Many people view golf as more of a leisure activity than a sport, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer for the Razorbacks. And while golf can certainly be played by people of all ages and walks of life, if a player is serious, there are many ways they can stay in peak swinging shape.
A proper golf swing involves all of the major muscle groups, but the core muscles are the most important, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer. In order to perform a golf swing, the spine must remain in a “fixed spine angle”, which requires stability and strength from the core muscles.
To improve his golf swing, Moore completes at least 15 minutes three times a week on a core strengthening program. Front planks, back hold, and side planks are all excellent exercises for strengthening core muscles. To add difficulty and build stronger muscle, add a weighted exercise ball to the routine. These exercises should be done in conjunction with a regular exercise regimen, including cardio.
In golf, flexibility is just as important as strength, if not more, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer. When muscles become stiff, whether from overuse or remaining sedentary too long, they can impede the flexibility of joint structures and the mobility of the spine. This limits the golf swing and can result in further injury if not appropriately addressed.
Since mobility and flexibility are paramount to the rotary aspect of the golf swing, focus on exercises that loosen up the hip, knee, and shoulder joints as well as the spine. Yoga is an excellent full-body flexibility exercise that both loosens and strengthens. Planting the feet, grounding through the stance, and isolating muscle movements are all paramount in a yoga practice.
There are also individual exercises that can be performed to maintain flexibility. For the hips, try windshield wipers, kneeling hip flexor presses, and butterflies. For the shoulders, standing arm swings, reverse flies, and shoulder pass-throughs can increase both mobility and general flexibility.
Another important aspect of a healthy golf game is what is put into the body, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer. Along with eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water, he advises staying away from alcohol if a better swing is the end goal. Lots of players–especially casual ones–will have a drink or two before or on the course. While this can be a nice way to unwind, it causes a drop in coordination and can lead to dehydration.