Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Was it to get in shape? Lose weight? Improve your golf game? Play more golf?   Why not combine all your resolutions to get into “Golf Shape”.
There are many different gyms, workouts, and programs designed to help people lose weight and stay in shape, but a select few are geared toward improving/strengthening your golf swing.

Recently in Rapid City, SD, a fitness club opened up called KoKo Fit Club.  It is a one-of-a-kind fitness center designed for men and women who want to get in better shape. There are several programs designed to meet many goals:  weight loss, total body definition, fit & flexible, rock star, and more. Based on your goal, Koko creates a year-long, customized plan specifically for you. One of Koko’s custom plans features a Performance Golf Program; this program improves core strength, overall balance, and flexibility with golf-specific movements that can help any golfer add yards and accuracy while reducing nagging injuries. Add cardio to this track and you will have met both goals of losing some pounds & getting into golf shape.

Your golf swing is a direct reflection of your body’s strength, flexibility and balance. There are specific exercises that will help improve your flexibility, strength, and power, which can help you drive the golf ball farther and hit more accurate shots. By designing your own program you can focus on the areas of your game that need the most improving. There are many articles in golf and fitness magazines which may give you some great ideas to start forming your routine in a traditional gym. Be sure to focus on the core, upper and lower body to engage all those muscles used during a golf swing.

Some exercises you can do at home or at the gym to strengthen your core, upper and lower body could include using a medicine ball, stability ball, or even just your own body.

An example with the medicine ball would be:

Stationary Golf Swing with Medicine Ball – Assume your golf posture, hold medicine ball
where you would normally hold club, begin slowly rocking your shoulders back and forth as if
swinging a club, slowly increase range until shoulders are almost to 90 degrees.
Benefits to the golf swing include greatly increasing power output and promoting a stable
base and more consistent ball striking.

Rotational Lunge with Medicine Ball – This exercise incorporates the entire muscular system, in
addition to creating a rotational movement in the core. Begin by standing upright, grasping the
medicine ball, elevate the medicine ball to chest level with your elbows bent, get into a lunge
position with left foot forward, lower your hips to the floor by bending both knees, once at this
position rotate your shoulders to the left and then to the right. Once complete, return to the
starting position, then step into a lunge position using the opposite leg. Alternate the lunge for
10-15 repetitions for 1-3 sets.

An example with the stability ball would be:

Push Up on the Ball – Your arms and shoulders are the first to take the brunt, but your chest and
core will feel it as well. Lie with your abdomen on an exercise ball and walk your hands forward
on the floor until the ball rests under your thighs. Lower your upper body to the floor. Hold this
position for three seconds, and then push up so your elbows are straight but not locked. Keep
your head in line with your spine and your abs engaged. Repeat push up motion, try starting with
5 -8 reps.

Squat with the Ball – This will work your lower body while engaging your core. Place an exercise
ball between the wall and the curve of your lower back, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and lower 5 to 10 inches, keeping your shoulders level and your hips square. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then stand back up. Repeat squat motion, try starting with 5 -8 reps.

Using your own body to stretch and increase flexibility is another great way to get into golf shape:

A great golf-specific lower back strengthening exercise is the Alternating Arm and Leg Extension. This exercise improves the strength and endurance of the muscles in your lower back, hopefully keeping you on the golf course a lot longer. How to perform this lower back exercise: Begin this exercise by placing your hands and knees on the floor, your back should remain flat with eyes focused on the floor. Visualize balancing a glass of water in the middle of your lower back. From this position, simultaneously extend your left arm and right leg to positions that are directly out in front and behind the torso, respectively. Throughout the extension of your arm and leg, maintain a flat back position. Once both the arm and leg are extended, hold the position for two seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat this sequence with the opposite arm and leg, alternate back and forth for 10 to 15 repetitions with each arm and leg. This is one exercise of many you can include in your stretching/flexibility program. By doing so, you will feel much better and perform at your peak longer.

Some other options may be a personal trainer or perhaps your local golf professional is TPI Certified (Titleist Performance Institute).  These professionals can design a customized program.  At www.mytpi.com they offer some great tips and articles on golf fitness, the swing, and other topics to get you excited about getting into shape and improving your golf game. By assessing a ‘total picture’ of your body, swing, and equipment, a golf fitness program can be developed that will seamlessly integrate into your existing instruction and game to help you optimize your performance.

AJ Rolfson
Assistant Golf Professional
the Golf Club at Red Rock