Good swings over 18 holes require strength and endurance.
I DIDN’T SWING a golf club at my golf fitness class, but I like to think my torso rotation would be much improved if I did.
I’ve putted on a mini-golf course, and as much as I would like those skills to translate to a real golf course, I’m pretty sure they don’t. Fitness, however, does. What I realized after a workout with golfers at Kutting Edge Fitness in Kirkland, is that golfers need fitness, too.
Dan Kleckner, co-owner of Kutting Edge, works with golfers to help get them in better shape for long hours on the course. Golfers repeat the same motion over and over. They’re not pushing themselves aerobically, but when you do the same move for five hours, it’s hard to keep the muscles firing for 18 holes. Kleckner works on golfers’ endurance and strength.
Kutting Edge Fitness
8524 122nd Ave. N.E., Kirkland
I met up with a group of golfers who had gone through a fitness screen. The assessment was that the golfers were weak in areas most people should spend more time on — their core and glutes. Kleckner’s golfers also needed to work on side-to-side rotation.
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After a warm-up, some stretches and work with a roller to open our spine and glutes, we dived into core work with plank variations. Plank holds always seem longer when someone else is in charge, but I got through it.
Next, we did glute work, doing bridges with leg variations to work the big muscles. There were those long holds again.
Kleckner also had us work on increasing power with a partner. We took two resistance bands tied together. My partner wrapped one end around his waist, while I took the other half around mine, faced away from him and leapt forward in a broad jump. Kleckner told us to land lightly. I soon found jumping was the easy part; holding while my partner jumped required way more core and glute stability.
We also used the resistance bands with our partners to do rotations side to side, challenging our core and explosiveness.
For the second half of class, we moved on to a circuit. Some of it was fun, like pushing a weighted sled across the floor, which required a ton of leg strength and got my heart rate way up. One medicine ball move I considered more golf-style fitness. I stood sideways to the wall, holding the medicine ball. I had to whip it against the wall, using my torso and glute strength. It took some coordination to get it right.
The circuit also included planks on a stability ball, always an intense core workout, and hops side to side on one foot for agility.
We finished with four rounds on the heavy battling ropes, which Kleckner likes for golfers because of the grip, balance and strength the ropes develop. We did a few variations, including simple waves, power slams and a crazy jumping-jack style exercise that was killer for the shoulders.
In many ways, it was a traditional circuit workout, but I liked the focus on core, glutes and spinal rotation, which anyone can benefit from.
Kleckner’s golfers have taken his advice to heart. One golfer, Andy, does squats before golfing to warm up, as instructed. Warming up on the course is apparently unusual. One day, as he was doing his squats, someone asked him what he was up to. He shouted back, “Firing my glutes!”
Golfers, you might take note.