Is Body Weight Training Enough for Golfers?

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A friend of mine, Nick, from Stronger Golf recently put up this post on his Instagram page.

My original thoughts were that I question the necessity of the burpee for anyone really. He is not a fan of it for golfers and I absolutely see where he is coming from.

Truth be told, I rarely use burpees with most people. I don’t really have a reason it just kind of works out that way. I know they suck so I like to pick and choose when I use them. I like the idea that they force someone to get to and from the ground which can be great for metabolic purposes.

I don’t need burpees to accomplish what I want to.

What really got me thinking was a question someone posed for Nick. They asked what else he would put in a body weight HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. He said that he doesn’t see the need for HIIT for golf.

My takeaway from that question is why do we have to do HIIT? Why does it have to be body weight?

Body weight workouts bother me a little bit. To put it bluntly, they aren’t usually good.

I have never put together a body weight workout that I would be proud to give someone and accept money or time for it. I give it for free and that settles me a little bit. This is often when someone is really in a bind.

Gyms can be as cheap as $10/month

Equipment is not that hard to get hands on either. Amazon has weights really cheap. You could buy a 12kg kettlebell and now perform a really good program. When 12k becomes too easy you can get a 16k, etc.

It does not have to be overly expensive. People will hate on Planet Fitness because of their rules and equipment. You can still get a ton done there.

Fitness has become more accessible than ever. It is well worth your time and effort to get a membership or equipment.

Your Strength is Limited

Golf is a sport where we generate a ton of rotational force. In order to be able to handle that we need to have strength.

Body weight training can only do so much for strength. You need loading to continuously improve on strength.

this guy definitely uses weights

Adaptation occurs with training. After a while, a stimulus is not challenging any more because we have adapted to it. The stimulus needs to increase again before we can make more progress.

This is why resistance training is so important for golf. Strength is needed for power and durability. Without training you cannot magically get stronger. It is in your best interest to get your hands on some weights to lift.

No Great Pulling Variations

The single thing I hate most about body weight programs is that the pulling movements are really lackluster. An obvious exception to that is chinups/pullups. At the same time, why are we doing body weight training if there is a pull up bar?

Most golfers need to have stronger pulling muscles. We are so dominant with pushing muscles that bringing up the posterior shoulder muscles is important.

I still don’t know how to meet this need without bands, weights, TRX, etc. This weakness makes me really uncomfortable with these types of programs.

Forcing the Inclusion of Exercises

There are so many exercises that we can think of when it comes to body weight programs. It becomes even harder when we are trying to build a 12 week program for example.

I always find myself adding in filler stuff to make it worth the person’s time. Some programs shouldn’t take any more than 20 minutes. Depending on how quickly the person moves it could be even less time.

This can leave a feeling of not having done anything. Not a fan of it. As a result, we tend to add in things that serve no real specific purpose (burpees).

Good at Home Training

I think getting your hands on a physioball, kettlebell(s), TRX, and some bands can be a good way to train at home. This stuff may cost a few bucks to start but you will be much better off. The alternative would be a cheap gym membership at the very minimum.

If you are looking for a training program that can be done at almost any gym, check out Distance Made Simple for Golf. This 12 week program will help you improve your strength and mobility for golf.