Thursday, November 18, 2010

Off-Season Golf Training: How to Increase Flexibility and Protect Muscle Mass

(Image courtesy of

Short Answer:
Stay active...inactivity causes decrease in muscle mass and cardiovascular endurance

Detailed Answer:
Hit the Gym! Do me a favor, get up off your lazy butt and locate a Life Time Fitness or an equally accommodating and most likely cheaper club.

My #1 rule is stretch before any physical activity. I'm not a fan of muscle cramping or stiffness. In essence, I'm preparing for an injury-free future by routinely stretching while I'm young. The next category is cardio: I want to build my cardio enough so that walking up a flight of stairs doesn't leave me calling for a respirator. I like to challenge my heart muscle by running long distances with a mix of sprinting. If you don't think cardio is important, just read how Tiger Woods stays fit. I know how embarrassing it can be to walk 18 holes and feel ready for a nap, believe me, I'VE BEEN THERE. Last category is weight training: where I lift weights to increase or maintain critical golf related muscle mass. I am a big fan of taking a drive down the fairway 300 yards and I'm not referring to a motorized golf cart. With a consistent off-season workout plan, I can fly into the swinging season with swagger!

My plan includes:

Pre-workout stretches, muscle group (each done for 10 seconds)
Raise foot forward at angle against wall, calves
Grab ankle and make it touch your back, quads
Stand with feet spread and touch each foot including the ground, hamstrings
Bring one arm at a time across the body and hold, triceps
Spin arms like a windmill, deltoids

Walk a few laps to get the blood pumping
Jog a mile then walk 2 laps for cool down
Run 75% full speed for 2-3 laps
Walk 2 laps for cool down
Run 100% full speed for 1 lap
Walk 1 lap for cool down
Repeat last two steps for extended period if necessary

Weight training, golf benefits:

Squats for increasing power and balance during golf swing
Sitting and holding a medicine ball while twisting from left to right for lower back speed through impact
Free weights focusing on biceps curls, forearm curls for better grip
Machine lat pull-downs and rowing for upper body equilibrium

Post-workout I use the advice of my friend Eric at Power Source Nutrition and Supplements in Bloomington and consume a blend of protein and carbohydrates. He says consuming high amounts of protein after a workout session isn't enough, you also need carbohydrates to feed the muscles. He takes pride in his store and always puts his customer service skills and product knowledge first.

Let me know how you work out at the gym preparing for next golf season in the comments below!

Keep on swingin,


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