I’ve never known a golfer that hasn’t wanted more length on their golf shots, but of course as in all things in life, “Easier said than done”. In a January article, ‘Hit the Golf Ball Further’, I talked about fast twitch muscle speed in order to increase club head speed, but this month I am focusing on pure tensile strength in order to form a stable base and strong foundation, from which to unleash that speed.
In order to build this strong, secure foundation, you’ll want to focus on strengthening your postural muscles, as well as developing the prime movers of the golf club. Here are some exercises that will help solidify your swing’s base, and strengthen your dynamic ability, allowing for increased power and distance:
1) Chair Pose – Squat with upper leg at a 90 degree angle to lower leg, as if sitting in a chair. Extend arms up and out, at the same angle as your torso, approximately 45 degrees to the floor. Don’t let knees buckle in or bow out, maintain their position. Hold for 5 seconds, 6 reps, 2 sets. [Stabilizes the inner and outer leg, along with the shoulders and triceps. If these aren’t strong enough to hold you in position and balance during the force of your golf swing, something will give and breakdown, and you will be unable to maintain your posture.]
2) Medicine Ball Twists – Stand holding a 6 to 10 lb. medicine ball (or dumbbell) in your hands. Bend down and twist, taking ball to outside of right ankle, stand up and twist ball to other side, above left ear. Do 12 reps on each side. [This functional exercise directly parallels the golf swing pivot and extension, rehearsing the range of motion, stretching the hips and sides, and strengthening the core.]
3) Forearm Rotations – Grip 8 iron in one hand, stand and hold out in front of you with shaft parallel to shoulders, club face facing the ground or sky. Rotate forearm and club back and forth. Modification is to choke down on club if too difficult. 10 rotations each direction with each arm. [With increased forearm strength you will have more club stability and will be able to release the club faster.]
4) Swing Three Clubs – Grip 7i, 6i, and 5i together and swing. Start slowly to warm up, and then gradually swing them a bit harder and faster. [Builds hand strength as well as all the golf muscles used while swinging.]
5) Side Planks with a Scoop – Lay on side extended in a straight line, and put yourself up on one elbow (directly underneath shoulder) so that body is sloping at 30 degree angle. From held side plank position, rotate non-supporting elbow underneath raised side. 10 reps, 2 sets. [Your obliques and shoulders will be strengthened by supporting your body, and your lats strengthened with the underneath scoop - all important muscles for a tight and powerful coil-up in your swing.]