Last month my column spoke about fitness among the top male pro golfers. Here we feature four of the fittest women professional players who play on the lucrative Ladies Professional Golf Association of America (LPGA) Tour in USA. They compete for an average of US$1.5 to US$2 million (Rs 10 to 15 crore) every week and earn handsomely from endorsements on the side.
In an average round of golf, a player covers around 10km, takes more than 10,000 steps and burns around 2000 calories. So, this is a fun and low impact sport to stay in shape. Players swing the golf club at speeds of between 112 and 177kmph while standing still which requires flexibility as well as conditioning so that you don’t pull or tear a ligament or muscle.
Being in shape to withstand the demands of playing for 7-8 hours every day, travelling, adjusting to time zones and weather changes is obviously an integral part of their routine. Let’s see what we can learn from four of the best – Michelle Wie, Lexi Thomson, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis.
Michelle Wie at over 6 feet in height and one of the power players in the women’s game works particularly on strengthening her legs. Glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors are the key. This is useful to anyone with a lanky frame. Work on a strong base and this helps avoid injury.
Lexi Thomson, who is one of the stars on the US Team that in August defeated Europe at the biennial Solheim Cup, has worked on being a runner. When she started out she could hardly run any distance before stopping, but now she does 3-4 miles every day which has given her the cardio endurance required to perform even at the end of a five hour match. Her personal trainer also trains the Florida Panthers, a professional men’s hockey team, so she believes in tough workouts and changes things around a lot.
Paula Creamer, one of the most popular women golfers, surprisingly uses Mixed Martial Arts as the basis for her training which focuses on the mental state of mind, in addition to the core and range of motion. She focuses on strengthening her hips, which in turn results in her being able to generate more power for her swing and enables her to hit the ball over longer distances.
Mega star Natalie Gulbis has had Laser surgery on her spine before which she suffered from constant lower back pain. After the successful procedure, she continues to focus on her lower back, hamstrings and core so there is no recurrence of her chronic condition. Her diet includes protein and omega / fish oil supplements. For her silky hair she uses coconut oil masks. But her basics are universal - plenty of sleep, water, regular exercise and living a healthy lifestyle.
One look at these four golf superstars should inspire you to follow their footsteps in becoming a golf player and living a healthy lifestyle !