|Laura Jansone, the LETīs first representative from Latvia, answers our health and fitness questionnaire.|
- Describe how your exercise program benefits you and your golf game. Working out helps me to be more stable and have a more powerful, compact, and simple swing and to be more balanced when hitting off sloped lies. It also helps to strengthen muscles to prevent injuries, as well as to play a round or even more without being physically and mentally tired. Moreover, exercising helps me learn how to be mentally strong and push my limits, when I think I can’t do another pushup or run another mile, I still do it.
- Describe when and why you started exercising for golf. I have always been very active. When we were kids, both of my brothers and I had to have an active hobby like playing a sport. I used to play tennis before I picked up golf around age 10-11. So in tennis we had to do a lot of conditioning training. For golf purposes I started exercising when we had to go to the gym with the national team. That was around age 14.
- Describe how your pre-season exercise program is different to your in-season exercise program. For example, do you focus on different aspects of fitness? Are your goals different? My goals for pre-season and in-season are different. Often those are similar exercises but with different intensity and weights. In pre-season I focus more on building more strength and power, thus doing heavier weights and focusing on specific body parts that need to be strengthened. In-season, I will focus more on maintain the fitness level that I have worked on in off season and do exercises to prevent injuries in my weaker body parts. Also, I do a lot of stretching and balance exercises.
- With respect to your pre-season program, please describe your exercise program. For Pre-season I lift weights and work on explosive movement exercises on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays I do conditioning (run, bike or do elliptical machine) and do more core exercises. I also do yoga, but that’s more as a hobby.
Pre-season work-out example:
Warm up suite trainer 5 min
Leg press machine single leg 2x15
Chest press machine2x15
Seated row machine 2x15
Jog 1 mile on treadmill
Toe touches 2x40
Butt raise with straight legs in air 2x20
Jog 1 mile
TRX row 2x20
Squat ball toss 12lbs medicine ball 2x15
Rope chops 2x20
Summit trainer 3 min level 7
Back extensions 3x10 hold at top 3 sec
Incline press machine 2x15
Mid row machine 2x15
Jog 1 mile
5. With respect to your in-season program, please describe your exercise program. In-season workout example would include similar exercises as pre-season just with lighter weights, no jogs in between sets, and fewer repetitions (instead of 2x20 do 3x10 or 3x5).
6. Describe your warm-up program (include the type of exercises you do and how long your warm-up routine takes to perform). My warm up routine before I play includes stretches for all the major muscles: I stretch out my back, sides, legs, wrists. I like to feel loose when I take the first practice swing. As I have had some problems with my back/shoulder, I start with some exercises to warm up that area of my body really well. Before I start hitting golf balls, I make several practice swings to get loose and to feel the club. All that only takes about 5-7 minutes, but you feel more ready to actually hit golf balls. It will also help you prevent injuries like pulling a muscle or something like that.
7. What is the most enjoyable thing about your exercise program? The best thing about my exercise program is that it has different exercises that can work the same muscle groups so I don’t get bored doing the same thing over and over again.
8. What is the least enjoyable thing about your exercise program? The worst thing about my exercise program is that even when I am tired I have to make myself go to the gym and do it. In those times I have to remind myself that it will be beneficial in the long run.
9. How do you manage to maintain a fitness program when you are touring? Obviously it is harder to maintain the same fitness program every week when we are touring because you never know what kind of fitness facility and equipment we will have access to. Therefore, I try to have a fitness program for in season that doesn’t require much or any equipment. I try to work out at least 2 times a week when on the road. I find iPhone/iPad application called NTC (Nike Training Club) very helpful when on the road. They have short 15-30 min workouts where I can pick which body parts I want to work on, set my own music and do it. My favorite are “AB Burner”, “Core Crunch”, and “Shoulder Shaper”.
10. Which components of fitness (e.g. muscle strength, balance, muscle endurance, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, power) do you think are most important for playing golf? I think for golf you need to have a balanced combination between all fitness components: strength, balance, endurance, flexibility, and power. But I think there are different times of the season when you want to work on different components. For example, off-season is great to work on strength and power where you can do heavier weight and be sometimes sore from working out. On the other hand, in season you don’t want to be sore when you have a big tournament coming up so that’s when I would recommend working on improving balance and maintaining the fitness level you have. Also, it’s very important to do stretching when playing every other week so the muscles don’t get tight.
11. Describe how important maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is for you and your golf game. It is important to me to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. I don’t eat deep fried foods, fast food, sausages, limited red meat, and highly processed foods. I love veggies, seafood, and fruits. I believe we are what we eat. Thus, good nutrition rich foods will help me feel more energetic and focused on and off the course. When I am playing, I always have different snacks in my golf bag such as a nut butter sandwich, low sugar/high protein granola bars, dried fruit and nut mix, an apple, and a banana. That gives me choices for my snack time on the course so I can keep my appetite and sugar level even for 4-5 hours. The only bad part of my diet is that I have a sweet tooth J
12. How do you manage to maintain a healthy diet when you are touring? To maintain a healthy diet when touring I try to eat simple foods so I know what’s in them. I like trying local foods from ever country that we visit. And I think it’s totally fine as long as you are smart and don’t eat everything you see without thinking what it is!
13. What tips would you give golfers who really dislike exercising or to those golfers who say that exercise is only for elite golfers? I always feel great and very energetic after working out. So on the days when I feel lazy and don’t want to do anything, I think about that great feeling and that motivates me. Plus it is important to exercise to prevent injuries and to make your golf swing more powerful, easier and simple.