Hit it Hard
WHAT EXERCISES WILL HELP PLAY BETTER GOLF?
Ladies European Tour Professional, Carly Booth shows you how to hit it hard with a 4-exercise golf-specific workout:
So, you're ready to take your golf fitness to the NEXT level? Carly walks you through a golf fitness routine that will seriously challenge you, but definitely raise your golf game.
Physio Ball Hip Extensions
The first exercise addresses your core, hips and glutes. This can be done using either a stationary bench or a physio ball to take it up a notch. Placing your feet flat against the physio ball, raise your rear end off the floor and hold for a 2-count repeating the movement 15 times for 3 sets.
Power Cleans with Barbell
The next movement is a power clean using a barbell. Your goal here is not compete in the Olympics, so keep the weight modest, so that you can perform 15 repetitions for 3 sets. This truly works almost every area of your body. As Carly instructs, keep your back flat. This is an advanced movement, so you should have a coach help you with this exercise or already have extensive weight training experience.
One Arm Dumbbell Presses
The next exercise is one arm dumbbell presses with your opposite leg on a bench. This is a very focused movement for upper body strength. Again, it's far more important to use modest weights that you can perform without struggle for 15 repetitions and 3 sets.
Physio Ball Core Body Rotation
The last exercise is very advanced and is not recommended without spotting assistance and should only be attempted by advanced fitness individuals. This same movement can be modified by kneeling on the ground for beginners and intermediates. For advanced golfers, start by simply learning to kneel and balance on a physio ball. Again, use someone to spot you. After you have master balancing consistently, then adding the torso twist with a light weight takes this exercise to the next level.
So, whether you are ready to do this routine or not, use it as motivation and fuel to continue to raise your golf fitness level. So hit it hard.
If you've ever wondered if working out could help you hit the golf ball farther? Well, the answer is a definite yes. All top tour pros embrace physical fitness and working out to improve their golf games. As with any exercise program or athletic endeavor, check with your healthcare professional before beginning and also know your capabilities and limitations.
While each of these 5 exercises is wonderful for building power where it counts in the golf swing, each of these exercises can be modified to fit different levels of athleticism or even physical limitations. For example, exercise number 1 can be done without the use of a rubber band providing resistance, just use gravity. Lateral bounding can be done without having to leave the ground and instead can be wide straddle steps. It won't be quite as effective, but it will still help establish that power from the ground. If you don't have access to a cable weight machine, you can perform kneeling presses with either a rubber band or as controlled punches. Seated jump squats can be easily modified so that you don't actually leave the ground and instead rise up on your toes. Hanging snatches can be performed with something as light as a soup can to start. It is important to have a small weight. And finally, if you don't have access to a medicine ball, you can substitute any number of items such as a large pillow.
Side Hip Extensions
For this first exercise we're going to use our blue resistance band. Bands come in many colors representing different levels of resistance, but we've found that for the majority of you, the blue resistance band is going to be about the right tension. This exercise works the hip and glute complex, where you generate core stability and leg power. Step onto the band by placing both feet on the floor a little bit wider than shoulder distance apart. By standing on the band with your right foot you will anchor the band in place. Now use your left foot to push toward the side, using the band for resistance. We are really trying to extend the left leg to the side while using our core to stabilize the upper body. Don't allow your body to lean or go to the sides. We want your leg to go straight in and out. There's no requirement for an exact number of repetitions but anywhere from five to ten would be great when just starting out. Please remember that you can simply use your body weight and gravity for this exercise. The resistance bands come in a variety of tensions and you can start with an easier band and progress up as you get stronger.
The next exercise is called lateral bounding. This exercise will work large muscle groups from your feet to the top of your head. For absolute beginners or golfers at a lower level of fitness, lateral bounding can be done without having to leave the ground and instead can be wide straddle steps. It won't be quite as effective, but it will still help establish that power from the ground.
As you progress you want to leave the ground from side to side, working to extend the length of your bounding and speeding it up. This is an explosive movement and you should use caution to make sure that you are nicely warmed up.
Again, a good target for repetitions will be between five and 10 for beginners but more fit and advanced golfers can go until they start to feel some fatigue. This exercise will definitely increase the power in your legs and lower body.
In this exercise we're going to drop down into a kneeling position. Turn around and grab the handle of a cablecross machine or a resistance band that is anchored about chest high. We're simply going to push forward using a punching motion in a rather explosive movement. We'll engage our legs and core for stability. What we're looking for the upper body to rotate around and then extending out with that arm in a chess press movement. This definitely works the upper body and core.
Seated Jump Squats
For this exercise we'll start in a seated position. We're going to be doing a seated squat jump. As raise yourself off the bench to stand and to jump, we're getting explosiveness out of the legs. This movement is somewhat duplicated in the full swing, when you wind up and pause and then explode through the downswing and through swing. This will definitely improve the fitness and explosiveness of your legs. Seated jump squats can be easily modified so that you don't actually leave the ground and instead rise up on your toes, when you are beginning. Between five and ten repetitions is great when starting out but more advanced golfers could easily work up to 25 repetitions.
The next exercise is a hanging snatch which is a form of an Olympic lift with a dumbbell. Start with an extremely light weight and work your way up over time. You can use something as light as a soup can to start. It is important to have a small weight. This will be very taxing on the body. Grab the weight and then using your legs and your upper body to drive this up, you will lift the weight from the floor to an overhead press position. One of the big key things to remember while we're doing this is for you to drive with your legs but still maintain that nice straight back we don't want to see any rounding.
Medicine Ball Throws
For this exercise I want you to grab a ten pound medicine ball. If you don't have a partner to throw the ball to, you can use a concrete wall - this will rebound the ball back to you. So we'll grab our medicine ball and load up much like the golf swing. I'm favoring this right side and as I turned through I'm going to explode trying to create more explosive power. If you don't have access to a medicine ball, you can substitute any number of items such as a large pillow.
Implement these five exercises and watch the power increase in your swing.
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At the end of 2009 aged 17, she became the youngest ever Scot to qualify for the LET. As a youngster, Carly was able to practice on the course made exclusively for her and her brother, professional golfer Wallace Booth, by her father Wally at the family farm near Comrie. Sporting achievement runs in the family, Wally was a British wrestling champion and Carly’s second brother Paul was a medal winner at the 2010 Special Olympics. 2010 was Carly’s last year at school yet her first year as a professional golfer on the Ladies European Tour, she did well to achieve 3 A levels whilst playing on Tour. Needless to say it was a busy year and she retained her playing rights for 2011 to play full time on the LET. Carly found her stride mid 2011 to finish the season consistently making cuts and focusing on top 10 finishes.
2012 was a great year for Carly she took her first professional title at the Dinard Ladies Open, part of the LET Access Series, followed directly by her first win on the main Ladies European Tour at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. She quickly followed this victory with another at the Deutschebank Ladies Swiss Open and finished 5th on the Order of Merit. Carly has qualified for two majors, the Women’s British Open and the US Women’s Open. She also kicked off the 2013 season with a photo shoot for ESPN The Body, which was very well received and has considerably grown her profile in the USA. Carly is a fierce opponent, who loves the winners circle and recently returned to it by securing victory in the 2019 Tipsport Czech Ladies Open, her first tour victory for 7 years.