The best way to improve your golf stamina is to work on your cardiovascular strength.
There is a lot of misconception out there that golf is not a sport for real athletes or fit people.
On average, 18-holes of golf take around 4-hours, any less than that and you’re in Superman mode! Walking, swinging, and focusing for that length of time takes a certain level of physical fitness.
If you’re fading before the final green, or fatiguing halfway around the course, you need lessons on how to improve your golf stamina – luckily, you’re in the right place.
Here at Golf Sizzle, we want to help you reach that 19th hole feeling strong and ready to enjoy some extra camaraderie with your pals. Hopefully, this post can help you level up your fitness on the course.
Does Golf Require Stamina?
Yes, golf does require a good bit of stamina. Being “golf fit” requires a lot of cardiovascular endurance, especially for the players that walk the course.
Even for the riders, there is still a good deal of walking to and from the cart, through various types of terrains. The best way to improve your golf stamina is by doing regular cardiovascular exercise.
Walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling are some examples of ways to increase your cardiovascular fitness levels. Short, half an hour sessions, 3-5 times a week improve the health of your heart, resulting in the ability to finish 18-holes at the same pace that you tee’d off.
Fitness plays such an important role in my life,and an integral part of my golf structure, that I think I might be quite good at teaching others the benefit of sport and fitness. “Rory McIlroy”
What Is Cardiovascular Exercise?
Any form of rigorous activity that increases heart and breathing rates up to and beyond 50% of their maximum capacity is classed as cardio. The readings must remain consistent for at least 10-minutes.
Vigorous activity causes us to breathe deeper, maximizing the amount of oxygen in our blood. The body learns to use the additional oxygen more efficiently, resulting in feeling more energized and less likely to fatigue.
In other words, cardiovascular exercises improve stamina.
While working out to make us better golfers, cardio also has added benefits of improving heart and mental health, weight control, regulating metabolism, sleep, and it’s a mood enhancer.
What Exercises Should Golfers Do?
Here are Some of the Best Cardiovascular Exercise to Improve Golf Stamina
- Running: Nothing gets the heart pumping better than a run. You don’t need a gym membership, just a pair of sneakers and the open road. If you’re a beginner and running seems too daunting, start out by walking briskly, building up to 30-minutes. The next step is to walk-short rest- jog-short rest- walk, and repeat. Gradually decrease the intervals and increase the pace. Do this 3-5 times a week and, before long, your fitness levels improve enough to run for half-hour periods. Running on a treadmill is equally as effective, and comes with the added bonus of tracked mileage, heart rate, and burnt calories.
- Swimming: Swimming is an excellent cardio exercise that works multiple muscles. It is low-impact and puts little stress on joints making it suitable for older golfers. Swimming is renowned to aid weight loss; the faster you swim, the more calories you burn. Depending on your weight and speed, a half-hour session burns approximately 200-400 calories. Swimming is one of the best golf stamina-building exercises; muscles you didn’t even know you had, work much harder than you might think.
- Cycling: Cycling is another form of low-impact exercise; it isn’t too rough on your joints. It is free to do, providing you can lay your hands on a bike. Cycling is all about endurance; the longer you ride, the more time your heart rate is elevated. An hour-long bike ride can easily burn 400-calories, more if you pedal at pace. Cycling builds muscle tone in the lower body, especially in the hips and thighs. These are the muscles vital to the balance, stability, and flexibility of a good golfer. If you’re not ready to hit the great outdoors, or the weather is against you, an exercise bike is an excellent machine to improve golf stamina. An expensive electronic system or a basic belt-driven bicycle has the same results, providing you ride for 30-minutes, 3-5 times per week.
- Aerobic Exercise: Online tutorials are readily available for step aerobics, boxercise, or dance classes. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home, just push the furniture back and work up a sweat. Not only are you improving stamina, but you’re also building muscle, flexibility, and coordination (3, 4, 5) – it’s a win-win.
Strength Training for Golf – Hitting the Gym
If you have a gym membership, make use of it to build up good golf stamina. The best machines for cardiovascular exercise include;
- Rowing machine – This low-impact machine works almost all muscles in the body. The monitor displays all times, distances, and splits. In 10-minutes your blood is pumping and you’re breaking out in a sweat.
- Treadmill – One of the most straightforward pieces of equipment to use; jump on and run. Personalize speeds and incline levels, put your earphones in and lose yourself for half an hour. Beware; it isn’t a low-impact machine so take care of your joints.
- Stair climber – The machine that has many people out of breath in a short time is the stair climber. It is great for cardio endurance and stamina; find a comfortable speed and incline and get climbing. It is low-impact so doesn’t over-stress joints.
- Elliptical – The perfect machine for gym newbies and older people. It has separate footplates and long handles; it is a cross between a running and cycling machine. The handles provide support; as you grow in confidence, release them and build balance and coordination.
Any exercise that gets your heart pumping fast and increases your breathing rate for an extended period is considered cardio. You could join a spin class, do some circuit training, hit the assault bikes; be consistent, do it often, and watch your golf stamina improve.
Other Ways to Build Up Golf Stamina
Stretching keeps muscles strong and healthy, maintaining their flexibility when joints move through a range of motions.
Stretching before teeing off on an 18-hole course is vital. It warms up and loosens all the necessary muscles and tendons, which increases blood flow and reduces the possibility of muscle fatigue.
Some of the best golf stretches include;
- hold a club at each end, raise it above and behind the head
- keep your arms locked straight for 10-20 seconds
- release and repeat twice more
Standing Quad Stretch
- stand upright, and bend one knee until the heel is near to the buttocks
- hold the ankle for 30-seconds
- release and swap. It also helps to improve balance.
Standing Side Stretch
- stand upright, place a club in the ground on your right-hand side
- cross the left leg over the right
- reach up and over with the left arm, towards the club
- look upwards, take 3-5 deep breaths
- hold the final breath before releasing, and repeating on the other side
Strengthening is anything that makes muscles work harder than they usually would. A stronger body endures more and has greater stamina, enough for over 4-hours on the golf course!
The exercise involves the target group of muscles being overloaded, creating muscle fatigue. It reacts by growing and increasing in strength.
Resistance and weight exercises are best for strengthening. Wrist curls and resistance bands in the gym, or planking, squatting, push-ups, and pull-ups are suitable for the home.
The best ways to create stamina for golf involve living a healthy lifestyle, eating a good diet, and getting plenty of exercise.
To get the best out of the exercise, vary it. Swim one day, cycle another and hit the gym periodically. Don’t push too hard initially, and consult a personal trainer or GP with any concerns.
Remember, start slowly and build gradually to see the best results. Within weeks your body will feel fit enough to go round for a second 18-holes!
If you are dead serious about improving your golf stamina and fitness, consider the help of a professional fitness program that is specific to golf!
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Til next time, hit em straight!