Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Fall
As the weather gets cooler, it is easy to justify staying indoors and sitting by the fire. But you do not need to go outside to get proper exercise. While sitting by the fire is always enjoyable, the longer we sit without exercise the more muscle we lose. Women can improve muscle size and strength with exercise, including in the important core area, which is critical to the rotation needed to create a powerful golf swing. And let’s be honest, we all want a powerful golf swing. Here are three quick exercises that will help stretch and strengthen your body:
Lunges with Dumbbells
According to biomechanics sport researcher Dr. Ben Kibler, men use a more efficient “push-through” motion during the striking skill, using larger muscles to accelerate the hip and trunks, while women use a “pull-through” motion, which takes more effort because of the smaller muscles used. Increasing the size of your hip and thigh muscles will help you get more muscle into your golf swing. One excellent exercise for building thigh muscles is the lunge with dumbbells.
Stand with your feet slightly farther apart than shoulder width and take a stride forward, keeping your torso straight, then bending your knee and lowering yourself as far as you can, using your upper leg to raise and lower yourself. Depending on your strength, start without weights, and then add dumbbells. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions per set, with three sets per workout.
Your upper body rotation during the club take back and forward swing is critical to generating the acceleration that creates club head speed. In addition to flexibility in your core, you’ll want muscle strength to bring your trunk forward, into the shot, with maximum power. Strengthening the muscles on the front side of your trunk will help you improve this movement.
Lie on your side, with your knees bent and top leg on your bottom leg. Place the arm closest to the floor behind your head. Raise your head and trunk as far off the floor as possible using only your oblique muscles, which are on the front and side of your torso. Hold the crunch for one second, and then manually lower yourself using your muscles. Switch sides and repeat. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions per set, with three sets per workout. You can vary this exercise by trying to lift your legs as your raise yourself.
To improve your hip strength, try squats. You can perform squats with weights on your shoulder, dumbbells in your hand, or with only your body weight. Stand with your feet slightly farther than shoulder width apart. Begin to lower yourself by moving your buttocks backward, keeping your torso straight. Lower yourself as low as possible using your muscles, not gravity. Pause one or two seconds, then slowly raise yourself up, keeping your torso straight. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions per set, with three sets per workout.
*These exercises were adapted from LiveStrong.com.
If you are feeling really daring, a quick fifteen minute run out in the cool, crisp fall air can always do a body good!
Do you have any indoor exercises you’d like to share?