BARBELL BACK SKWATTS!
I feel like this is one of the first exercises you think about when you tell a buddy, "I'm heading to the weight room!"
You don't NEED a barbell to create strength gains.
But, they sure can be helpful, and if you have access to one, these should be a staple of your programming!
WHAT IS A SQUAT?
A squat is a motor pattern that we use in training to load the lower body, building strength adaptations and resilience! Squats are a knee dominant pattern, meaning that the majority of the flexing motion is occurring at the knee, as opposed to at the hip.
When we squat, think KNEE BEND.
When we hinge or RDL think HIP BEND.
Squats can be completed in both a bilateral and/or a unilateral pattern.
They can be loaded in many different ways, with different tools.
They are an extremely versatile exercise!
For example, bilateral squats would consist of:
Unilateral squats consist of:
How will a squat help your golf game?
Like all exercises that we complete within the weight room, it won't directly improve your golf swing.
It's not going to help you compress the ball, fix your slice, or hit a nippy wedge off a tight lie.
But, here's what it will do...
Improve lower body force production potential.
Promote tissue resilience in your low back and leg musculature.
Get holistically stronger.
Notice, no mention of your golf swing or scoring lower.
However, all of these physical benefits will indirectly improve your golf game!
Achieving higher force production ability will give you a larger output to pull from... giving your more potential for distance and clubhead speed!
Tissue resilience will minimize the risk of future injuries.
Strength will give you a larger abundance of motor solutions to make use of on the course. It will also minimize fatigue levels over the duration of a round.
But, is the BACK SQUAT best for me?
It's tough for me to say without more context.
But, understand that there are many different bilateral squat options that you can complete...
- Front squat
- DB goblet squat
- Zercher squat
- Hexbar deadlift
How do you pick from all of these options?
In my opinion, you shouldn't.
Each of these squat patterns, while bilateral squat variations, provide subtly different stimuli to the body.
A back squat is slightly more glute loaded as compared to a front squat or zercher squat.
A DB goblet squat minimizes direct loading on your spine, as compared to a back squat.
So, the point is, make use of them all in your training.
And I'll add one more thing, understand which variation is the most comfortable to you.
On a training day that you want to PUSH the loading and move some weight, use the variation that is the most comfortable.
For me, that is a hexbar deadlift or back squat.
So on days where maximizing the LOAD is the goal, I use one of these.
When the goal of a session is to apply a novel stimulus, I'll grab one of the variations I use less frequently.
HOW TO INCORPORATE BACK SQUATS?
When you do choose to make use of the back squat exercise, or when you find it in your SCRATCH Training Program ;), be sure to complete it early in the workout.
Towards the top, after your warm-up.
It's a strength exercise that we should be loading fairly heavily, so incorporate it early before too much fatigue sets in!
3-8 REPS per set.
AND ATTACK IT!
Add this exercise to your golf training, and let me know how it goes!
Let's go low.