strength in our hips, legs, chest, shoulders and arms necessary for added clubhead speed and improved distance.


1. CHEST AND SPINE STRETCH

Purpose: Releases chest tightness and reduces overly rounded spine.


Benefit: Improves posture at address position and improves shoulder turn flexibility for backswing and follow through.


Instruction: Lay over folded pillow(s) positioned across shoulder blades, knees bent and arms up and out. You should feel a stretch across your chest and/or front shoulders. You may increase the stretch by adding more pillows.


Quantity: Hold one repetition for a minimum 3-5 minutes per day.

2. TRUNK AND HIP ROTATION STRETCH

Purpose: Helps reduce tightness in the spine and hips.


Benefit: Improves shoulder and hip turn flexibility during the backswing and follow through.


Instruction: n      Lay on back, bend both knees, and bring one arm into the

“tray”position.

  • While keeping that shoulder blade in contact with the floor, rotate both knees away from the elevated arm. You may feel a stretch through your hip, side and low back.
  • Keep your shoulder blade in contact with the floor.
  • You can increase the stretch by pulling your knees closer to the floor with the opposite hand. Be sure to rotate knees.

Quantity: Hold a comfortable stretch for 3-5 minutes and repeat the stretch in both directions.  Do at least one stretch per day.


Purpose Forward Lunge:

Strengthens muscles in the hips, thighs and hamstrings

Lateral Lunge:

Strengthen lateral hip muscles, thighs, and legs.


Benefit: Forward Lunge:

Improves independent hip motion, pelvic control, balance and spine angle throughout the swing.

Lateral Lunge:

Improves weight transfer and stable leg control during the backswing and follow-through.


Instruction: Forward Lunge:

n         Use club behind spine for posture control.

n         Place one foot 3-4 feet in front of the other foot.

n         Lower your body by flexing hips and knees keeping legs in line with hips and upper body straight up.

n         Hold the forward lunge position for 2-3 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.

Lateral Lunge:

n         Use club behind spine for posture control.

n         Take wider stance than normal, keeping toes straight ahead.

n         Lower down on one leg, keep legs in line with hips, and keep upper body straight up.

n         Hold lateral lunge position for 2-3 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.


Quantity: Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions of both the forward and lateral lunges with each leg every other day.

4. MODIFIED PUSH-UP

Purpose: Helps strengthen chest, shoulders, torso and arms.

Benefit: Improves power and control for greater accuracy and distance.

Instruction: Lay face down in a normal push-up position but cross one foot

over the other and bend your knees slightly so both feet are off

the floor.

  • Push your body up from the floor using your chest and arms.
  • Keep your body straight from your shoulders to your knees as you press up from the floor.
  • Hold the full push-up position for 3-5 seconds and slowly relax down to the floor.

Quantity: Perform 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions every other day.

If you have questions about this article or you want to find out more about a Body Balance for Performance customized fitness-training program for yourself, please call 888-FIT-GOLF  or visit our web page at www.fitgolf.com .





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