Making Golf a Real Workout.
Stretch your body and your game.
If you have always thought of golf as more of a mental game than a physical workout, you are at least half right. Playing golf requires a great deal of concentration and may be mentally draining, but believe it or not, golf can also be a good way to get into shape.
Even though it is considered a low impact sport, golf actually can give you a good overall workout if you follow a few simple steps.
Maximize the physical energy expended.
The average golf course is 6,000 yards long, and takes four-and-a-half hours to play. Walking while carrying a golf bag works your leg muscles. The golf swing itself utilizes all your back muscles, as well as putting real tension on your arm and shoulder muscles. These different skills require fine muscle control. Time outside also does wonders for your health. So lose the cart, carry your bag, and pick up the pace between holes. At the end of 18 holes you will have had a four-mile walk that also works out your back, upper body, arms, hips and legs.
Stretching is not just for the pros.
If you want to get the best possible workout from playing a simple game of golf you’ll need to start with some simple stretches that will help you make the most of your time on the course and hopefully prevent injury as well. Stretching helps to loosen up your muscles. For this reason, it’s very important to get your body warmed up and ready to play before you hit the links.
For the back and upper body. Stretch your lower back by taking a baseball catcher position and reaching your arms out straight ahead as far as you can. Repeat on the left and right sides, holding the stretch for 30 seconds and stretching all three positions four times each. Holding your arms out to the side, turn your upper body as far as you can to the right. Hold and then turn to the left. Repeat 10 times each side.
For hips, hamstrings and chest. Stretch your hips by lying on the floor or a bench, facing up. Cross your left ankle over your right knee and draw your knee up to your chest. Hold for a count of four and repeat with the other leg. For your hamstrings, put one of your feet on a bench or step. Pivot at the waist and bend forward, stretching towards your toes. Do not lock your knee, but keep it slightly flexed. Repeat four times with each leg. Stretch the chest muscles by standing in a corner and placing your forearms against the walls at right angles. Move forward to stretch the chest muscles. Hold for a count of four and repeat five times.
For the shoulders. Stretch your right arm straight up and bend at the elbow, reaching behind your head. Take your left arm and bend it to meet your right hand behind your back. Stretch and hold for a count of five. Switch arms and repeat with the left side. Alternate arms and stretch 10 times on each side.
Stretching is great, but every good warm up should include a cardio component. Get your heart pumping with 10 jumping jacks. Then stand with your arms down at your sides. Tuck your elbows into your sides and lift up your hands to waist level. Pull up your legs so that your knees hit you hands as though you are marching in place, but bringing your knees very high. Repeat 10 times each leg.
Golf Stretches, etc. – Source: golflink.com
Build your overall strength. A golfer requires adequate strength in the lower body, core and upper body to drive the ball far distances and to have the endurance to last 18 holes without becoming fatigued. The legs, glutes and core are what primarily provide the power involved in the swing. When you are stronger in those areas you should be able to drive the golf ball farther. Upper body strength allows you to better control the club and to be more consistent with the pathway of your swing. Keep these facts in mind when you develop your overall fitness plan. Incorporating strength training can go a long way toward helping you improve your golf game while you work toward your general fitness goals.
Did you know? “Goofy” Golf Facts
• The first golf balls were stuffed with feathers. The tighter packed the feathers, the further the ball would fly. This type of ball was used until 1848.
• Golf was banned in Scotland from 1457 to 1502 to ensure citizens wouldn’t waste time when preparing for the English invasion.
• Between 1990 and 2003, developers built more than 3,000 new golf courses in the United States, bringing the total to about 16,000.
• There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball. A dimpled golf ball can travel up to four times farther than smooth-surfaced golf balls.
• When golf was first played professionally there were only 13 rules. Now there are 34.