How Much Should A Junior Golfer Workout During The Season?
In-Season Golf, we are located in Southern California, so here it doesn’t feel like the whole year is In-Season.
In this article we are talking about the Summer Months, when you could play
a tournament everyday if you wanted to. I am also addressing 14yr old + that are playing in 2, 3 or 4 (18 hole) tournaments.
So, to answer the question in the title, the easy (and most important) answer is to listen to your body.
The reason to train hard in the Off-Season is so you’re ready for the grind of the Summer. If you’re someone that hasn’t ever worked out before, then in the middle of 3 tournaments in 2 weeks is not the time to start.
Should you completely stop exercising even if you’ve put in the work in the Off-Season? No…
Let’s start with the day after a tournament. The most important thing to do is keep moving, stretching, or light weight training, but definitely do something. Two days out, hit the weights! Your body needs this stimulation, it needs to know you’re still asking the most from it.
Two Days before the next tournament start tapering back on the weight training, and use more stabilization exercises, dynamic and static stretching. You don’t want to go into the tournament sore or stiff, but definitely in-tune with your body.
Let’s take a look at the above schedule
Day 1) 2 Days before the first tournament- This is a great time to work on functional fitness that engages the stabilizing muscles like the upper back, core and the glutes.
Day 2) The day before a 3 day tournament, go through a 10-20 minute dynamic warm-up. You can do this before you practice or separately, the best thing about this is you don’t need any equipment, except maybe a golf club.
Day 3-5) Pre-Golf Warm-Up before the round and some foam rolling or massage gun along with static stretching after the round.
Day 6) Take it easy, if you’re going to take a day off, this is the one.
Day 7) Go through a full body functional workout, it’s okay to lift weights, just not too heavy.
Day 8) Similar to day 2
Day 9 & 10) Pre-Golf Warm-Up before the round and some foam rolling or massage gun along with static stretching after the round.
Day 11-14) You just finished a 2 day tourney, but you have 4 days off. This is the time to make strength/speed gains. Use the first & third day to lift heavy and the second and fourth day to recover from the lifting by using active recovery exercises
Day 15) Use the practice round as an extra recovery day, but keep moving the body.
Day 16-19) Pre-Golf Warm-Up before the round and some foam rolling or massage gun along with static stretching after the round.
Day 20) You just finished a 4 day tournament, it’s good to take a day off, but light stretching will help you recover faster for the next tournament.
Hopefully this will give you a good insight into what you should and should not be doing in the gym during the main part of your season.
What if you have a 1 day qualifier with not much else around it? Treat it like a tournament day, don’t do anything that will make you tight or sore the next day, but don’t just sit on your butt all day either.
The main thing is that you remember what I said earlier, Listen To Your Body!
If you get sore after a workout even a light one, then it’s best take it easy the day before. If you’re someone that doesn’t really feel a tough workout the next day, then allow yourself to go a little harder.
Another thing to really take into consideration is the terrain of the course. If the course you’re walking is very hilly, then make sure your legs are fresh going into it.
If it’s going to be very hot or humid, then make sure you start hydrating your body a few days before. The morning of the tournament is not the day to start drinking a bunch of water. Although it’s important to drink plenty of water on the day of the tournament you don’t want it to make you sluggish.
While I’m on the topic of hydration, water is the best way to do it. Sugary drinks like Gatorade or other similar drinks could actually make you thirstier. Simple electrolytes like salt in the water or sugar free hydration drinks are best for recovery.
To summarize, listen to your body, if you’re someone that hasn’t done much working out in the off-season, it's probably best to not start in the middle of the season. You won't know how your body will react and it’s not used to the added stress. Again, the reason you workout so hard in the off-season is to prepare the body for the grueling schedule that so many juniors have these days.