Here are four tips to help your strength and conditioning programs, and help you play better golf:
1. Self myofascial release (SMR) can make you swing better.
Golf may not be a fast moving, full contact sport, but it is certainly repetitive and dynamic. When muscles and tendons are put through repetitive motions (often that are ineffective or technically poor) over-use injury and soft tissue damage is, to varying degrees, bound to occur.
These issues can affect movement as it reduces tissue quality, even causing scar tissue build up, reduced range of motion and loss of strength. Nervous pain and tendonitis, can also result, as a shortening muscle places tension on surrounding tendons. It is obvious that any of these conditions will affect your golf swing, and if left untreated over the long term cause injury.
SMR works to improve the quality of the muscle fascia, restoring movement to the muscle, and balancing tension around the joint, alleviating these possible issues. Take a look at these videos from Eric Cressey and Jeff Alexander below to see how its done:
2. Reducted movement assessments can offer all the benefits of the full screening, in a more time efficient manner.
In this post earlier in the week I discussed the importance of screening to identify the physical limitations, limiting your ability to make a powerful, efficient golf swing.
Recent research on the functional movement screen (FMS) has found that a reduced model of just four exercises, in this case the in-line lunge (ILL), hurdle step (HS), trunk stability press-up (TSPU), and active straight leg raise (ASLR) explained 82% of the variance in the full 12 exercise FMS. This means with just 1/3 of the exercises we can predict 80% of the results.
We here at Stronger Golf only really use 5 screening to identify most everyones short comings relating to mobility in the golf swing; namely the overhead squat, wall touch test, shoulder external rotation test, seated trunk rotation and single-leg glute bridge iso hold. Not only does this save valuable time, but it allows us to more quickly identify imbalances and conduct further appropriate screenings on that area.
3. The bench press and your golf game.
The rationale usually goes like this, “golfers shouldn’t bench press because it’s not sport specific.” However, I’d like to take exception. In reality no exercise is truly sport specific. We make the physical attributes gained in the weight room specific by playing golf and learning how to transfer these attributes to the course. Don’t get me wrong, certain exercises are more productive than others. Remember that it is impossible to duplicate the speed, intensity and technique of the golf swing in the weight room, and it’s something that golfers shouldn’t try to do.
The bottom line is that the bench press is a great, multi joint, free-weight exercise for developing strength in the chest, triceps and shoulders. And there’s nothing wrong with that! The chest, back and triceps musculature have been shown by Dr. Sergio Marta in multiple studies to be the most important muscles in the upper body for the golf swing.
I’m not saying that the bench press is the most important exercise for golfers, but it can and should be incorporated into the training programs of most golfers.
4. Band resisted training for power.
Bands enable athletes to be able to train power more aggressively, and more frequently.
This is because they lower landing stress on horizontal and lateral jumping exercises. As an example, ‘athlete A’ does 3 sets of 5 broad jumps, then lets us know how his shins feel 36-48 hours later. The soreness level is usually pretty high. ‘Athlete B’ does the same volume but with a band around the waist and secured at the other end to something sturdy, like a power rack. Utilising this protocol, I bet athlete B has dramatically less soreness in the post training period. This is due to athlete B being exposed to less ground reaction force. Put simply, you go up but you don’t come down as much – much like a box jump.
Additionally, the dangers of jumping and the large forces it creates when carrying excess bodyweight are well documented, this reduction in ground reaction force could also be useful in allowing heavier individuals to training power.