Hate to break it to you... there is not a singular, or group of exercises that is "best for golfers."
However, there are TONS of great exercises you should be doing on a regular basis to maximize your performance on and off the golf course... but these exercises aren't very different from the one's I give my football athletes, my wrestlers, or my baseball athletes.
So, as a golfer, what exercises should you be doing in the weight room in order to maximize clubhead speed and increase pain-free performance on the course?
In this article...
Why should golfer's be exercising?
Before breaking down the exercises you as a golfer should be completing, we first need to understand WHY you should even exercise.
While there are many reasons to exercise, the three central ones I believe are:
1.) Injury and Pain Resilience
Through exercising, we make our bodies stronger.
We improve joint stability, mobility, and function.
All of which will help prevent future injuries and pain.
2.) More SPEED
By exercising, golfers can improve their body's ability to produce force and velocity.
When expressed in a golf swing, this can lead to more distance!
3.) Practice and Play as Much as YOU Want
A central reason golfers should be exercising is to build a body that is capable of withstanding the impacts the game of golf produces.
Many of us WANT to play golf daily.
We want to be range rats and crush a jumbo bucket daily.
We want to be able to go on buddies trips and play 72 holes in 3 days.
Can your body hold up to the amount of golf you want to play?
If it can't, it's time to start exercising.
It's time to start preparing your body to handle the physical demands you are asking of it... or want to ask of it!
Use the exercises discussed BELOW.
The WORST Fitness Exercises for Golfers...
Before we dive into the "BEST" exercises for golfers, let's define some of the WORST.
First, anything attempting to mimic the golf swing.
The goal of physical preparation and training is to create adaptations that will support our golf and athleticism... not mimic the golf swing.
Oftentimes exercises that attempt to mimic a golf swing such as those "teaching us to load the back hip" or "helping us find an in-to-out swing" are worthless.
These type of exercises almost always remove all loading and intent, which will also eliminate physical adaptations from being created.
And, better yet, they aren't improving your golf swing.
Second, anything with a bosu ball.
Instability devices like bosu balls, the blue squishy pads, or those air disc things are pretty worthless in training.
You don't swing a golf club on an instability device.
"But, it helps your balance"
Balance is ALMOST ALWAYS an issue of coordination and skillfulness, not the physical inability to balance.
Plus, if your balance does suck, improving your ability to balance on a bosu ball will not translate to the dynamic, explosive nature of the golf swing.
Third, anything that puts a golf club into your hands.
*** Except for high velocity speed swings ***
A golf club weighs ~300 grams.
Therefore, doing an exercise with a golf club is basically like doing an exercise bodyweight.
Which isn't inherently bad!
For many beginners and young trainees I use bodyweight exercises all the time!
However, everybody should be progressing towards loading the body with an external stimulus such as a barbell or dumbbell.
Drop the golf club, and instead pick up a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell, or band.
The BEST Exercises for Golfers: 5 Principle Motor Patterns...
~75% of your strength training exercises will fall under these 5 central motor patterns.
DEEPER INTO THE WEEDS...
As we look beyond the 5 Principle Motor Patterns, we run into categories of movement such as:
Mobility / Stability
All of these categories will fill the gaps leftover after the 5 principle motor patterns have been maximized.
Obviously, this is a pretty simplistic and generalized approach to training, but I want it to be as digestible as possible.
Constructing Your Training Day
First, warm up.
Do something to elevate your heart rate, increase blood flow, and build some fluidity in your movement.
Incorporate some locomotion to get the body moving.
Secondly, build your buckets.
We'll keep it simple.
6 Exercises total. Grouped into 3 buckets. Each bucket gets 2 exercises.
Complete the first bucket, before moving on to the next.
Complete the second before moving on the last.
3-4 Sets of each exercise.
Thirdly, fill the buckets... here are some of the "best" exercises for golfers.
WRAP IT UP
There is NOT a singular "best" exercise for golfers.
Every exercise has a role within a training program.
Failing to include a diverse selection of exercises means failing to adequately prepare for your golf swing!
Prioritize the 5 Principle Motor Patterns.
Mix in a bunch of the other stuff.
You'll be good to go.
And join the SCRATCH Community to get the BEST EXERCISE PROGRAMS IN GOLF.
Carter Schmitz, CSCS, TPI
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