If you’re an avid disc golf player (or frolf or frisbee golf), these exercises are for YOU!
Disc golf has become increasingly popular over the last decade. One of the very best things about disc golf is that virtually anybody can play and its rules are similar to standard golf! Even better, it’s a great way to get outside, stay active, and have an awesome time. In this article, we’ll give you the need-to-know information, skills, and tricks to focus on to take your disc golf game to the next level, as well as stretches and exercises that will have you Disc Golf Strong™ in no time.
Tips for Improving Your Disc Golf Game
Develop mental focus. Like any sport, disc golf is a physical activity, but success starts with mental focus and concentration—on and off the course. Not only do you need to be motivated in your training programs, you need to approach round of disc golf with a clear, focused mind. Start your mental focus for your game when you’re packing your drivers and putters into your bag. But be careful, while there is strategy involved, such as deciding which flight number to use, or how to grip the disc, there is such thing as overthinking your approach. Each hole will be different and have different obstacles, like trees or parks for instance, but the important thing is to not focus solely on them; the more you can concentrate on your throw, technique, and release, the better your shots will be—and your score, too! So basically, confidence and having a clear head are crucial to your performance, and will make you a better player who has more accuracy, consistency, and fun! Remember, when you’re in trouble or a tough situation, take a breath; it’s not realistic to win every tournament or birdie every hole (although that’d be nice).
Build total-body strength. It’s important to train your entire body, meaning your upper body, lower body, and core muscles. Not only is this to prevent injury to your muscles and joints and to save you a trip to the doctor, it’s also to help you excel on the field and improve your overall performance. You’ll get stronger, which means you’ll be able to release with more power, causing more acceleration for the flying disc, ultimately increasing the distance and speed of each throw. Also, you’ll develop a lot more muscle endurance, which will allow you to have more energy for the entire disc golf course. Score!
Practice, practice, practice. In order to learn or see improvement in anything, you need a lot repetition—and that’s a fact (research says so, too). You can’t expect to walk on a disc golf course for the first time and be great. Ask any player of any professional sport, any place in the world, and chances are they didn’t just magically become the best in one day. Take a clinic, join a club or league in your community, be a participant in tournaments, join the Professional Disc Golf Association, or just find opportunities to get out different courses in your area. At the end of the day, the more you can put in repetition, the better your technique, shots, and overall game will be. Trust us!
Ways to Train for Disc Golf
Besides practicing your field work like grip technique and throws, people often overlook the importance of training off the course. It’s important to do some type of physical activity at least three times per week that isn’t disc golf itself. This could be yoga, static stretching and dynamic stretching, mobility work, sessions with resistance bands, strength training, or cardio.
Good news, we’re about to give you a few ideas that you can incorporate into your workout routine today that will. Keep reading!
You should never skip the warm up! There’s a reason that all sports allow a warm up period before the competition starts; to not only prepare your body for the work ahead, but to help prevent injuries, reduce muscle and tendon pain or soreness, and loosen up joints. Here’s a few basic stretches to get you started:
- Cross-Body Shoulder stretch
- Overhead Triceps and Shoulder stretch
- Wrist Extension stretch
- Neck stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Hip Flexor stretch
- Arm circles
- Neck circles
- High knees
- Butt kickers
Your workouts should consist of upper body, lower body, and core strength exercises that also focus on power, speed, mobility, and flexibility. While strength and power are good for distance drives, skills like accuracy and touch are what will help you make each putt. With that being said, you will notice that each action is higher in reps, which will give you the ability to work on muscle endurance as you build strength. Make sure to choose a weight that you can lift with proper form for the entire number of reps.
These five exercises will target major muscle groups like: biceps, triceps, chest, upper and lower back, hamstrings, quads, calves, and core muscles, too! Let’s get to it.
Plank Knee-to-Elbow Touches (alternating): 20 reps/3 sets
- Get in a straight arm plank position (like a push-up) and put your feet at least shoulder-width apart.
- Maintaining the plank position, try to touch your right elbow to your left knee underneath your core muscles and return to plank position. Alternate sides.
- If not able to do the full crunch or your body gives out before the allotted rep count, simply hold a 30-60 second high-plank instead.
1 Arm Dumbbell Row-to-Presses: 15-20 reps each side/ 3 sets
- Select an appropriate dumbbell weight and take a row position on a bench (left hand holds the dumbbell, with your right leg on the bench, and left foot on the ground). Don’t go too heavy with this one!
- From here, pull the dumbbell up to your chest, and rotate your torso and core muscles to look up at the ceiling, as you press the dumbbell up from your chest.
- Bring the dumbbell back down the same way it went up and repeat.
1 Arm/1 Legged Dumbbell Shoulder Presses: 15-20 reps each side/3 sets
- Hold a dumbbell in your left hand at your left shoulder.
- Hold your opposite foot (your right one) off the ground and in front of you. Really engage your core muscles for stability.
- Balancing here, press the dumbbell up with full extension, keeping your palm pointed towards the mid-line of your body.
- Lower it down with control, complete the allotted reps, then switch to your right shoulder!
Plank to Push-Ups (alternating): 20 reps/ 3 sets
- Get in a standard plank position on your forearms and the balls of your feet with your core muscles engaged.
- From here, press yourself up into push-up position, starting with your right arm.
- Lower yourself back down to a plank, starting with your right arm again. That is one rep.
- On the next one, you will press up with your left arm first, and then lower down with your left arm again. That is your second rep.
Kettlebell Swings: 20 reps/ 3 sets
- In a wide-stance, hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your hips.
- Squat down, keeping your chest up and weight in your heels.
- Explode at the hips, using the driving momentum to swing the kettlebell up nice and high to about chest height.
- At the top, let the kettlebell fall with control, and squat back down. It is better to go for power, than to go for speed with this move. Going too fast can result in injury.
If this exercise causes you pain or aches in your lower back or other muscles, or if you have an injury that doesn’t allow you to do this move, stick to wide-stance squats.
The Cool Down
To further prevent injuries, and to begin the recovery process for your different muscle groups and tendons, you should take time to stretch and take a breath after you train—just as you should at the end of your disc golf rounds. While it will help with short-term affects, such as muscle soreness and stiffness, it will also help you see more progress in the coming weeks. We promise you will benefit from it if you make this a habit after each training session.
Try stretching with looped bands, or even just a resistance band, for a more-intense stretch.