If you want to get better at golf then there are various options available to you – the most obvious of which is to practice and perhaps to get lessons to help improve your technique and make it more perfect. However at the same time you can also supplement these activities with other methods to improve your golfing ability. For instance, as in any other sport, it is possible to improve yourself at golf by simply going to the gym – but you have to do this right if you want to see the best results. Here we will look at how you can go about doing this.
What NOT to Do
First of all, before you get started in the gym and get carried away, it’s very important to note that there is certainly such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to building muscle for the gym. If you are planning on hitting the weights hard and training intensely while downing lots of protein shake, then all you are going to do is to make yourself slow and cumbersome. This will then mean that when you go to hit the ball you are sluggish and get in your own way. Here muscular power does not exactly correlate with distance on your pitch which has a lot more to do with technique – the ideal build for a golfer is lean and strong yes, but not gigantic and bulky.
With that in mind it’s a good idea to do some CV to keep yourself lean and to prevent yourself from getting too huge (either from muscle or fat). CV stands for ‘cardiovascular’ and this means any kind of exercise that leaves you out of breath and lasts for more than five minutes each time. In other words treadmill, rowing or bicycle. Doing this will also help you to improve your endurance so that you last longer when you go running without tiring out or without your technique beginning to get sloppy.
Key Muscle Groups
That said there is still merit to building your muscles for golf as long as you don’t go over the top and as long as you train the right ones. Here you are aiming to train precisely those muscles that are used in swinging a golf club which are the lats, the traps, the triceps, the shoulders and the core. By building these stronger you will be able to generate more power on your swing. Conversely you don’t particularly want to train the biceps and pecs – although it’s important to train them a little bit to avoid a muscular imbalance, training them too much will only cause them to pull against your joints in the opposite direction when you are swinging.
To train these muscles there are various exercises you can do such as shoulder presses, lateral raises and triceps extensions. If you are the member of a gym, then consider the cable crossover machine your friend. This is the machine with two pillars that have weights and cables attached where you can swap the handles and attachments as you see fit. One very basic movement you can do here is to set the pulley to the lowest position, attach the ‘club’ handle to the cable, and then practice actually swinging it as though you were playing golf. As this is the precise same movement you will find that you actually end up training the very same muscles that you need for that technique. One tip though: practice with it on a light setting as otherwise you can end up losing your technique and thus developing bad habits when you’re playing for real.