If you’ve thought about starting a golf fitness workout program or just want to get back into shape, you are not alone. Whether you want to work on sport specific condition, lose a couple pounds, or simply be more active, this can work for you! Often times we try to pick up where we left off years ago but if you’re wanting to start a golf fitness workout program, you should be doing golf specific exercises. But don’t assume that you’ll get your previous muscle memory and movement patterns back. While you may get stronger, if you do not have solid form, you could be causing more harm than good. There are many benefits that come from general conditioning but if add heavyweights and resistance to your body before it’s ready, you can be damaging your body. It is imperative that you asses the right amount of weight and resistance to your movements when completing your golf fitness programs. Need some help getting started? Here’s a few tips that work!
Start with the Basics
If you haven’t been active for any period of time, you should start with the basics. After awhile, you will be able to prove to yourself that you’re ready to add weight to your program but first you should be sure that your body movements are functioning. Once you know everything is working how it’s should, you will be ready to progress. But if you can’t touch your toes or do simple stretches, you should work on those dysfunctions before you try more difficult workouts. If you avoid assessing your movements and add weight or resistance before your body is ready, you will make your dysfunctions worse and more difficult to fix.
If You Feel Pain, Stop.
If you begin to feel pain, you should reevaluate what you’re doing. Moving your body should not be painful and you shouldn’t try to fight through pain just to finish your workout. This isn’t about sore muscles because you overdid it, this is about joint and tendon pain. If notice that you’re limping or favoring an arm, leg, etc. you should stop and reevaluate. It is easier than ever to overlook and underestimate pain because we “band aid” them with medicine, braces, wraps, tape, and more so that we can reduce our discomfort and power through. Ignoring pain or just controlling its symptoms can result in chronic, long-term problems. Pain isn’t an inconvenience; it’s a warning sign. Take it seriously!
Is Your Body Moving Correctly?
You might still be able to move your body despite pain but are you moving it correctly? Humans rarely move as we are meant to. We innately forget why we need to move and do everything we can to do more by doing less? That was confusing. What I meant was, so that we can move our bodies more ways, we’ve created machines to make it easier. Physical activity has gone beyond natural movement. We’ve made up activities, games, and sports to fill our need for natural movements. What is natural movement? Natural movements are those that we can do without thinking about. As a baby, we learn in stages but before can move, we learn where our muscles are. The movement patterns we learn in our early years are ones we use everyday after that. Want to put your functional mobility to the test? Go walk in the woods— walk a straight line. Go over (or under) any obstacles that are in your way. You are sure to discover which areas of your body you haven’t used in quite some time. Including some natural movement is a great way to start a golf fitness workout program. While the golf swing itself is not a natural movement, it can benefit from natural movement patterns. And we know how important your golf swing is to your game!
You’re Ready to Start Your Golf Fitness Workout Program!
The hardest part of any workout program is starting it and committing to it. You must be willing to put in the effort long-term. People tend to start programs and give up on them within a month because they decide it was too challenging or they don’t have enough time. Gaining movement, mobility, and strength will take some time— a commitment to a fitness program is also a commitment to your health; don’t hesitate.
Grab Your Partner
One of the best ways to stay committed is by having an accountability partner. This can be a friend or trainer; this person should be willing to push you to reach your full potential as they go through the process with you.
Evaluate Your Movement
Find a fitness coach and complete a TPI and/or FMS screening to assess how your body is functioning. If you aren’t able to hire someone to do the screening for you, there are tools available online so that you can do it yourself.
Assess Your Limitations
If you do not think your limitations can improve on their own, research ways to correct them. There are several exercises you can do to improve your mobility and stability. You should begin with exercises that strengthen your core— all exercises require that you tighten your core. Having a strong core will protect your back and help you keep proper form while doing exercises. If you feel like you need help assessing your limitations, contact a fitness professional.
Basic Exercises are a Great Place to Start
Sticking with basic exercises is important. Once you have mastered those, you can progress to more challenging exercises. Basic exercises work! Complex exercises are for those who got bored or are trying to appeal to a bigger crowd.
You Don’t Have to Spend an Hour Working Out
For whatever reason, people think that they must dedicate an hour to working out. That is not the case— you only need 30 minutes. Use 5 minutes to warm up, then workout nonstop for 20 minutes, followed by a 5 minutes cool down period. Doing this three times a week is plenty but if you have more time to dedicate to it, you could do an extra day but spend that focusing on corrective exercises or figuring out new equipment.
Push, Pull, Rotation, and Core + 3 Planes
Each workout should require that you do at least one push, pull, rotation, and a core exercise. Don’t forget to include all three planes— frontal (side-to-side), sagittal (front & back), and transverse (rotation). Frontal exercises are the most forgotten about so remember to add lateral exercises.
Keep It Simple & Easy to Remember
As you work on developing your golf fitness workout program, limit yourself to 3 to 5 exercises per session. Trying to remember how to correctly do more than 5 can be challenging. After you get the hang of those 3 to 5 exercises, switch it up by adding a progressive exercise or replace some of the old ones with new. Then you won’t have to learn how to do too many exercises at once. Learning new exercises can slow you down so if you only replace some of the old with new ones, you can workout faster and harder. Then at your next rotation, switch out the oldest ones that are left in your routine. If they become too easy, consider adding weight making it more difficult or do them faster— whatever works best for you. Just keep it simple.
Don’t Let Missing a Day Get You Down
There’s going to be days where other things come up and you have to miss your workout. Don’t let this keep you from sticking to it. Getting and staying in shape require commitment— it won’t happen overnight. It will take time for you to notice progress and missing one day isn’t going to ruin everything unless you let it. However, avoid missing two consecutive workouts as this makes it easier to fall off of the wagon.
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