Golf and weightlifting may seem to be worlds apart from one another, but regular sessions in the gym can improve your golf performance and improve the longevity of your participation within the sport itself.
If you’re inspired by the Golf Masters and want to improve your golf form, take a look at our top tips below.
All sports place a demand on the athlete to exhibit a variety of forces, which, in turn, create an action and outcome.
In golf, this can be seen as a rapid rotational swing to drive a ball down range, and in weightlifting, it’s a rapid upward extension of the body to hoist a large weight overhead.
For this reason, power is ultimately one of the key components for development to enhance your golf performance. Weightlifting can help with your golf form in two different ways:
1) Make you a more robust athlete and reduce the potential of injury
2) Enhance your weakest link that in turn will enhance your performance
Stretching out tight muscles is important to maintain posture. Posture isn’t just about image; it demonstrates the balance in strengths and weakness between muscle groups.
It is essential to stretch out the entire body, with a specific focus on muscle groups that are particularly tight. For golf, the areas to concentrate on are:
- Latissimus Dorsi
Static stretching is best done in an isolated session, perhaps at home when you have some free time. Hold each pose for 30 seconds and repeat stretches for tighter areas two or three times. Stretching shouldn’t be painful, so don’t be too aggressive in your poses.
Stretching prior to playing is certainly something we would advocate; however, we would suggest more dynamic movements that develop into a warm-up.
Adequately preparing yourself for sport is essential for performance and health. Athletes should go through a range of movements to mobilise the required joints of the body. These would typically include exercises that go through a long range of motion, allowing the full use of a joints movement to be used.
Wrist rolls, elbow swings and shoulder swings are typical examples, where the movement should be executed using the full circumference of the joint. Once again, this should be completely pain free, although you are likely to feel the muscles stretching whilst doing this.
Increasing strength will help to enhance your golf performance. When addressing a weakness, it is advised to start simplistic and advance as appropriate. Static contractions such as the plank or ski squats are good examples, where focus can be drawn to postural maintenance. Once these are mastered, more dynamic movements can be employed.
For specific examples of Golf, the shoulder exercises YTW is a good choice, as you can do the positions lying on your front as a static hold, then lying on your front with small movements lifting the arms off the ground as high as possible, and then further progress by standing and using a very light resistance band to work against.
The goal in all these movements is maintaining a retracted and depressed scapula, from a static to dynamic movement. The strength gains would be minimal when compared to exercises such as squatting, however the impact long-term will be large.
Golf is characterised as a rotational sport. The torso works in combination with the pelvis and lower limbs to create rotational force, which translates into the swing of a club.
It’s important to be able to rotate equally at each spinal joint (not excessively at one or two of the spinal joints only), but also to acquire the ability to resist other forces acting on the body as well as preventing over-rotation.
Exercises that encourage anti-rotation are fantastic for this. There is a large plethora of exercises available using a variety of implements such as resistance bands, cable machines, bar bells, tribars, to list a few.
Tribar, partners with British Weight Lifting, also offer some strength tips for golf with their Tribar Golf Training System. We suggest you also give this a look for some more exciting exercises that can be performed almost anywhere!
Once your foundation is laid, it’s important not only to maintain it, but to also build upon it. Development of key muscles that are specific for the sport can be addressed and enhanced through both exercise choice and prescription.
For more complex exercises and programming that truly develop performance, British Weight Lifting offer a number of educational courses and workshops that can detail how to execute some of the most athletic movements in the strength and conditioning world, which we can confidently state will enhance your golfing performance. Head over to our website to check out when the next course is near you.