When it comes to golf and health, Annika has always felt that the two go hand in hand. And according to the Golf & Health Project, sponsored by the World Golf Foundation, she’s definitely been correct. It recently found golfers live up to five years longer than non-golfers.
“Obviously golf is a sport, but when you look at it from a well-being standpoint, it contributes on so many levels,” says Annika. “It promotes muscular and cardiovascular health, as well as the benefits of being outside and being social. It also requires you to think.”
Early in her career, Annika didn’t have a structured workout and would often go to the gym and run a little bit. Then, when she got more serious about golf, she realized she needed to train like other athletes and adhere to a program to figure out where she was making gains and where she also may still need work.
Annika’s program involved a lot of core and upper body training. She would work out five days a week when she was home, and three days when on the road. Shortly after starting, she noticed a significant difference in her clubhead speed and muscle control.
Here are some easy and quick upper-body workouts that can guarantee tone and strength without the bulk. The best part about them is they can be done anywhere and require zero equipment.
Lay on your stomach and then prop yourself up on your elbows and toes, lifting your midsection by pulling your abs towards the ceiling. Make sure your back is straight and keeps the abs tucked in and engaged. Squeeze the glutes together and hold for up to 30 seconds, 3-5 times with 10-20 second breaks in between.
These will build strong legs and help protect the spine and knees. With feet shoulder-width apart, squat by initiating the movement with your hips moving back until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Perform 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps, slow on the way down and faster on the way up.
Start in the pushup position and lift your abs to the ceiling. Begin the push up by letting your elbows move to the side and lower your midsection slowly as far down as you are comfortable with. Push up with both your arms and pull your abs to the ceiling. This will make sure you body stays connected throughout the exercise. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps.