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Chip Shots: Exercise Tips for Optimal Golf

In my search for all things useful as it relates to helping folks enjoy the wonderful game of golf, I thought having a professional trainer on the show, especially one who has actually worked with a golf pro, would be beneficial.

Fortunately for me and all of you, fitness professional and owner of Bodies by Badger, Amy Badger, fits the bill perfectly. Not only does she have a degree in kinesiology and physical education, but she is nationally accredited in group exercise and personal training.

The icing on the cake is that, when she lived in Florida, Amy worked with LPGA professional Lorie Kane. She also trained Ian Poulter’s wife, but that’s a story for a different time.

We had a great time on the air, and Amy was very clear that in order to be the best golfer you can be you need to do more than play golf. Being a glutton for punishment and willing to try almost anything once (please refer back to my recent Long Drive Competition experience), I asked Amy if she would be willing to put me through a golf-specific workout. Being the eternally positive person that she is, Amy quickly agreed and invited me to her studio, on North Main Street in Brewer.

My golf improvement workout began with a few warm-up exercises; rope jumping and a few drills using a “ladder” that is simply made by placing tape on the floor in the shape and length of a typical ladder. We didn’t do any static stretching, rather total body movements designed to elevate my heart rate and prepare my body for what was to come.

Being a very organized individual, Amy had kindly written out my routine on a blackboard. The workout was broken into Power, Core, and finally, Flexibility.

For the power phase, we started with the Reverse Woodchop. I could feel this a bit in my shoulders, but mostly in my torso, as it is designed to strength your hips and core. This exercise, as well as the Woodchop (downward motion instead of upward) can help you generate more power. The Ball Squat Toss was next, and again I felt it in my shoulders, but also in my quads and butt. Another power move as it is a dynamic motion that involves many muscles firing in tandem. The final power exercise was the Split Squat, which I really felt in my hamstrings and butt. Amy is very keen on making sure a person doesn’t neglect the opposing muscles or the opposite side of your body when exercising. A musculo-skeletal balance is very important not only to golf but your overall health.

Luckily for you, I videotaped Amy demonstrating the correct way to do each of these exercises.

For core work, Amy had me do clams, which are a type of stomach crunch, and something called the physioball oblique twist.

We ended with flexibility exercises for hips, hamstrings and lower back. The photo below is of me stretching my hips.

Throughout the entire workout Amy encouraged me and gave me pointers on proper form. She made it fun and distracted me from how much I was actually exerting myself (I only realized just how much after the workout was over, when I attempted to go and golf – more on that in an upcoming Chip Shots Blog).

Overall, this workout takes less than a half-hour and can lead to not only better golf performance but greater enjoyment of the game, along with a reduced chance of injury. As I’m writing this Blog it is the day after my session, and I feel like I got a good workout but didn’t overdo it. I plan on incorporating these moves into my overall routine and want to thank Amy for her time; we had a blast.

Please be sure to tune in to next Monday’s show (7:15 a.m.), when we will chat about all things golf and welcome Husson University Golf Coach Ed Mayo.

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