Contrast training is an extremely popular, novel method of training to become better athletes, and I think golfers can benefit massively from it!
Summary of the article:
What is contrast training?
Why contrast training works?
How can golfers benefit from contrast training?
4 Examples you can use in your training!
What is Contrast Training?
Contrast training is a fairly simple concept.
Complete a heavy strength exercise, then immediately (less than 2 minutes of rest) complete a light power exercise of that same general motor pattern.
Heavy squats -> Squat jumps.
Heavy bench -> Plyo push ups.
Hexbar Deads -> Seated box jumps.
By structuring training in this way, we can tap into physiological benefits that promote higher performance and adaptation!
Why Contrast Training Works?
[1.] Train both ends of the force-velocity curve.
As force increases, velocity decreases.
As velocity increases, force decreases.
By utilizing a training method like contrast training, we get the benefits of diversifying our location on this spectrum.
[2.] Post-Activation Potentiation (PAP)
PAP is the idea that immediately following a heavy strength exercise (like squats) we can achieve slightly heightened velocity/power based performance (like squat jumps).
This increase in performance is due to an acute excitation of the neuromuscular system.
If you are a nerd, and want further detail, their appear to be two theoretical mechanisms of the enhanced performance experienced:
Sensitization of myosin-actin interactions within the muscle, increasing cross-bridge cycling rate.
Potentiated H-reflex response, leading to greater muscle activity.
Basically, we are firing up the system, prepping it via a strength based exercise, and then subsequently performing at a higher level via a power exercise.
[3.] Increased Workout Effeciency
Us golfers want to spend time on the course... not in the gym.
By pairing exercises together in a manner like contrast training provides, we reap the benefits of increased effeciency and less time spent in the gym.
HOW CAN GOLFERS BENEFIT FROM THIS TRAINING METHOD?
Golf is a POWER (force * velocity) based sport.
It requires high levels of both FORCE PRODUCTION and VELOCITY.
A contrast training method allows us to efficiently train both of these characteristics of a highly functioning golfer.
Although this next part may be a little hippie-ish of me, I really like it for the tension-flow relationship it creates.
Completing a heavy strength exercise is very tension driven.
It requires spinal rigidity and a highly tense core.
Completing a power based exercise like jumping or slamming a medicine ball requires fluidity and high velocity coordination.
Contrast training creates a yin-yang relationship between tension and fluidity.
And being able work between phases of high tension and high fluidity is critical in sports, especially golf!
I talked about this idea in an Instagram post awhile back, check it out below!
And shoot me a follow once you get there ;)
CONTRAST TRAINING EXAMPLES
4x5e Barbell Split Squats -> 4x3 Bodyweight Squat Jumps
Barbell Split Squats
4x6 DB Bench Press -> 4x2e Lateral Plyo Push Ups
DB Bench Press
Lateral Plyo Push Ups
ANOTHER UPPER BODY FOR FUN!
4x8 Cable Lat Pulldowns -> 4x5 MB Slams
Cable Lat Pulldowns
MB Spinal Slams
4x3e Pallof Eccentric Rotation -> 4x3e PVC Swing
Pallof Eccentric Rotation
Add some contrast training to your golf training.
Let's go low!