When it comes to fitness for golf I am always going to favor strength.
Personally, it has helped my game in ways I never would have thought possible in high school.
I will always remember the 4th hole at Unicorn Golf Course in Stoneham, MA. It used to play about 150 and I was deadly with my 5 wood. I would hit a huge slice off of the tree on the right and get it back towards the green.
I don’t carry a 5 wood but I would hit one about 75 yards further than that now. This is mostly due to the strength I have added. I don’t want to discount the effect of a better swing, but that has allowed me to do it more consistently.
I can also see that strong golfers do not struggle with distance, a common complaint of the average person.
The relationship between strength and mobility is also a fascinating one to me. I think it makes total sense but I cannot understand why a lot of people ignore it.
The premise is simple, a joint that is supposed to be mobile needs to be surrounded by stability. Most people lack stability. Stability is strength.
Mobility is a lot easier to achieve in the presence of strength.
None of this means that I do not think mobility is important but mobility by itself is a poor strategy. Mobility needs reinforcement, we have to use it.
There are some great strength exercises that incorporate both hip rotation and strength. I like these exercises for their strength benefits but we also get to reinforce mobility with them. They are a true win win.
I have talked about the bowler squat before and how I think it is one of the better exercises for golfers. It is a single leg movement that incorporates rotation and targets the glutes. Theres not a whole lot more I can look for in a lower body movement.
The kneel to stand is an interesting lower body movement. It requires hip mobility to negotiate the leg to then stand up. This can be loaded with kettlebells or dumbbells to help add to the strength factor.
Many people struggle with the mobility part to stand.
The crossover step up is a nice step up variation. You must be strong enough to stand up on to the box but we cross over to start.
I think the 1/4 turn reverse lunges is one of the more underrated movements.
We spend a lot of time doing things forward and backward. That is just one plane of movement. The other is side to side and the last is rotational which is where golf is played.
This lunge variation exists in that transverse plane so now we get strength, mobility, and movement in a plane that is going to transfer to golf.
This is also one of the harder lunge variations to use. One key is to allow the trail foot to pivot as opposed to staying square to the starting position. This will allow you to sit into the trail hip well.