Strengthen Your Swing For More Distance and Improved Precision
A Perfectly Executed Golf Swing May Be The Single Action In Sport That Requires More Overall Muscular Strength, Joint Flexibility, And Movement Coordination
Therefore better golf begins with fitness habits that will develop increased flexibility, strength and endurance. Biomechanical research laboratories have determined to obtain the greatest benefit from proper sequencing of swinging actions, you must have a strong lower body to stabilize balance and leverage a forceful swinging motion. These lower-body forces then must be transferred through well-conditioned midsection muscles to the upper body. Strong and flexible chest, back, and shoulder muscles permit greater acceleration of the club, all the while maintaining control through trained arms, forearms and hands.
The following exercises begin our series focused on strength training for golf and will commence your quest toward hitting longer and straighter golf shots.
Lower Body Pole Stretch
Using either a broom handle or stretching pole, begin by sitting with legs comfortably spread into a split position. Place the bar across the soles of your feet, with your arms reaching outward to hold the bar firmly against your feet. Begin your first stretch by pulling your chest toward the bar. Your movements should be smooth and slow while exhaling as you move toward the bar. Nose on toes would be the ultimate goal. Widen your stance slightly with each stretch. Repeat for a set of five.
The benefits to your swing include releasing the tightness in your hamstrings, calves and lower back. Your range of motion will greatly increase allowing for improved rhythm and a fuller swing radius generating proper swing path and clubhead acceleration.
Upper Body Pole Stretch
Following the Lower Body Pole Stretch, place the bar across your back and below your neck. Keep your lower body in the comfortable split position from the previous stretch. Begin by slowly rotating the bar to the right until you feel the tightness gather in your abdominal and back muscle region. Release and use this momentum to rotate forward until you feel the same tightness on the opposite side. Be sure to maintain an upright chest, chin out position throughout each set of five. With each set work on increasing your range of motion.
Isolating lower body movement as you engage large and powerful muscles around your core and shoulders. This coil up of the upper body over the restriction of the lower body has been referred to in the golfing world as the X-Factor and is credited for generating increased power source in today’s modern swings.
External Hip Abductor Stretch
Begin this stretch lying on your back with knees bent upward. Cross right foot over left knee locking right ankle on the outside of the left knee. Keeping your shoulders on the mat and hands on your chest, begin to move your right knee to the right with the attempt to have it fan open and touch the ground. You will begin to feel a good stretch of the external hip abductor. The benefits to your golf swing by increasing range of motion will help to prevent injury to your hips.
Begin the Hamstring Stretch by lying down on your back and lifting your right leg vertically. Stretch your arms toward your raised leg clasping your hands behind your calf muscle. Keeping your left leg and shoulder on the ground, begin to pull your right leg toward your head slowly until your hamstring is tight. Do not ever take your stretch beyond a comfortable tightness, never into the sensation of a burn. Maintain the hold for 10 seconds and release. Switch legs and repeat with the left leg.
The benefits to your golf swing from an increased range of motion will help to prevent injury to your lower back.
Backswing & Forward Swing Resistance Training
Using stretchy tubing, or a resistance band, place one end under your left foot and the other end in both of your hands. Begin the exercise by taking your golf swing address position. Keeping your left foot firmly planted on the ground, begin to swing your arms away extending the band to the top of your swing radius. Hold your coil-up for a count of 5 and then release. Do several reps feeling that you can maintain good posture and full swing radius supported by the big muscles in your torso and shoulders. Change feet and sides and do the same exercise from the forward swing side.
Benefits to your golf swing from improved core strength, full arm swing radius and training a powerful completed backswing position will result in the creation of maximum power and precision.
Deltoid Resistance Training
Using the stretchy tubing or resistance band, stand straight with chest and chin up. Place one end of the band in both hands while standing on the other end as demonstrated in the photo at left. Start the exercise with thumbs facing inward and arms waist high. Begin to raise your arms until shoulder high. Hold the position for a count of 5 and release. Be sure to maintain good posture throughout this exercise. Repeat for a set of 10. The benefits to your golf swing by increased strength in the deltoid area of your shoulders that will support external rotation, produces a result that increases swing arc on the backswing and speed of the clubhead on the forward motion.
Weighted Ball Lunge & Rotation
Using a weighted ball begin this exercise by making a forward lunge followed by an outward rotation of your forearms swinging the weighted ball to the outside of your forward knee. Be sure your lunge does not exceed a 90 degree angle and, you must keep you eye on the ball to maintain balance. This exercise will generate both a great lower body and core workout. You will also work your forearm muscles and feel the momentum of a proper release. The benefits to your golf swing from improved core strength, result in a better sense of balance and release.
Weighted Ball Drawback & Release
Begin this exercise using a weighted ball. Take your golf address position. Draw your right foot back to encourage a quiet and stable lower body. Begin swinging the weighted ball from a forward released position to get the momentum helping with the flow of a backswing. On the forward motion feel your left forearm rotate and extend the ball outward toward a target or partner as is demonstrated in the photo at left. Feel the rollover and release happen with the weight now pulling the body forward into a balanced finish. Add speed to the exercise once you get a good feel for keeping your balance and posture during the swing. The benefits to your golf swing from improved core strength, once again produce a better sense of balance and release.
Isolated Weighted Ball Backswing
Begin by balancing yourself on a 2x4 board or foam roller as demonstrated in the photo at left, with a 5 lb weighted ball in your right hand. The key with all motion exercises is to use momentum to engage the proper sequence while focusing on rhythm and balance. The isolation part of this exercise is keeping your lower body holding its foundation and the lead of the swing being the momentum of the ball directed by the extension of the right forearm rotation, and not the shoulder.
Notice that in the first part of the exercise I have placed my hand on Jeff’s right shoulder to ensure he doesn’t engage early causing a lift. Swinging wide only takes you back so far before the shoulders and torso get pulled into a tightly coiled up back swing.
The benefits to your golf swing by generating proper sequence of motion around a supportive and balanced body results in a more powerful, repeating golf swing creating longer and straighter shots.
Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Our priority is to maximize your potential, lower your scores, reduce your risk of injury, and extend your golfing years. Each issue has departments dedicated to men, women, seniors, and juniors along with tips, advice and simple exercise routines from GFM’s team of experts. If you want to improve your golf game, and hit the ball farther, click here for special offers on a subscription so you can have all this and more in-depth advice delivered right to you! Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our FREE golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game. To contact our Senior Editor, Publisher or Online Editor with questions or comments, please visit our web site golffitnessmagazine.com for more information.