Fitness in golf is nothing new. Tiger was probably one of the first big name golfers to popularize strength training, and, since then, it has recently caught on like wild fire with people like Rory, Jason Day and countless others. However, it is not only the PGA Tour guys who can benefit from strength training. In my opinion, everyday people will actually benefit more. I have compiled a list of 3 ways that will keep you out of pain when you are golfing and get you golfing better.
If you work on these three things, you will be able to hit the ball farther, play more often, and play pain free.
1. Increase your mobility
One of my favorite golf movies is Happy Gilmore, and according to Chubbs, “It’s all in the hips.” I totally agree with that, however, I would change the quote to say, “It’s all in the hips, and thoracic spine.” Not as catchy, I know, but hear me out. Stereotypically, golfers are business people who either sit at their desk or in their car for hours every day. With all the iPhones, iMacs, iPods, and iWhatevers, our posture has become atrocious. Our shoulders are rounded forward, we have a huge forward head posture and we look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Our mothers are all ashamed. All of the research is showing that sitting down is terrible for us, and once you hear that it is hurting your golf game, you may be sleeping standing up. Because of the sitting, we can’t move our hips well which means we aren’t able to transfer our weight. In turn, we lose power.
Better Hips = Better Power
Lack of mobility in the hips is also the cause for a lot of lower back pain. If we cannot rotate with our hips correctly, we compensate by rotating with our lower back which isn’t made to rotate; it is made to be stable.
As for the upper half of the body, the lack of mobility is much more evident. This will actually change your golf swing with things such as early extension and other compensations (contact your local TPI professional, who can teach you more about that.). When we constantly sit with bad posture, our upper back becomes weaker, and our chest becomes super tight. By increasing the mobility in our T-Spine (mid back) and stretching out our chest, we can get into proper positions for an ideal golf swing.
Like I mentioned before, our low back should be stable. If we have low back pain, chances are our hip mobility or thoracic spine mobility is junk. Think of it as an alternating pattern of mobility vs. stability. If one joint doesn’t do its job correctly, another area will compensate and thus create pain. Get everything doing its job, and we will be pain free.
Here are three great drills to start with for hip mobility:
- Foam Rolling
- Spiderman Steps
- Pigeon Stretch
Here is a great link to Mike Boyle talking about hip mobility for golfers:
2. Get Stronger
I’m not just talking about your bench, Bro. Two areas specifically tend to be weaker than they should be with most people: your gut and your butt. Again, it comes from sitting more than we should. Both of these areas go back to point number one about mobility and posture. We will go into further depth about the glutes, and try and change your thinking on “core” training.
From hours and hours of sitting, we tend to “forget” how to use our backside to initiate movements. This goes into a brain and body connection, but that is better left for another day. The short and skinny of it, is that we need to wake up your backside. One of my favorite tools for this is a mini band. They are super cheap and super effective. Mini band movements will target your gluteus medeus which most people will feel as the outside of their hip. When our glutes aren’t firing as well they need to be, certain things falter: hinging patterns won’t happen effectively, our squats will look funky, and bridging will be difficult. Below I will show you three of my favorite “activations” to awaken your booty.
Going back to the “Do your job” motto, we need to get your core doing its job.
Your core needs to be stable. Meaning, we want to be able to keep our midsection strong while moving our extremities. With golf being a rotational sport, anti-rotation core training will make a huge difference in your game. Anti just meaning stopping rotation, or being able to resist rotating. I will list out three anti-core training movements that you should be doing.
3. Move More Often
Motion is the lotion in this case as in any case with the law of inertia. Once you get moving in the gym it’s easier to keep going. If you are sedentary, it is more difficult to start being active. So get moving and stay moving. Whether it is taking a yoga class, resistance training a couple days a week, or taking the dog for his daily walk; if you do it regularly, it will be easier to keep doing it.
FREE KNOWLEDGE BOMB!!!
Find A Coach
Everybody needs a coach. Whether it’s a TPI Medical Professional or Golf Professional, a sport psychologist, a strength coach, a lifestyle coach, dietician, a whatever coach, it doesn’t matter. Pick the most important thing that will get you to your goal, and get a coach. Was Phil Jackson a better basketball player than Jordan? HELL NO, but did Phil make Jordan a better player? Yes. Trust me, you’re not too good or too advanced for a coach. Nobody is.
Finding a good coach is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. A coach will keep you accountable, keep you on track, and be honest with you. Entrusting someone with helping you attain your goals can be a little unsettling, so finding the right person can be a little challenging. But do your due-diligence, call in any favors you may have, and network as much as you need to, and find the right person that will get you to where you want to be.
If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to having the best season of your life on the course, and improving your overall quality of life in the process. If you have any other follow up questions, or would like help finding a coach near you, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.