Q: Is there is anything that I should be doing in my exercise routine to improve my golf game?
A: The last article I wrote, I addressed two main components involved in the golf swing: flexibility and dynamic stability. Now after practicing some of the exercises that I suggested, hopefully many of you have seen an improvement in your game. While we can spend hours covering other drills and exercises for those two main areas, today I want to focus on two other areas included in golf performance enhancing: strength and power.
Remember from last article that at times, a golf swing can use up to 90% of maximum muscle contraction. This puts golf right up there with sports like football and hockey that require short bursts of intense muscle activation. So why do golfers shy away from lifting weights? Most often it is because of tightness that occurs across the body after exercise sessions focused on resistance training. But don’t forget the flexibility component covered in the last article and that will help keep tightness to a minimum (especially after consulting with a professional and getting even more stretches specific to your areas of need).
An important part of golf is being able to integrate the whole body from your legs, to the abdominals, to the upper body. While the bench press and knee extension machines may help, the best results come from multi-joint movements in positions that involve stabilization of part of the body, while another part does the work. Most cable exercises in a standing position offer this type of integration. Try just a basic standing single arm push and corresponding single arm row to get started. The former, you should stand facing away from the cable column and then push the weight out, away from the body from about chest height. The latter, you should stand facing the cable column and then pull the weight towards your body.
For the lower body, I would try a variation of the traditional lunge. What is unique about this particular drill is that it can also be included in your “power” training portion of your performance program. The difference between power and strength training is the variable of time. Since golf has such a high velocity generated through parts of the swing, you will need to try and mimic this acceleration in the gym. While holding a medicine ball, try lunging forward (just far enough that the lunging knee does not drift past the toe), and then rotate the whole trunk and upper body towards and over the forward leg. The rotation should be fast, but controlled. Alternate between sides and try for about 10-20 total repetitions.