As I said in my previous article on the top 5 strength moves for golfers, golfers are not professional lifters and should not train as such. Pro lifters are only interested in adding weight to the bar whilst athletes and golfers have much more to contend with; developing strength, power and adequate mobility in a variety of planes for instance. When it comes to developing a well-rounded athletic development program, you can’t put in everything you’d like, you have to pick and choose your battles. Include only the exercises the get the job dost most efficiently so you can get in the gym, get the full benefits to your performance and get back on the course practicing!
If you hadn’t guessed already this article will focus on my favourite exercises for developing power in the golf swing. Keep in mind research has shown power development to be plane specific so if we are trying to develop power for a multi plane movement like the golf swing we must train to develop power in multiple plan not just the gym standard transverse plane (squats, deadlifts, cleans, snatches, presses, etc are a all transverse plane movements). Additionally, keep in mind the leaning curve associated with power exercises. Take note of what I said earlier about being time efficient so you can get back out on the course practicing, olympic lifts are undoubtedly great for power development but they take a heck of a lot of time to learn to execute properly especially with sufficient load to elicit a training effect (hell olympic lifting is a sport in it’s own right after all, and a technical one at that!)
As with strength training, when it comes to power training I find myself consistently using the same handful exercises that I know deliver superb results for golfers. Put simply, these are my Top 5 Moves because I have had the most success with them. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts/ to agree or disagree.
No. 5 – Box Jumps
Box Jumps are usually my baseline power exercise for clients. They are not only a great exercise for developing power in the lower body and learning to aid a powerful lower body movement with a well coordinated arm swing, but are also a great exercise to teach the good landing mechanics that will be required in more advanced jump variations. Jumping onto a box also reduces the stress associated with landing on the floor, and forces you to learn how to decelerate quicker – remember you can only swing as fast as you can control and decelerate that speed.
No. 4 – Half/Tall kneeling med ball throws
This is one of my favourite way to develop power and rate of force development in the upper body. The tall kneeling or it’s progression the half kneeling stance give an added bonus of challenging you to develop power whilst holding a stable core, something which you are also required to do in the golf swing.
No. 3 – Hang power snatch
Unlike the other exercises on the list this one does require a more than a little effort to learn good technique. However its totally worth it! The second pull phase of the snatch (basically the point you start from in the hang power snatch) is the fastest movement in all sports and will develop unbridled power across the whole body like almost nothing else. Whilst it may not be in the lateral or rotational planes more specific to the golf swing, hang power snatches involve generating power in the lower body and transferring said power into the upper and arms via a stable core. Sounds quite a look like the golf swing after all then!
No. 2 – Med-ball rotational scoop toss
No. 2 and here we are at the real fun stuff. I’ve mentioned before in a previous article the med ball rotational scoop toss is one of two exercises that recent research has shown to increase power output in rotation based sports (hint: the second exercise in this study is no.1 on my list). This exercise is so effective as it hits the principles of specificity perfectly. Use of relatively light load so the exercise works a similar point on the speed-strength continuum – check. Rotational plane of motion that is highly specific to the golf swing – check.
No. 1 – Lateral Jumps
Ok so I massively gave it away just a second ago, but this is the second exercise shown to increase power in rotation based sports by a recent study. The same reasons as to why the med-ball scoop toss is so good apply to the lateral jump too. The cool thing about lateral jumps is you can tweak the training affect with variations, for example adding band resistance will increase the rate of force development requirements whilst focusing on deceleration ability less.