An hour at the driving range may not have the same intensity as a workout of push-ups, crunches, or yoga, but you will be using many of the same muscles and having far more fun. While not quite a full workout, practicing your golf swing has many physical benefits.
The Exercise Benefits of a Golf Swing
Due to repetition and the uneven use of muscles, injury is often a primary concern when it comes to exercising. Some muscles however, particularly the forearms and gluteals, will strengthen over time. Practicing a golf swing can also provide the yoga-like benefit of improving balance.
Multiple Areas of the Body are Affected
According to the IDEA Fitness Journal, the golf swing utilizes many core muscle groups including parts of the abdomen, back, and obliques along with the gluteals, chest, forearms, multiple parts of the thigh, and the shoulders,.
Roles of the Upper and Lower Body during the Golf Swing
According to a 2005 British Journal of Sports Medicine review, the arms, wrists, and hands are most active at the point of “flexor burst”, or the uncocking of the wrists. The muscles in forearms continue to roll during the follow through as the rest of the body’s momentum decelerates.
The hips and legs, meanwhile, contribute significantly to the acceleration of the club head during the beginning of a golfer’s swing by creating the body’s spring-like rotation which provides the initial power of the golf swing. A proper golf swing begins with the lead hip which sets off a chain reaction of movements through the knees, hips, shoulders, and arms.
Over time, playing golf can improve core muscle strength, flexibility, and stamina, all of which can lead to a decreased chance of injury and a better golf swing.
Take a Swing at This: Golf is Exercise, Cart or no Cart, Health News from NPR, June 17, 2015.
Create a Pilates Conditioning Program for Golfers: This Conditioning Program can Reduce the Risk of Injuries, Improve a Golf-Swing and Enhance Balance and Stability, IDEA Fitness Journal