Winter Workouts for Golfers

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Winter Workout Get fighting fit for spring A season on the brink of the couch watching football and basketball can offer a welcome break from golf. But odds are that your upcoming golf season will be injury-prone. "In winter you should follow the same exercise regimen you do the rest of the year," says Paul Schueren, clinical director for Physiotherapy Associates and the PGA Tour. That regimen should focus on three elements: cardiovascular training, strength and flexibility. Golfers should pay special attention to the shoulders and upper back. "A golf swing can damage your rotator cuff," says Schueren. "Not isolating the rotator cuff in exercises to prepare it for golf's demands leads to many upper back injuries." Schueren's low-intensity workout will have you ready for the thaw. Crunches and Lifts Abdominal crunches are like your golf swing — you need to concentrate on form. Tighten your abdominals before beginning the crunch and lift your upper body only high enough to create tension, being careful not to arch your back. Arm and leg lifts: Lie on your stomach and raise your left arm and right leg off the floor. Switch sides and repeat. Abdominal Crunches Frequency: 3 sets of 20, 3 times a week (top) Arm and Leg Lifts Frequency: 3 sets of 20, 3 times a week
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Cardio Training Spend at least 30 minutes on a treadmill or an exercise bike. To maximize his bike time, Schueren attaches an elastic exercise band to the handlebars and does front and lateral shoulder raises while he pedals. Single-Leg Mini-Squats Place one foot on a phone book with the other foot in the air. Keeping your midsection rigid, squat down until your free foot touches the ground. Or try a toe raise mini-squat: starting upright, rise up onto your toes, then bend your knees about 30 degrees. Return to an upright position, remaining on your toes the whole time. Cardio Frequency: 30 minutes, 3 times a week (far left) Single-leg Squats Frequency: 3 sets of 10, 3 times a week
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Rotator Cuff Exercises With arms at your sides and thumbs pointed down, raise a three-pound weight shoulder-high at a 30-degree angle. Turn your thumbs up to open your shoulders and repeat the raise. Rotator Cuff Frequency: 3 sets of 10, 3 times a week
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Attach an exercise band to a doorknob; stand perpendicular to the door with your elbow bent so your arm points forward. Pull the band away from the knob until your fist meets your stomach. Turn your other shoulder to the door and, using the same arm as before, pull the band away from the door. Exercise Band Frequency: 3 sets of 10, 3 times a week