You can spend a lot on exercise equipment, but you don’t have to in order to get a great workout. The items below are a select handful to get you started, and work well in conjunction with some of the golf fitness books.
It’s time to get started on your 2011 resolution to get in shape (hey, it’s only September). It’s easier to prevent an injury that to rehab from one, right?
- A foam roller is a great investment – very inexpensive, and highly effective way to prevent and treat a number of common injuries. Loosen your IT band (a number of us find this the most useful stretches with a foam roll), hamstrings and quads, and the middle back too. Generally available in white “standard density” (good for those just starting to loosen up), as well as black “high density” for really bringing the pain. Their use may make you wince, but it’s worth every bit of your time.
- In addition to the foam roller, the portable The Stick (a relatively compact 17″, featuring 8 “spindles”) is another tool to prevent injury and sore muscles, and increase flexibility in the lower body. Comes in several variations, including the Original Stick (24″ long and 15 spindles) and the Marathon Stick (20″ and 10 spindles).
- A Swiss Ball (also known as an exercise ball, balance ball, fitness ball, stability ball or exercise ball) is another must-have for any golfer keeping in shape at home. Twists, prone walk-outs, advanced push-ups, bench presses, ab exercises…the list goes on and on. Fantastic for the core. Comes in sizes generally from 54cm – 85cm.
- Balance disc – one or two provide a great workout for the lower body, core and upper as well. Stand on these while swinging or balancing during other movments…can even be used for push-ups.
- You can always good old school with the use of a medicine ball, which still adds to a great workout. Common weights range between 2 and 12 pounds; we find that 6 or 8 pounds is good for all-around use.
- Exercise tubing (also known as resistance bands) – portable and can easily attach to doors, posts, and the like. Available in varying resistances, and is commonly used to strengthen the core while mimicking the swing.
- Dumb-bells – available in a wide variety of weights. We are fans of the Bowflex SelecTech 552 dumbbells, which can adjust between 5 to over 50 pounds in a very compact package. If you get these and have the room, you might want to consider the stand that is available with them. Not necessary, but a nice addition.
- If you have the space (and the dollars), an indoor spin bike is a great way to get a good cardio workout on a bike that is designed to make you feel as if you are cycling outdoors. There are a number of companies that offer spin bikes crossing a variety of prices – we would recommend checking out the Lemond RevMaster Sport, Spinner Sport Spin Bike, or the Stamina CPS.