For some, training for this sport in the gym may be a strange concept. The first thing you have to realize is that it is entirely insufficient if all we do is swing the golf club to train. The second is that we, as erect mammals, easily use our anterior chain muscles, which I will generically refer to as the front part of our body. This includes the pectoralis muscles, anterior deltoids, quadriceps, hip flexors, abdominal muscles, and anterior tibialis to name a few. We rarely think about using our posterior chain, which includes our cervical muscles, rhomboids, lats, back muscles (generically speaking), glutes, hamstrings, and calves However, the posterior chain is actually more important. This is our axis that our swing pivots around. This is what balances out the preferentially overused anterior chain. Therefore, my recommendation is to focus more time and energy on building your posterior chain muscles, along with your anterior chain.
- Overhead Squat against a wall – I do this just to show them how anterior chain heavy they are. After this, I start with a few movements.
- Kettle Ball Deadlifts – I stay standing in front of a wall and I hold onto a kettlebell between my legs. It’s a similar movement to a goblet squat but with the kettlebell hanging inbetween your legs. Then I go down with a slow 5 second count and then immediately come up as quick as I can. At the top of the movement I do a slight hip extension to get a flex on my glutes. The glutes are a huge player in the stabilization of your swing, believe it or not.
- One Legged Hip Extensions
- Bulgarian Split Squats – I do these single legged and I pause at the half way point for three to five seconds and then do one full repetition. This is considered 1 rep. I do 5 sets of 10 per leg.
- Romanian Dead Lifts – I do these very slow. I come down in a controlled movement, even as slow as a 6-8 count, and explode up. I do 5 sets of 10 reps.
- Barbell Upright Rows – Before I start this lift, I make sure that my I squeeze my scapulas together and have my “back tight.” Then I will start this rowing motion. 5 sets of 12 reps
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows – A lot of people do this movement and bring the dumbbell till it hits their chest. This is wrong for truly activating the posterior chain. Take the dumbbell and make it into two different types of movements. One pull makes you try to touch the bottom portion of the dumbbell towards your lattisimus dorsi. The next pull will have the dumbbell try to touch your hip. This is one rep. You will try to have the dumbbell head facigin forward try to touch your hip. This is done for 5 sets of 12-15
- Lat Pulldowns – People limit their lat motion. I do these single handed on a cable pull system and try to touch my elbow to my hip. 5 reps of 12-15
- Sled Walks – This is done in a slow speed. I pull the sled by making my first step, toes up (dorsiflexion) and striking first with my heel. You have to be very forceful of this movement. I would do 10 x 40 yard sled walks.
How do I know that this is where we need to start? What’s the most common injury you hear about in golf? Is it anterior chest soreness? Is it abdominal soreness? No, it’s usually something with their upper or lower back, hamstrings, or glutes.
What you see outlined below is how I am training for golf. I also am using a device called the Orange Whip. It helps me with bilateral rotation and is a great warm up tool. I’ll talk about the more later. The main reason one should be in the gym is to make sure that both sides of your body are getting worked on symmetrically. You can only rotate to one side so many times before the opposite becomes so weak you injure yourself. If golf is such a recreational sport, why do people get injured? If the sport is so ridiculously easy like others talk about, why can’t people get better at it quickly? This is all about balance. You can only be as strong as your weakest point. If you keep injuring your lower back playing golf, do you think playing more golf will help that? I don’t think so. If your upper back, lats and shoulders get injured, do you think rest and then playing golf next week will prevent that “SAME” injury from happening again? Think not. This is why you need to be in the gym and training. If you truly want to amp up your game you need to be in the gym. I didn’t realize this until I got onto the course and hit about 3 rounds in 3 days, and then hit 400 golf balls. I was aching all over. It was a good ache though. But I knew if I wanted to keep playing golf at this rate and improve, I needed to be sport specific. Some people wonder why their golf game doesn’t improve. They blame the difficulty of the game. No doubt that the game is difficult. But I blame it on the lack of adaptation. The stigma of the sport has never mentally allowed players to get into the gym and train for it. People have told me that I should stop lifting weights if I want to get better at golf. Hogwash. I will continue to lift weights so I can play golf longer, hit the ball farther, and prevent injury. You should do the same.
If you haven’t been in the gym in ages, start slow. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here @athletesrx. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer your questions for you. Now go crush some golf balls.