As young golfers prepare physically for years of competitive rounds, the most important components of their fitness regimen include: core stability, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular endurance.

By focusing on utilizing their own body weight for strengthening, shoulder injuries can be prevented by incorporating exercises for the rotator cuff as well as pushups-incline, decline, or even modified (on the knees). A strong upper body will allow for good acceleration and deceleration of the golf club. Alternating exercises of the upper body (i.e. plank) with lower body (squats; lunges) should assist in avoiding overtaxing specific muscle groups.

Flexibility in the legs and lower back will help increase balance, weight transfer and power. Increase flexibility after a cardio workout by performing a pistol squat (one leg is extended straight out as the golfer lowers the body using the hip flexors and upper leg strength until the heel touches his behind) or inch worm pushups (start in a push up position and slowly walk the feet-with the heels touching the ground-towards the hands until the straight back starts to bend or curve, then walk the hands forward until the body is parallel to the ground again and repeat.

Core strength will increase rotational speed with a golf club as well as protect the lower back from injury. There are numerous exercises with a Bosu ball or resistance ball that prevent boredom from traditional crunches but the entire core must be active. Any cardiovascular exercise will increase stamina for the strenuous golf course rounds. –Kelly Shobe, Fitness and Nutrition at GNCGA

Photo Credit: Junior Golf Scoreboard and SpiderSport.com