I have spoken quite a bit about why I do not understand combining exercises. I am not really sure why this is so prevalent in the golf world but I still do not see the use.
My big underlying argument against them is that you cannot put full effort into each movement if they are combined together. I want my golfers to get the most out what they are doing in the gym.
It is important to distinguish an exercise that provides multiple benefits vs. combining two exercises together. If you were to combine a cable press and a dumbbell row each exercise suffers for the sake of doing them at the same time.
You cannot possible push as much on a cable press while rowing a dumbbell than doing it alone. The same goes for the row. You are actually robbing yourself of the benefits of each.
On the other hand, I am a big fan of single exercises that achieve multiple results.
One of those exercises is the KB Pullover and the progression of adding a leg extension.
There are two main benefits to this exercise.
The ability to resist extension at the low back has a few different benefits by improving your pelvic control. This exercise wants to force you to arch at the back but you must resist that. When you start on your back you need to lock that position in and not allowing the torso to move.
For golfers, the ability to resist extension can improve your golf swing. When we set up to the ball the spine should be in a neutral position. S Posture (arching in the back) can lead to back pain and a lack of rotational ability.
The core serves as a connection between the upper and lower body. We want to produce force in the legs and transfer it through the core to the arms. Low back extension breaks the link in the chain, reducing force production. This leads to slower swing speeds.
Rotation through the upper back is also dependent on the low back being stable. More core stability will allow more mobility through the upper back. This dramatically helps the back swing and follow through.
There is a screen in the TPI assessment that measures shoulder flexion. You stand with your back to a wall, flatten the low back into it, and reach your arms overhead. The goal is to touch the wall with your thumbs.
I also use one that is slightly different. I have someone just stand free and reach their arms over head. I can get three results from this screen:
- The hands do not reach the ears (lack of shoulder ROM)
- The hands are even/past the ears but the rib cage is flared (lack of core stability)
- Both (both)
The KB pullover helps all of these things. We get core stability as explained above. Reaching the KB overhead will help shoulder ROM. Having a light weight can help get the shoulders into more flexion in the presence of core stability.
Now we are working both actions together since they function together in movement. Improving this pattern can help decrease the occurrence of coming over the top or reverse spine angle.