How to hula your way to better golf fitness

Image of hooperTHESE THREE FUN EXERCISES with the right-size hula hoop might help your golf swing. They’ll most definitely help your golf fitness.

The hula hoop might be just the toy for the well-rounded golfer looking to improve golf fitness. Kaye Anderson’s Hoop Power classes draw exercisers of all ages and fitness levels because they’re fun, low impact and accessible to all. Here she shares a few ideas for golfers who can’t make it to her Berkeley, Calif., studio.

“I’ve taught all ages and sizes, and this is accessible even to the person with a knee injury or a bad back,” Anderson said. “The most important thing is to have the right size hoop. A larger, heavier person needs a bigger hoop. And the one thing I would not recommend are the cheap plastic hoops kids use.”

Here are three moves she recommends for improving golf fitness, with the proper hoop:

  • The traditional hoop exercise is the hula move, where one keeps the hoop moving circularly around one’s waist. “It gets people transferring their weight,” Anderson said. “You can get a difference in weight distribution by doing it with one foot in front of the other or by doing it side to side. And once you get comfortable, you can come up on one foot for even more balance challenge.”
  • Another good move for golfers: the weave, where one or both hands move the hoop in a figure-eight pattern in front of the body. “This works the shoulders, arms and upper back,” Anderson said. “And golfers say it’s very much a swinging motion that’s good for swing tempo.”
  • A third move opens the chest with a stretch. (It’s the one in the photo.) Holding the hoop behind you with hands inside the hoop pressing out, let the hoop drop down, stretching the chest and also the biceps. “Many people can’t drop the hoop down very far to start with,” she said. “So this is one where you see progress as you practice it.”

For more information about Anderson’s classes, visit Hoop-Power.com. To find programs elsewhere in the U.S., go to hooping.org.

This article first appeared in the July 2011 edition of GottaGoGolf Magazine.

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  1. Lisa