How To Get The Most Out Of Your Golf Exercises
Not having enough time to exercise is one of the most common complaints I hear.
Yet when people do exercise they work on areas that don’t need any help or use advanced golf exercises instead of starting with the prerequisite exercises.
This is not a way to get this most out of your exercise, all it does is slow down the process and waste time.
Many trainers don’t like to use descriptions like “golf exercises” or “golf fitness” because the principals and philosophies go beyond just training golfers.
I wouldn’t disagree with that entirely, as we can apply the same principals to baseball, lacrosse, tennis, hockey, and any other rotational sports.
However, I do think there is justification, both in principal and advertisement, to label exercises and fitness as golf specific. After all, we are helping golfers prepare their body for the unique stress & strain that the golf swing places on the body.
In a later post I will discuss if golf fitness is a thing, but for now, let’s just say that golf exercises are those meant to add strength and power to your golf swing.
Golf exercises are generally more advanced and these exercises shouldn’t be recommended to a person starting a fitness program or one that might have mobility issues.
“Starting with ‘golf exercises’ is putting the cart before the horse”
If you want to get the most out of your golf exercises you shouldn’t use them at the beginning of your golf fitness program.
We must start with the fundamentals. But are fundamental exercises the ones we most often see discussed?
Golf Exercises Via Social Media
We all want to see behind the scenes. How does Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlory, and all of the other professionals prepare to play golf at such a high level?
It’s great to see the professionals work out. Especially the specific exercises they are doing. But we need to remember we haven’t seen all the work they have done to reach this point.
Doing the same exercise that Jordan Speith did without knowing the history of why he is doing the exercise is a bit egotistical.
You essentially are saying you’ve prepared your body the same as Jordan. And that you have the same physical attributes that he has.
That’s just not the case, not only for you but anyone, including other professional golfers.
Copying exercises from social media posts and even from blog posts such as mine isn’t the best way to develop a golf fitness program. Will those exercises hurt you? Probably not. But there might be a prerequisite exercise to prepare you for the one shown.
For instances, a side step-up with a crossover while holding a weight might not seem like an exercise that will hurt you. But if you have poor internal rotation of your hips, the added weight isn’t going to improve your rotation.
Your body will compensate for the weakness at some other location. Instead, doing a stork turn progression along with a couple other movement patterns before doing side step-ups would be a better solution.
Where to Start
Before you even think about golf exercises you need to go back to the fundamentals.
The fundamentals start with how well you move.
Ask yourself, will my body move in the way it needs to make a decent golf swing?
Get yourself screened
Golf is such a popular sport that the movements necessary to make a good golf swing has been well documented.
Specific movement screens for golf have been developed to assess movement patterns and how they relate to the golf swing.
Titleist Performance Institute has developed such a screen and has certified fitness professionals to provide the screen to golfers.
These screens are very similar to, or the same as any professional golfer like Jordan Speith that is under the eye of a TPI fitness professional.
Beyond going through a physical screen, it is also possible to get screened by having a video of your swing analyzed. It makes perfect sense that a physical issue causing a swing characteristic will show up in a video of your swing.
A TPI swing video analysis is a great way to start a golf fitness screen. Once analyzed, the trainer can ask specific questions and have you perform some simple drills to narrow down the primary cause of your swing issues.
Develop a Specific Program
After a mobility screen, you are ready to develop an exercise program that meets your specific needs.
This is important if you want to get the most out of your golf exercises. Doing exercises that will get you the most bang for your effort is key.
Most of the time, the first prescribed exercises will be fundamental exercises that will improve your mobility and stability.
Again, all professional golfers have gone through the same process. They don’t start lifting or pushing weights until they can move their bodies correctly. Then, and only then, is weight added to the workout program.
The key point here is that the exercise program should be unique to the person doing the training.
Using a fitness DVD or a book that has a set series of workouts does not fall under unique. Every single person that purchases that program will do the workouts the same way. That is not how you get the most out of your fitness program.
“Generic programs will give you generic results.”
Seek out the advice of a fitness professional if you want to get the most out of your golf exercises and fitness program.
Once you have mastered the fundamentals, the exercises will most likely look more like the what you picture golf exercises to be. Again, the fitness professional will guide you in the selection of the exercises so that you get the most out of your program.
What to expect
The fitness professional will change up your golf exercises regularly. Staying with the same exercises for more than a couple of weeks will allow your body to become used to them, and it will find ways to “cheat” the work.
Changing exercises challenges your body. Also, don’t be surprised that you will come back to an exercise or one that is similar, these are called progressions.
You will see some results very quickly, but other advancements might take a while, be patient, good things will come to those that put the work into their workout program.
What to do
If you want to make the most of your golf exercises, you should also make the effort to eat healthy food. I’m not saying eat a perfect diet, just make healthy choices when you can. Better fuel will mean better performance.
Once your mobility has improved, see a swing instructor. Gaining the ability to move better will not only change your swing for the better, but you will also now be able to place the club into the positions that a swing instructor suggests.
Share information between the fitness professional and the swing instructor. Working as a team, you will get more out of both your golf exercises and your swing instruction.
Get yourself re-screened a couple of times a year to see if any imbalances or new swing characteristics have worked their way into your swing. Staying on top of small issues will stop them from causing larger problems down the road.
Getting the Most Out of Golf Exercises
To get the most out of your golf exercises you need to first identify what part of your body needs the most work.
When you focus on the primary problem causing the most distress in your golf game you’ll see faster results.
To find the primary cause you should be screened by a golf fitness professional to identify mobility or stability limitations.
The fitness professional will recommend exercises to reduce or eliminate the limitations.
Once you have improved your mobility & stability your exercise program can include more strength and power based movements that appear to be more like the golf exercises that you see in social media and golf articles.
Remember that random exercises will give you random results.
An efficient and structured fitness program is one that identifies movement issues, starts with fundamental exercises,