Many golfers choose to workout at home, and I don't blame them!
Between the commute to the gym, the time spent chatting with some random guy who just wants to tell you how much he benched yesterday, and the waiting around for a rack to open up... the gym can be very time unfriendly.
That being said, it does have one thing that most don't have access to at home - weight.
In order to progress our strength levels, we need to eventually load the body.
Therefore, I hope you have outfitted your home gym with some equipment, if you haven't, check out THIS ARTICLE where I discuss the most important (relative to cost) equipment you should be buying!
All of this being said, much improvement can be made at home using nothing but your bodyweight!
Bodyweight DOES NOT Mean Not Challenging.
Bodyweight exercises can be very difficult.
Just because we aren't loading the body, doesn't mean we aren't challenging the body.
With a proper understanding of the human body, it's weaker positions, and levers, we can complete bodyweight exercises that prove to be VERY difficult.
I've had my collegiate football athletes do these 5 exercises below and they STRUGGLED.
Hopefully you won't too much!
PROGESS IS IMPORTANT
One way that we progress our training is by increasing the load we are moving.
Although all challenging in their own way, each of the exercises I discuss below CAN and SHOULD eventually be loaded with external weight - dumbbells, plates, bands, and kettlebells are all great options dependent on the exercise.
THE 5 EXERCISES
For ALL exercises, complete 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps.
Take 30-60 seconds in between sets.
Eventually, once getting better at the exercises and increasing your strength within these patterns, try adding small amounts of weight.
[1.] Step Downs
Although I'm sure many of you have seen a step-up exercise, I find myself more often reaching for the step-down exercise.
Start at the top of a stable box with one foot hanging off the side. The taller the box, the more difficult the exercise will be.
Lower into a single leg squat trying to gently touch the ground with just your HEEL.
Click the video above to learn more!
[2.] Skater Squats
Similar to the step-down, skater squats direct stress to an individual leg and force our body to work unilaterally.
TRY YOUR BEST to touch your back knee prior to your back foot touching the ground. Ideally, only our back knee gently touches the ground, and then we proceed to raise out of the bottom of that squat.
Watch the video above to learn more!
[3.] Deep Push Up ISO
A deep push-up ISO creates very high amounts of tension in the chest and shoulder musculature. It's a great exercise to promote the health of tendons as well as increase the range of motion at the shoulder joint.
To complete it, sink deep into a push up position and hold with your chest slightly off of the ground.
To regress the exercise, I recommend elevating your hands onto a bench or box of some kind or adding a band to assist.
Moving our spine within training daily is crucial to supporting the mobility and function of the various joints running up and down our back.
One critical movement I see misused or worse, not used, in training is lateral flexion.
This bodyweight exercise forces our spine to bend and obliques/core to be loaded.
Be sure to SOLELY bend to the side (keep your shoulders parallel to the direction of bending). If limited in our spinal mobility, our body will want to fall forward to help promote a false sense of bending.
[5.] Pull Ups
Maybe the BEST bodyweight exercise you can do is a pull up. It promotes shoulder mobility and loads the muscles of the back such as the lats.
BE SURE to let yourself hang fully at the bottom of every rep to maximize mobility and hypertrophic gains.
Assist with a band as needed!
Gains can be made with just bodyweight exercises... tons of them!
And "bodyweight exercise" doesn't necessarily mean not challenging.
However, we should be working to progress past bodyweight only exercises eventually.
Start where you can and progress as you get stronger!
Try out the 5 challenging bodyweight exercises I laid out for you above and let me know how they go!
Founder and Head Coach - SCRATCHGolfTraining.com
Carter is a strength and conditioning coach out of the Milwaukee area working with athletes, in-person and virtually. Having helped hundreds of athletes, ranging from the middle school to the professional level and beyond, Carter brings a breadth of experience and knowledge to every athlete he works with. He launched SCRATCHGolfTraining.com in the summer of 2021 to help empower golfers to greater performance and longevity.
Carter believes ALL golfers are athletes, and they should be training accordingly.