Random golf fitness thoughts: Instalment 3

1) Speciality barsspeciality-bars

It’s common for golfers to experience wrist, elbow and even shoulder pain (due to the overhead position of the golf swing). Speciality bars like safety squat bars, swiss bars, trap bars, etc are perfect to take the pressure of these body parts by placing the body in more neutral alignment. Indeed after a recent shoulder injury the safety squat bar has been a god send in allowing me to still squat heavy and maintain a training effect.

They are expensive sure – but we’ll worth the investment if you’re coaching people with injury concerns in these areas – if you’re an athlete with these concerns and can find a gym with these bars to train at your body will thank you.

2) A better way to cue the squat

When coaching the squat I much prefer to cue the squatter to push the elbows down underneath the bar rather than the traditional cue of chest. The reason for this is when you cue someone to stick their chest up, what ends up happening is they slam their back into lumbar extension and allow the lower portion of their rib cage to flare up.

This causes a whole host of issues – poor stability through the core and lumbar spine, a lengthening of the glutes and hamstrings, and crappy biomechanics all around. I’ve found cueing someone to drive their elbows up as they squat deeper and deeper to be far more effective. If you cue someone to drive their elbows up, they naturally get their chest and back into a better position. But it’s also a much more neutral alignment.

3) Develop power across the speed-strength spectrum.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know i’m a great fan of bodyweight jumps and med-ball throws to increase power in the golf swing. Whilst this is most definitely still the case, if you keep all your power training towards this speed end of the spectrum you will eventually leave holes in your power training. Complete power training should also include weighted jumps, band resistance, and heavier loaded lifts such as olympic lift variations.

4) Keep moving throughout the day.

It takes about 20 minutes for “creep” to kick in with your muscles – and the less you let that happen, the better.  The best posture is the one that is constantly changing.

5) Deload the spine every once in a while.

Regular, heavy, deadlifting and squatting is the most effective way to increase strength levels, and anyone who argues differently is quite frankly wrong! That said, heavy deadlifting and squatting exposes the spine to large compressive forces so if you’ve been at it a while there’s nothing wrong with dropping squatting for a week every month or so. Focus on extra single-leg work, movement training, pull-throughs…anything that deloads the spine for a short period. I know of a lot of powerlifters who do it and your spine health will definitely thank you for it!

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