Upgrading Exercises to Help Your Golf Game

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This time of year is golf purgatory.

The Super Bowl is over and although the Pats lost, I think I am handling it well.

The next thing on my radar is Pebble Beach this weekend. I really like watching this tournament because of the course. It is one of my favorite to see the guys play.

I remember when I was young there was a golfer that took over Sportscenter. Everyone complains that all anyone talks about is LeBron. Well in the early 2000’s that was Tiger Woods. He was always on.

I was only 10 when he obliterated the field at the 2000 US Open but I remember the views of the course from the coverage. That could be part of why I really like Pebble Beach.

The other part is that this tournament is the first after the football season. This is when the golf itch really picks up. Saturdays and Sundays are not occupied by football and the PGA Tour really starts to pick up. The weather in MA will also start to tease us a little bit.

I call this purgatory because we are almost teased with the idea of golf without really being able to start playing yet. I guess simulators, nets, and covered ranges will have to do for now.

I want to use today’s post to highlight how small modifications in strength exercises can really provide some benefits for your golf game.

Yoga Pushups for Pushups

I think all golfers should be doing pushups multiple times/week. They do not need any equipment and provide a lot of upper body strength and core stability.

The Yoga pushup is a progression of the original. By going into a downward dog position, we get some additional good things. Improved scapular mobility, an increased demand for core stability, and thoracic extension are the big ones.

All of those qualities will benefit your game in terms of posture and injury prevention.

Straight Legs During Chinups

Chinups are a great measure of upper body strength. They also are indicative of elbow issues. Those that can rip off body weight, full range of motion chinups are probably going to deal with less elbow issues than those who cannot.

Josh Heenan spoke about this recently. The important part is the lowering portion. If you can repeatedly lower yourself from a chinup then you probably have enough strength to decelerate your arm. Something very apparent in throwing but also exists in the golf swing.

Going legs straight on the chinup increases the demand for core stability dramatically. It takes a lot of effort to avoid breaking that stable position. Try going legs straight and note how sore your abs can get.

Use a Light Medicine Ball for Throws

I have become a big fan of 2 and 4 lb medicine balls. It may be because most of my athletes are younger, but I also refuse to believe that age is the reason for it. It comes down to training background and force production.

To improve power output with throwing, the ball needs to be moving really fast. Too heavy of a med ball is not optimal for power production.

I also tell a lot of people that they can use a heavier ball when they break the lighter one. This has yet to be a problem.

Go lighter and throw the crap out of the thing. The golf swing uses a light implement with high speeds. We need speed to transfer.

Avoid the 2 Minute Plank

Holding a plank for anything more than about 15 seconds is not really a test of pure core stability. At that point we are probably finding a posture that we can maintain to avoid falling. It happens less in the muscles and more in the passive restraints of our body.

Find core stability challenges that are harder than a 2 minute plank. You can make a plank harder by squeezing your abs, glutes, quads, and thinking about pulling your elbows back. When done correctly, 15 seconds is probably all you have.

If you are looking for more guidance on core training, I put together a Free report on that very topic.

Better Core Training for Golf