Getting fit for the golf season can be a challenge. The trick is to set simple goals and work your way up.
Golf is more about flexibility and balance than you might think. So, less pump iron and more stretching. You need to be able to flex and twist to drive the ball farther with body mechanics.
Step One — Wrists and Forearms
Between rounds at Bend’s top golf course keep your wrist’s flexible and your forearms firm with wrist curls for your next trip to River’s Edge. If you’ve got a light barbell of five pounds or fewer, start with that. If not, use a 16-ounce bottled water. The key is to hold the bottle by the neck, not in the middle. Try this with just your thumb and index finger and then just your pinkie and fourth finger.
Move your wrist up and down for ten reps, then turn your palm upwards and try again. The ligaments in your wrist will get a great workout. Rotating from palm up to palm down will help, too, while strengthening your grip. Too easy? Move up to a heavier bottle!
Step Two — Ankles
When you swing through a drive, your ankles take a ton of pressure. To relieve the muscles and keep them limber, sit in a chair and raise a single leg. Then rotate your ankle in a clockwise motion; then counterclockwise. This exercise loosens the ligaments and muscles to improve flexibility.
Placing a cloth (or ideally, an elastic band) behind your toes can create tension and greater strength. It would help if you also moved your foot up and down to improve your calf and shin elasticity.
Step Three — Balance
Balance is a key when you hit the putting green in Bend also. That’s because your lower back takes a strain when bending, so exercises that improve your core, from planks to simple squat thrusts, help the back and improve your balance. Squats are also great for the glutes!
You can also improve your balance with skiing, snowshoeing, bicycling, and just standing on one leg while watching TV. When you’re comfortable, try squatting slightly on one leg for balance and strength training.
Step Four — Hip Rotation
Our hips take a tremendous beating while golfing, so between rounds at the best golf course in Central Oregon, River’s Edge, consider doing some biking. There are dozens of great mountain trails, and biking improves your endurance and keeps your hips limber enough for outstanding drive and rotation.
Step Five — Upper Body
Bend is ideal for kayaking and paddle boarding on the Deschutes River. Both activities will improve your balance and core strength as well as tax your shoulder muscles.
Your payoff is hitting the ball straighter and farther, especially if you’ve done some leg work. Hiking paths that emphasize uphill and downhill trails will stretch your ankles, quads, and thighs. Those muscles help you twist as your clubs impact your ball – improving distance. Healthy exercises are a win-win.