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Importance of overall conditioning for golfers

Golf injuries are common. Protect yourself by understanding the importance of overall conditioning. After a long winter off from golfing, like any sport, you need to prepare your body to get back into the swing of things. The following tips can help you stay in shape on and off the course.

Warm up - Before you practice your golf swing or play a round of golf, warm up with a brisk walk or a set of jumping jacks. Stretch your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, spine and pelvis. Swing your golf club a few times, gradually increasing your range of motion.

Start slowly - You might practice your swing for hours, believing it's helping your game. But if your body isn't conditioned for the strain, practicing your golf swing may do more harm than good. Work up to your desired level of activity instead.

Strengthen your muscles - You don't need bulging muscles to hit a long drive - but the stronger your muscles, the greater your club speed. Stronger muscles are less prone to golf injuries. For best results, do strength training exercises including core exercises year-round.

Focus on flexibility - Regular stretching can improve your range of motion and lead to a more fluid golf swing. Yoga is a great option for golfers.

Develop endurance - Regular aerobic activity can give you staying power on the course. Try walking, jogging, bicycling or swimming.

Lift your clubs carefully - If you jerk heavy clubs out of the trunk, you could injure yourself before you reach the first tee. Keep your back straight and use the strength of your legs to lift heavy objects.

Also, remember your sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin from the suns harmful rays, and make sure to drink plenty of water before and during your game. If you are interested in private personal training for golf specific sport including flexibility, core, balance, strength, endurance, and injury prevention you may contact me for a free consultation at 605-3549.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached by e-mail at corinna@adkbikeranch.com. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

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