Active Recovery For Golf – What Is It & Why You Should Be Doing It
Are you a golfer and looking to get the most out of your body on and off the golf course?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
I help golfers just like you improve their mobility, get strong, lose weight, and get in the best shape of their lives. Oh and did I mention all of this helps them on the golf course too?
In this article, I’ll share with you:
- What Is Active Recovery?
- Why It’s Important To Have Rest Days?
- On Rest Days, What Do I Do?
- What I Recommend My Clients Do For Active Recovery?
What Is Active Recovery?
Active recovery for golf or any other sporting endeavor / activity can be considered the same. Active recovery is another activity that gets you moving, other than your designated workouts. The active recovery activity is typically low-impact, non-competitive, and fun & enjoyable. Your active recovery activity should last anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes. But most importantly, it should be something that you look forward to doing! It should not be a drag or something you loathe doing because that’s a surefire way to not stick with that activity. So make sure that you choose an activity that rejuvenates you, improves your mojo, and may even be good for clearing your mind.
Why It’s Important To Have Rest Days
When I’m designing programs for clients, I will typically program 3 days of a full-body workout that consists of mobility, power, and strength exercises. Most of the power and strength exercises will be composed of compound exercises. This includes variations of squatting, pushing, pulling, hinging, and carrying.
Performing exercises in this manner is great because they will work multiple muscle groups at once, resulting in an effective strategy for building muscle, improving power, and getting leaner.
To not get too scientific, but if you are selecting the appropriate amount of resistance for your exercises, your muscles will most likely be challenged. When they are challenged, this will create appropriate and safe damage to the muscle and nerves. Your body will then work to repair itself and this is a very simplified way of how we get stronger, faster, and add muscle mass.
However, if you’re continuously stressing the same muscles and not giving your body time to repair itself, you will not reap the benefits of working out.
That begs the question, should you just chill and watch Golf Channel on your off days? Not quite…
On Rest Days, What Do I Do?
Improving your body for performance on and off the golf course most certainly occurs in the gym. But what you’re doing the other 80-90% of the time you’re not in the gym also has a big effect.
That’s exactly where active recovery comes in! Think of these “rest days” more as “active recovery” days that will complement your golf game. To get used to doing an activity on the days you’re not in the gym, I recommend scheduling them in your calendar just like you would a gym workout.
Doing this will help you maintain momentum in your health and golf performance journey. Now I know I had mentioned that active recovery activities for golf will usually take about 20 to 60 minutes, but that is just a guideline. If your schedule is busy to fit something in on your non-gym days, I still recommend doing SOMETHING. It can be absolutely anything and it can take you no more than 5 minutes.
But doing something will keep you on the right track towards your golf and health goals!
Need help building a weekly workout schedule, including your active recovery days? There are two options…
- Take out the old daily planner (or cellphone calendar) and add in a resistance workout for 3 days/week with a non-gym day in between them. Then add in 2-3 active recovery days.
- Alternatively, I can do all the heavy lifting for you except for the literal lifting of the weights. I can create a custom workout just for you and all you’ll have to do is login to our app and follow what’s on the schedule.
What I Recommend My Clients Do For Active Recovery
This is honestly one of, if not, the best active recovery activities for golfers. With all of my clients, I schedule in at least 2 days of a custom mobility program. This will not only help when it comes to being able to strength train through full range of motion. But it will also help with your ability to get in the right positions for the golf swing.
Foam rolling is another great activity for active recovery for golfers. This can be added in with your mobility if you’d like.
There are lots of thoughts and research as to what foam rolling actually does. Just know that it’s like giving yourself a massage and can be helpful in reducing pain and discomfort (1).
Here is a video of specific foam rolling to help with hip mobility. You can also check out this article that’s related to the video below.
Do Something Fun
I’m sure there are other activities that you like to do besides golf!
And that’s a good thing. Because as humans, we’re designed to basically keep moving as much as we can. Despite what society tell us to do, we were not designed to sit in front of a computer for 40+ hours a week.
I know golfing may seem like the perfect active recovery activity, which it most definitely can be. However, if you’re already playing a few times a week, taking a break from swinging the sticks can be a good thing. I know, I know. Take a break from playing golf… Gasp! But honestly, that will be helpful to not put your body through the repetitive movements you’re already doing from playing and practicing.
So get outside (or inside) and do something else such as:
- Tai Chi
- Rock Climbing
It honestly doesn’t matter to me what you decide to do, just do something that YOU ENJOY!
Whatever it is, it should not cause you to be miserable or even question why you’re doing that activity anyway.
I’m all about helping my clients have fun while getting in the best shape of their lives and playing better golf. Seriously! Click here to schedule a call to learn more about how I can help you reach your goals.
This may seem like a very specific active recovery strategy and it is. You may already walk the golf course when playing. Which is great if you do! This will help you stay in shape, specifically for that task alone.
If you want to be able to walk while playing golf, this will also help you towards achieving that goal.
But otherwise, walking is a great low-impact exercise that is something mostly everyone can do and will help with burning some extra calories. Also getting outside is great for the mind to help you relax and lower stress.
Hopefully this article on active recovery for golf has been helpful to start incorporating active recovery strategies into your week.
If you’re looking to go a little bit further, I have 3 options for you:
- If you want step by step guidance creating a workout schedule to get more mobile, stronger, playing better golf, and in the best shape of your life, click here to schedule a call to learn more about 1-on-1 coaching.
- Need some workouts to follow at home? Click here to get the 9 workouts for golf performance.
- Join the newsletter by filling out the form below where you get tips every week to improve your golf game and health .
1. Aboodarda SJ, Spence AJ, Button DC. Pain pressure threshold of a muscle tender spot increases following local and non-local rolling massage. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2015;16:265. Published 2015 Sep 28. doi:10.1186/s12891-015-0729-5