Guess which important body part you’re forgetting to exercise?
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These days, golf fitness experts emphasize strengthening and conditioning for the core muscles, the quadricep muscles, and the glutes. (Thanks, Tiger!)
That is fine, but one area that I think gets neglected is the Achilles’ tendons and the calve muscles. If you know someone who has snapped their Achilles heel. . . . my son and also a neighbor recently suffered from this . . . . you know that their pain is off the charts and their recovery takes over one year. No golf for over a year – ouch!
For the best exercises with no special equipment, see what William A Pratt M.D. And Keith Jennison recommends in the ‘Year-Round Fitness’ article in Links magazine.
Bonus! You’ll also see 6 other short fitness articles here from people like Gary Player on all the parts of a golfer’s body that need to be kept in shape.
The Winter Issue of LINKS Magazine talks about this all-important part of the game.
Frank W. Jobe, M.D. and Diane R. Moynes, M.S. 1986.
Here’s an excellent exercise, called the Opposite Arm and Leg Lift, that strengthens the extensor muscles in your back. Starting out on your hands and knees, raise the left arm and the right leg and extend them straight out. Hold for a count of 10 (which is not easy) and then slowly lower them to the floor. Repeat with the same arm and leg and try to do 10 repetitions. Don’t switch after every exercise; complete a set of 10 using the same arm and leg. Then you can switch to the opposite arm and leg (right arm and left leg) and start another set of 10. 30 Exercises for Better Golf
Butch Harmon 1996.
If you want to improve your swing strength, escape the rough better and control your mis-hits, you must increase the strength in your hands and wrists. Purchase a set of hand grips and get into the habit of squeezing the grips a little bit every day, doing an equal number of repetitions with each hand. You might find that, at first, you can do only 10 squeezes before your hand is too fatigued to close the handle. That’s fine, don’t worry about it. Just keep at it. See if you can make it to 15 squeezes at a time, then 20. Keep your hand grips handy, even carrying them in your briefcase so that you can do a few extra squeezes at the office. The Four Cornerstones of Winning Golf
Karen Palacios-Jansen 2011.
This pose, called the Crescent Lunge, strengthens the gluteal and quadricep muscles and strengthens hip flexors, psoas and quadriceps. Hold a golf club in your right hand, resting the clubhead on the ground, and place your left hand on your left hip. Bend the right knee and place your right foot in front of you. Take the left foot behind you and lift high onto your left toes. Inhale as you slightly bend the left leg, engaging your left gluteal muscle, and press your left hip forward. Do not allow the right leg to move beyond a 90-degree angle. Keep the knee directly over your ankle and be sure to maintain proper posture. Repeat the move 10 times and switch legs. Golf Fitness
Gary Player 1995.
The pectoralis major, the large muscle in your chest, is instrumental in lifting the club and hitting the ball at impact. To train it, stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand, and let the arms hang next to your sides with the palms facing forward. Turn the dumbbells in toward your body so that your palms are facing outwards, and hold the contraction for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Fit For Golf
William A. Pratt, M.D. and Kieth Jennison 1979.
This exercise is designed to stretch and condition the Achilles tendons and the muscles of your calves. If you are going to play your best golf and have your body move in harmony, these muscles and tendons must be kept in shape. Start by standing on a stair, large book or block of wood, with weight on the balls of the feet and the heels raised. Count 1, then lower your heels. Next, count 2 and raise your heels. Start with 10 repetitions and then increase to 20, and then 30, until your body almost demands it.
Year-Around Conditioning for Part-Time Golfers
Cindy Reid 2005.
To get the feel of what a full shoulder rotation feels like, sit upright in a straight-backed chair with your back straight and your feet on the floor, shoulder width apart. Now, turn your upper body to the right so that you can grab the back of the chair with both hands. You should do this without coming out of the seat or letting your feet leave the floor. From this position, rotate your head back to the front to increase the intensity of the rotation. Hold your body in this position for 30 seconds and repeat on the left side. Get Yourself in Golf Shape
Vijay Vad, M.D. 2007.
This exercise, called the Hundred, focuses on building endurance, particularly in the core. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and your feet slightly turned out. Engage your abs by dropping your navel toward your spine, and raise your legs about 12 inches so your calves are no longer touching the floor. Reach your hands toward your knees and slowly bring your head off the floor, tucking your chin into your chest so you can look at your navel. Pump your arms up and down in a parallel fashion for a count of 10 full breaths. Try to keep your arms in rhythm and the tips of your shoulder blades in contact with the floor. If you feel any neck tension, rest your head on a pillow. Ultimately, you should be able to work up to 100 total pumps for a complete core workout. Golf Rx
Source: LINKS Magazine
Pictures: Maria Ly
Thanks for reading – Guess which important body part you’re forgetting to exercise?
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