How to workout during the winter season - 5 tips
Go through the basics of your technique
Having a solid foundation when it comes to the basics of your swing is crucial for maintaining a swing that holds up even under pressure. Winter is a perfect time to review them, and here are some tips on how you can practice:
– Review your grip, grip pressure, stance, balance, and aim. You can advantageously read the article I wrote on how to learn to hit longer and straighter (find the article here), where I go through the most important aspects. When your basics are solid, your swing will work better.
– Establish a routine where you incorporate the basics in the order that suits you best. You can effectively practice this routine for at least 10 minutes every time you work out.
– To be well-prepared for the next season, I recommend practicing at least once a week or every other week (about 45 minutes to 1 hour each time).
Practice putting at home on the mat
We all know that it’s when putting is on point that we usually achieve a good score. It’s a lot about distance control and making your 1-1.5 meter putts. You can effectively work on your putting technique and boost your confidence in putting by practicing at home during the winter.
Use a putting mat or your regular mat. Set up a bowl as a hole and practice putts from 1-5 meters (depending on the length of the mat). This can also be a great way to unwind from work and other responsibilities. Aim to practice around 10 minutes to 1 hour per week.
Train and improve your strength and flexibility
Winter is also a great opportunity to strengthen your body, both in terms of strength and flexibility (all exercises are from my book Proud, strong and positive). Focus on the following muscle groups:
Strengthen especially the lower back and the internal lower abdominal muscles with exercises like crunches and the plank with rotation, as illustrated below.
Stand on one leg and close your eyes while brushing your teeth. Try to stand still for 30 seconds per leg. Start with your eyes open to sense the balance, gradually progress the exercise until you can eventually close your eyes and stand still for 30 seconds per leg.
Strengthen your posture with the following exercises:
When you strengthen your posture, it will also enhance your setup to the ball. This, in turn, improves your rotation and helps you achieve straighter and longer shots. Strengthen your posture with exercises such as the following.
Strengthen and stretch the buttocks (gluteal muscles):
The buttocks are our largest muscle, and when you strengthen and stretch them, you’ll be able to activate them more easily in your swing. This helps you hit longer and straighter shots. Train with exercises such as the following:
Set your goals for the 2024 season
Deciding now what you want to achieve and succeed in during 2024 will provide you with energy and motivation throughout the entire winter. Consider both your well-being and performance, and write down 3-5 things. Make the goals as clear as possible and display them on the wall at home.
One suggestion is to have a technical goal (distance/accuracy, putting, and/or short game goal), a goal for your physical training, and one for your mental strength. See the triangle below to understand the importance of incorporating the whole. Use the goal chart you received earlier to create your plan. Here, you fill in your goals and the activities you’ve decided to undertake. Follow up every Sunday evening and adjust the plan as needed. If obstacles arise, note them and reach out if you need help resolving them.
Train on the first foundation of mental training – relaxation training
Regulating your tension level is the first foundation of mental training. When you master it, you will be able to manage yourself and, consequently, your game even better. Winter is a perfect time to start your mental training, and it goes a long way to begin with the first foundation. Train for 7-15 minutes approximately 3 days a week.
Train like this:
– Start by noting if your tension level has risen abnormally during the day. Write down your reflections in the evening before you go to sleep. When did you react? How did it feel in your body? Did you get angry, irritated, did your breathing quicken, etc.? Continue for about 1-2 weeks.
– After 1-2 weeks, start using one of the following breathing exercises to regulate your tension level and to become calm when needed:
– Inhale and count to 4, hold your breath and count to 2, exhale and count to 6.
– Breathe through the left nostril for 1 – 3 minutes.
– Hold the right nostril closed and breathe in and out calmly through the left.
– Shoulder lifts 5-10 times. Inhale and raise your shoulders. Hold for a few seconds and exhale, lowering them. Clearing tension from your shoulders also helps you relax mentally.
Good luck with your training!
/ Jenny Hagman