The art of forcefully yet gracefully driving a golf ball as far as possible in the right direction is a skill that can make or break golf players’ score cards. The action itself requires great range of motion in the upper back, chest and shoulders, and also requires a finely ingrained technique. However, one critical piece of the picture is missing- a long distance golf drive requires fast rotational power to be translated from the hips, lower back and core muscles. Such an efficient movement then translates to increased distance on the golf course.
When training golfers, I believe there are three important components that need to be addressed within their training. These are as follows;
- Core strength/stability
- Muscular imbalances/asymmetries
- Flexibility/range of motion
To address these issues, a comprehensive program must be implemented. Many non-golfers will smirk at the idea of ”golf fitness”, but for those who play, they know the benefits that a strength and conditioning program can provide to their game.
Below is the exact exercise prescription that I implemented with a male golfer today.
Kettlebell Swing- 4 sets x 10, 10, 8, 6
Goblet Squat- 4 sets x 10, 10, 8, 6
Single Arm Floor Press- 4 sets x 10, 10, 8, 6
Standing Band Row- 4 sets x 10, 10, 10, 10
”Bottoms up” Single Arm Kettlebell Carry- 3 sets x 80 yards, 80 yards, 40 yards
Y-T’s – 1 set x 10 each
Pavlof Holds – 4 sets x 15 seconds each side
— I recommend slightly bending both arms (not shown in video above)
Goblet Squat, Floor Press & Band Row
Goblet Squat- Add dumbbell/kettlebell as resistance in hands, not shown in illustration
Floor Press- Both arms shown in illustration, for single arm- just press one dumbbell at a time. rest, and repeat opposite side
Band Row- Perform as shown
Why these exercises?
The goblet squat and kettlebell swing are utilized in the program to increase explosiveness in the lower, and allow it to be translated to a golf swing. The extension of the knees and hips simultaneously allow for greater power output when compared to other, more traditional lower body exercises.
The single arm floor press is favored over a dumbbell floor press for example, as it decreases the range of motion at the shoulder. Most upper body injuries in the gym are caused at the very bottom of a bench press/dumbbell press, in a position where the muscle is at its weakest point. Therefore, using the floor press is a much safer option. In addition, by lifting at only one side at a time, stability within the shoulder becomes important. Lastly, this single arm movement means that you cannot compensate were you to have a stronger, more dominant side. Each side (left & right) performs exactly the same work.
The band row is useful to increase range of motion in the chest, as well as to build muscular strength in the upper back- which helps support the scapula and shoulder.
The YT’s were added to the program as these exercises help strengthen the upper back, scapula, and shoulders (notice a common theme here?)
The bottoms up kettlebell carry was used to evaluate where my client was it. I used this exercise to evaluate the strength and stability in both his left and right shoulder. However, this exercise can be added to any strength program as it will increase stability within the shoulder over time.
Lastly, the Pavlof hold was used as a core finisher. Definitely try this one out- it is much harder than it looks! This exercise mimics a phase in a golf swing, and has a large carryover to the golf course.
So there you have it- within a single session, we were able to begin to work on the three components mentioned above.
Try the workout, and let me know how it goes.
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