5 best exercises to get your body ready after a long layoff

golfer stretches

Ed. Note: After a long winter layoff (which has been extended with the various shutdowns in parts of the country) most everyone’s game has some rust. That’s where we come in. Over the next several weeks, we’ll answer the questions every golfer is wondering when it comes to getting their games sharp for the 1st tee. Today, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Dave Phillips of the Titleist Performance Institute takes us through five exercises to get your body ready after a long layoff.

Over the past few months golf courses have been closed for an extended period of time and we have been confined to working from home. If you’re like me, I have spent much of my days doing business on some online platform and catching up on the latest binge TV series. As golf courses start to reopen and we figure out what the new normal will be for the summer months, it’s time to kick the tires on your golf swing and see what you have.

Get rock steady from setup to finish with 2 easy exercises
By: Kolby Tullier

When we sit for extended periods of time our glutes shut down, hamstrings get taught and hip flexor muscles shorten. Not good for hip mobility in the golf swing. We also tend to round our upper spine in front of the computer, and this gets our thoracic spine and neck out of position which can affect our torso rotation, another important area of the body to get moving after a long layoff from golf.  The following digs into our TPI data base of over 3000 exercises and shows you some of our favorite Body Preps to get the oil moving to fire up your golf swing.

Split Stance Lunge Turns

This is a great exercise to stabilize the lower body and rotate the upper body, in order to get you warmed up for your backswing.

From a standing position take a step out with your right leg in front of you and bend forward into a golf posture. Grab both ends of the club and make some turns from side to side. Then repeat with the opposing leg forward.

You can watch an example here.

Sweep the Dust Backswings

This body prep helps develop the correct shoulder motion in the backswing. Place a golf club or stretching pole across the shoulders, make some smooth, slow backswings focusing on the shoulders moving down and across as they rotate back. The feeling is as if you were sweeping the ground with your club across your shoulders. 

You can watch an example here.

Torso turns on one leg

This exercise helps develop better balance or proprioception in your golf swing and builds more stability in your lower body. Start by standing on one leg and getting into a stable golf posture.  Lift your lead leg and cross your arms over your chest.  Trying to keep your lower body stable, begin to rotate your trunk back and forth and try to maintain balance.  Repeat on the trail leg. This is great body prep if you sway or slide in your swing.  

You can watch an example here.

Torso acceleration drill

This exercise helps develop a better sequence of motion between your upper and lower body and teaches you how to fire your oblique abdominals in your swing. Get in a good 5-iron golf posture with your arms crossed over your shoulders.  While trying to limit your lower body from moving, take a full backswing keeping your shoulder plane from flattening out at the top.  From here, return to the impact position, once again with little or no lower body motion.  Finally, rotate your whole body through to the finish; once again maintaining a good stable posture and shoulder plane throughout.

You can watch an example here.

Forehand top spin drill

This is a great wrist re-education exercise for the lead wrist. It will help teach you the proper release through impact in the golf swing. Grab a golf club, massage stick or dumbbell in your lead hand and get into a good golf posture.  Make a short backswing and short follow through back and forth, making sure your lead wrist remains straight or slightly bowed (flexed) throughout the exercise.  Make sure you turn your body as well throughout the movement.

You can watch an example here.

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