Make no mistake, for the next couple of months we will still be in the cold grip of winter. Warm golf days feel like a distant memory and we’re itching to get out of the office to hit a few. Instead we’re stuck inside, and whether we want to hear it or not, it’s the perfect time to hit the gym. While the pros need to spend April through September focusing on golf, many get the bulk of their physical training done from January-March.
Some of the fittest golfers, as ranked by Men’s Fitness Magazine, have shared where they spend their time. These tips combined will help improve driving distance, your swing and your coordination. As an amateur where should you start?
Step 1: Make Fitness Your Lifestyle
You can’t get there overnight. Camilo Villegas first introduction to the fitness world started over 15 years ago. Today he can be found doing seated cable crunches against 90 pounds of weight-machine resistance but isn’t a stranger low impact exercises like yoga, Pilates and cycling either. He attributes his appearances on Tour to his commitment in the weight room and because of that has made it his number one priority.
Step 2: Focus on Lower Body Strength
Brooks Koepka became one of the longest drivers on tour and surprisingly this didn’t happen from focusing on his upper body. He did this by developing strength and power with exercises that build hips, legs and glutes. Elements to build power and improve your driving distance include Romanian Deadlifts, Barbell Bulgarians and Box Jumps.
Step 3: Improve Coordination and Dexterity
Jordan Spieth focuses on exercises inspired by crawling to improve coordination, dexterity, shoulder and core stability. Exercises to master include half bear crawls, a crab with rotation and lateral bear crawls. What’s the best part about these routines? They require no equipment so you don’t even need to go to the gym to get them done!
Step 4: Increase Core Stability
Dustin Johnson doesn’t take a day off. That’s right, not one. The typical golfer or average person shouldn’t attempt to keep up with his rigorous schedule. But if you really want to take a page out of his book, incorporate some medicine ball exercises that will help increase core stability and drive the ball further.
Step 5: Incorporate Rest Periods
While Jason Day wasn’t ranked for fitness, he doesn’t fly south for the winter and remains the world’s #1 golfer. He spends the offseason in Ohio, where, spoiler alert, it snows – a lot. To stay in tip-top-shape he’s had to get creative, including indoor driving range visits, putting drills and indoor cycling sessions. He uses the time in Ohio to prepare, refocus and get hungry for the upcoming season. Sometimes stepping away from the course can be a good thing.
So, what are you waiting for? Renew those gym memberships and start working on your game. Arnold Palmer said it first, “the more I practice the luckier I get.” Don’t sleep on winter you’ll regret it in July.