We recently gave fitness advice to golfers on some great stretches and exercises to practice in order to enhance your game. Now, it’s time to warn you that you may be doing some things the wrong way.
A lot of fitness experts advise against traditional gym workouts to prep for golf, and instead to focus on stretching, flexibility, core conditioning, balance exercises, and cardio.
Here are a few ‘gym’ based exercises to avoid, and have the potential to destroy your game if you’re trying to condition your body specifically for golf:
- Traditional Bench Presses
- Shoulder Presses from Behind the Head
- Stiff Legged Dead-lifts
- Wide Dumbbell Flyes or Regular Cable Cross Flyes
Others to avoid and why:
If you golf regularly, you may have weak hamstrings compared to your quadriceps. When you do leg extensions, you’re focusing on your quads, instead of your hamstrings. Split squats are a good alternative, which works the lower body, including the hamstrings.
Seated Lat Pulldowns
Doing these pulldowns in front or behind the neck can ruin your posture. The move locks your pelvis, which instinctively causes you to round your spine. Posture is extremely important in golf, so try rowing instead. A cable row machine can be an effective alternative as it works important muscle groups in your back while supporting a better posture.
Crunches increase your chances for back pain, and golfers must be protective of their spines. Push-back planks are a way to get the same abdominal workout, as well as working your core muscles for stability and power. And since your back is straight, you don’t have to worry about your spine.
The weight of the ball is the killer here. Rotations can be good for golfers if done right, but adding weight encourages a rounded back, which again, is bad for your spine. Try t-spine twists instead. It’s basically the same thing, but instead of moving a medicine ball from side-to-side, you simply cross your arms over your chest.
Golf is different from other sports in that it requires a special mix of malleability and power that can really only come with strength training, while avoiding moves that can weaken certain parts of the body, especially your posture. So switch it up a bit and see the difference it makes!