Don’t put your golf game on the back burner during the colder weather. Winter is the time to work on your physical fitness.
The time you put in exercising during the winter will show up with lower scores in the spring.
You don’t have to go to a gym to work on your flexibility and range of motion.
Start with flexibility exercises. According to golf fitness expert Roger Fredericks, lack of flexibility is the number one problem in the golf swing.
Our sedentary, sitting-at-the-computer lifestyle has weakened some muscles, tightened others and might make it difficult to get into position to make a proper golf swing.
The good news is that everyone can improve their range of motion by stretching the right muscles in the right way. A good place to start is with posture.
Rounded shoulders and forward head are common problems. Also tightness in the hip flexors makes it difficult to maintain your spine angle during your swing.
Here are some great stretches to improve your posture and strengthen the core.
- Sitting wall: Sit tall against a wall. Press your shoulders into the wall and make sure your tailbone is close to the wall.
Pull your feet back while pressing knees to floor. Hold this pose for two minutes.
- Hip crossover: Lie on the floor with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms out to the side. Raise left leg so left thigh is perpendicular to floor.
Cross right ankle over left knee and press right knee away from you.
Now roll right knee and foot over left until right foot is firmly on the floor. Hold for one minute and switch to opposite side. Repeat two times on each side.
- Bridge: This exercise stretches the hip flexors and strengthens the lower back. Lie on back with knees bent and arms at your sides.
Raise hips and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat six times.
- Planks: Lie on forearms as if you were about to do a push-up. Lift torso keeping hips level. Hold for 15 seconds. Then lift one leg while keeping body propped up. Hold for 30 seconds and alternate to the other leg.
Repeat two times on each leg.
I will continue with golf fitness in my next article, giving you suggestions on cardiovascular endurance and classes you can take to improve your strength and endurance.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris @gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com