Many golfers think that to become better at golf, all you need is to…play golf. They would be largely correct as there are many components to shooting a low score: driving consistently, accounting for wind, the lie of the ball and reading the green, to name a few. But few take into account what they can do away from the course. These 6 movements can be broken down into well-known exercises that can be done at home or the gym with limited equipment. They can help fine-tune golfers of all ages & can help improve their game.
Studies have shown that there is a link between vertical jump ability and clubhead speed. This requires power and can come in the form of jumps, throws and strikes. Some examples of jumps are a standing long jump, box jumps and hurdles, which can all be done both unilaterally or bilaterally. A few examples of upper body power exercises that will help increase clubhead speed are; throwing a tennis ball, hitting a tennis ball with a racket and a baseball swing.
During a golf swing, power is transferred from the lower body to the upper body. A term used in performance is triple extension; this is where the ankles, knees and hips extend to generate force. Triple extension happens during popular movements such as squats and cleans. If you can increase your force through the ground, this should translate into greater force through the ball.
Having stronger lats, rhomboids, hamstrings, and glutes will help avoid an ‘S’ or ‘C’ posture when addressing the golf ball and excess stress on the lumbar spine. Deadlifts and Romanian deadlifts are great pulling exercises that focus on lower body muscles such as the glues and hamstrings, whereas TRX Rows and banded pull-ups work on the upper body posterior chain muscles. These exercises will all help a golfer stand taller and be able to hinge at the hips to approach each shot.
Hip rotation is a hugely important movement for golf. It will help with the ability to control the club and keep the face of the club square and assist in hitting the ball consistently. Failure to have adequate hip rotation can cause a lot of horrible shots, such as the infamous hook, pull and toe. Strength exercises such as cable rotations will help improve rotation and plyometric exercises like medicine ball rotation throwss.
Many tour players are now leaner and more athletic than decades gone by. Playing 72 holes over 4 days and having the stamina and mental fortitude requires golfers to have better endurance and stamina. This doesn’t have to come by long-distance running but short sharp sets-100m-200m x 5-10 on the rower or 40-100m x5-10 shuttle sprints, for example. If you want to move for a bit longer, try a 1-5km runs.
Golf is played side on with power generated via weight shift between trail and target side legs; it is effectively a lateral single-leg exercise; this is why you should train this way. Exercises like lateral bounds, banded clams, banded lateral walks, lateral hurdles, and hops will help deal with the stability demands on the knee and hip joints posed by the dynamic weight shift of the golf swing.
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