4 Unconventional Exercises to Improve Your Golf Swing
Today’s modern golfer has come to realize the benefits of fitness to their golf swing. Tiger Woods brought fitness in golf to the forefront. However, its roots can be traced all the way back to Gary Player, who credits his fitness regimen for much of his success and longevity. Organizations such as the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) have done an excellent job of correlating the benefits of fitness and how it can improve one’s swing. The Onnit Academy, based in Austin, Texas, has developed numerous exercises that will be of great benefit to the present day golfer. Try the following four unconventional exercises and be on your way to a more consistent and powerful swing.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat
An excellent exercise for core and leg strength, the Kettlebell Goblet Squat is a foundational exercise all golfers should perform. It develops leg and core strength while at the same time improves mobility, which is vital to the golf swing.
Step 1: Stand up straight holding the Kettlebell by the side handles.
Step 2: Keeping your back straight and core tight, push your hips behind you while pretending to sit in a chair.
Step 3: Get your hips past the parallel position while maintaining a straight back, stand up while continuing to keeping your core tight and your weight on your heels.
Tips & Safety: Imagine you are sitting on a very low chair behind you. Instead of simply dropping down, pull yourself down with your hamstrings and gluteus.
Onnit Suspension Trainer Explosive 1 Leg Row
An exercise used to develop explosive power (which is the golf swing), while at the same time working your upper back and glutes.
Step 1: Attach the rings to a sturdy pull up bar or rafter.
Step 2: Grab the rings and lean your body back. Then extend one leg in the air while keeping the opposite foot on the ground.
Step 3: Drive through the planted foot and explosively pull through the Onnit Supsension trainer. At the point of weightlessness, switch legs and repeat.
Tips & Safety: Maintain core tension throughout the entire exercise.
Rebel Press (Steel Mace)
Most amateur golfers lack the ability to rotate internally at the hip, thus causing swing faults (sway). This exercise trains the rotation at the hips and shoulders, which will allow the golfer to generate maximum power in their swing.
Step 1: Start in a hip width stance with toes pointed out 45 degrees.
Step 2: Place the mace in a right-hand javelin hold on the right shoulder. Keep weighted end forward and handle back.
Step 3: Initiate the movement with a right foot pivot as you turn your shoulders to the left. Simultaneously press the mace overhead to lockout.
Step 4: Pull the mace down to the shoulder as you uncoil the rest of your body to the starting position. Repeat.
Tips & Safety: This drill requires a high level of awareness to control the mace handle as it rotates throughout the movement.
Battle Rope Hinged Pulse
Many golfers lack the ability to set up in what TPI refers to as “golf posture”. The hinged pulse trains the hip hinge while at the same time, dynamically challenges the core musculature.
Step 1: Grasp two ends of a rope that is anchored to something stationary. Walk in 2 feet.
Step 2: Stand with your feet hip width apart and sit back into a hinge position with a slight bend at your knee.
Step 3: Maintain this fixed position with your elbows into your ribs as you rapidly flex and extend both arms concurrently to create waves.
Tips & Safety: Shorter and faster waves should be the focus in performing the Hinged Pulse. It is about performing constant and consistent work rather than explosive power output.
By incorporating the above four exercises, a golfer can improve the swing body connection and expect dramatic improvements in his or her game.
About Shawn Balow: Shawn holds a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of South Florida and is a Level 2 Certified Fitness Professional by the Titleist Performance Institute and in Unconventional training by the Onnit Academy. After working in the fitness industry and coaching scholastic athletes for the past 20 years Shawn founded the Tampa Strength Academy located in Tampa, Fl. The Academy’s focus is on helping people achieve their training goals through a fun, unique and extremely effective training system.
*Exercises and instruction to exercises courtesy of the Onnit Academy