I have to admit that I’m still working with my clubs to develop a consistent swing before I make the transition to the golf course, but I’ve been able to really make progress with some great coaching from my husband, Jamie. Jamie is an avid golfer who takes every chance he can get to hit the links. With our new baby coming soon, he knows he will not be able to enjoy too many rounds this summer. so we’re going to surprise him with a round of golf for Father’s Day (here’s hoping our little guy doesn’t make his entrance a little early on that day).
For those inexperienced prospective golfers-to-be out there, it is important to note that swinging the irons for 2-6 hours (depending on how many times you miss and how big the course is) can leave you with very sore shoulder and back muscles. As always, I have a few moves to help strengthen these muscles in preparation for your debut on the golf course. These exercises will also help you improve your swing by increasing muscle strength, endurance and ultimately, muscle control. You will want to focus on completing a higher amount of repetitions to muscle exhaustion (so you cannot do another rep – about 15-20) with strict form. You may have to try a few dumbbell weights (start with 3 lbs and work your way up if needed) to find the right weight.
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with a light dumbbell in your right hand (e.g. I am using 5 lb dumbbells for this), your left arm held along your left side with your palm on your hip for stability. Bring your right hand, palm facing in towards the body, to your left hip bone with your arm straight and elbow locked (your arm will be across your trunk).
Raise the dumbbell in a diagonal arc from the left hip up and across your body until your fist is pointing upwards to the right, towards the ceiling. If you look in a mirror, you should be able to visualize a straight diagonal line from your fist down through your trunk to your left foot, like this: / Do not surpass the horizontal plane of your shoulders (don’t bring the weight too far back – keep it in front of your ears, palm facing forward).
Dumbbell Mock Swings:
Stand with your feet close together holding a 3-4 lb dumbbell your right hand as if you were holding a driver. Place your left hand on your left hip.
Slowly raise your right hand laterally and to the back while shifting your hips back and to the right as in preparation for a swing. With this weight, it is critical to control the movement and perform the exercise smoothly without jerking in order to protect the shoulder from injury. Do NOT overswing.
Now, slowly and smoothly swing the weight as though performing a swing with your driver in a forward diagonal motion to shoulder height, rotating the shoulder through the motion so the palm faces up and rotating your hips back to the neutral standing position. Hold the weight at the top of the movement of a brief moment. Lower and continue into next repetition (Step 2 again). Do not forget to inhale as you lift the weight and exhale while you lower.
Repeat continuously until muscle exhaustion occurs (i.e. 8-15 reps), meaning that you cannot perform any more reps with good STRICT form.
Whether you are left or right handed – switch sides and perform the same on the opposite arm. You won’t want to end up asymmetrical – you want to be balanced and strong.
Perform these exercises twice a week and you should notice improvement in your endurance and ability to control the clubs.
Miranda Mayhew Stadnisky/Fitness Trainer