Fitness Friday: Jumping for golfing joy
*Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. He gives you a health and fitness tip or an exercise or stretch to get your body warmed up for the weekend. This week he explains why jumping exercises can result in more powerful golf shots. He explains why and shows how to do them correctly for optimum safety and benefit. Look for Saturday Morning Tip tomorrow, and remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.
*If you're over the age of 40, ask yourself this question: When was the last time you jumped in the air?
For some reason, as we grow older, this physical skill is lost. When you were a kid, jumping was probably an integral part of your daily activities. Hop-scotch, basketball, jump rope, even leaping over fences and hedges as you cut across a neighbor's lawn to get home from school. You might think it's OK to leave jumping to your childhood memories, but if it's not part of your workout routine, you're really missing a great exercise to increase your driving distance.
Golf Digest fitness advisor Randy Myers discusses this in the June issue. "All my guys do jumps as part of their workout routine," says Myers, lead instructor on Nike Golf's fitness team and personal trainer of PGA Tour pro Dustin Johnson. "A big reason why Dustin hits the ball so far is because he understands how to push off the ground with his lower body. The big hitters use the ground as leverage, and they do that by performing a move very similar to a jump."
Not only will jumping improve strength in your thigh, calf, hip and glute muscles, but it also trains the muscle to fire explosively--exactly what you need as you swing down and through the ball. The lead leg pushes off the ground. And, as a bonus, Myers says there are few exercises that are better cardio workouts. Try jumping for 30 seconds, and you'll be gasping for air. For more on jumping and other fitness tips, see the June issue of Golf Digest.
To view some tips on jumping, click the video below.