Watch any golf tournament on television and the only bellies you’ll likely see are belly putters. Professional golfers have realized the importance of fitness to improving their game. An in-shape golfer has a better chance of scoring low and finishing her rounds strong. Even if you aren’t a touring professional, eating right and exercising can help you become a better golfer.
Eating a meal that is high in carbohydrates three to four hours before your tee time helps you to maximize your athletic ability. These carbohydrates will provide your body with sustained energy throughout the round. A meal free of fats or fiber helps you avoid feeling full, although good fats and protein can help you avoid hunger during a round. While you play, it is important to replace fluids lost through sweat along with consuming no more than 30 to 35 grams of carbohydrates each hour.
Flexibility allows golfers the ability to get their clubs and bodies in the right position during all phases of their swing. Being flexible allows you to have a fluid swing without having to compensate for inflexibility, which can potentially lead to injury. Dynamic stretches that involve movement such as supported squats, trunk rotations, arm swings and side bends with a club help to loosen up muscles right before teeing off or practicing. Static stretches, including the butterfly stretch, hamstring stretch and quad stretch, that involve maintaining a stretched position for 20 to 30 seconds lengthen muscles and build flexibility between rounds.
Hitting a powerful golf shot comes from using an explosive amount of energy to create torque that drives the club head through the ball. Much of this power comes from body rotation. Exercises that build the core help to increase the quickness with which you can rotate your body. Rotating from side to side while holding a medicine ball in a standing or seated position helps to build this strength. The movement of your body weight from one leg to another during a lunge also mimics weight transfer during a golf swing.
A stretching and conditioning program helps you avoid injuries while golfing. In particular, golfers are prone to lower-back injuries caused by the rotational stress on the area during a golf swing. Core muscle strengthening exercises such as the seated Russian twist and the bent-knee side-to-side help to build strong back muscles.
- Royal Canadian Golf Association: Golf Nutrition
- PGA Tour: Fuel Your Round – Focus on Nutrition
- PGA Tour: Flexibility Is Fundamental to Executing Proper Swing
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Golf Stretching Exercise Before a Round
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Golf Stretching Program
- PGA Tour: Speed Is the Key to Increasing Power in Your Golf Swing
- Men’s Fitness: 30-Minutes Abs: Week 1, Workout III
- STACK: A Complete Golf Workout
- PGA Tour: The Second Step in the Prevention of Lower Back Injuries
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