An engine is the driving force for our cars. With no engine we would either need to get pulled or Flintstone it.
When we are talking about sports, the engine of an athlete is usually thought of as their work capacity. This is their ability to complete the tasks in their sport.
A lot of times this is called endurance, stamina, or conditioning. It does not really matter what it’s called as long as we all know what we are talking about. The body should allow an athlete to sprint, jump, shoot, glide, play defense, take body position, and whatever else the athlete needs to do in the course of normal gameplay.
The size of their engine will determine how quickly they gas out or how well they advantage of it at the end of the game.
Golf is completely different when it comes to the engine.
Golfers must be able to repeatedly swing the golf club for however many shots they need to take in a round. This can vary from 63 to 100+ depending on the golfer.
A lot of people outside of the sport will try to mention that golfers are not athletes because they couldn’t do the things that other athletes could. Well, they don’t have to.
Their energy system requirements are to repeat a maximal effort golf swing ~70 times in 4.5 hours. They do not need to do the same things that a hockey player does.
Just an aside, seeing the pros at the Deutsche Bank in person will confirm that they are athletes.
The average golfer is even more prone to crapping out around the 13th hole when they are not ready for it.
Golfers must have strong lower bodies if they want to be successful in the sport.
The driving force, the engine, of the golf swing is the lower body. The golf swing is a ground based movement which means it starts in the legs, and transfers through the core into the upper body.
The torso is not powerful enough to just do all of the movement by itself and the arms cannot initiate and develop power through the golf swing, while also hitting the ball straight. The legs are the engine.
Increasing leg strength will result in:
- More distance
- Better shots at the end of the round
- More efficiency in the swing
- Less injuries
- Better scores
When we look at developing leg strength we have our base movements that we want to target. Hip dominant movements will train the glutes and hamstrings while lunges and squats are more quad dominant movements. We should strive to create balanced strength or at least have more hip strength.
Hip hinge pattern- bridges, dowel hip hinge, bucks
Squat/Lunge pattern- bodyweight squats, split squats
Hip hinge pattern- KB deadlift, DB RDL
Squat/Lunge pattern- Goblet squat, weighted lunge, walking lunge
Hip hinge pattern- Hex Bar Deadlift, single leg RDL, GHR leg curl
Squat/Lunge pattern- Barbell squat, goblet squat with pulse, Bulgarian split squat
Developing leg strength is definitely going to be a game changer for golfers. There is no way that anyone can become too strong for a sport so working on these patterns is a must.
We are not looking for world record squatters and deadlifters with this kind of training either. The goal is to add strength. As long as progress continues then we are getting closer to that goal.