1. Single-arm work not just single-leg work
Us coaches are often telling you of the importance of including single-leg work to help strength and conditioning programs gain better ‘carryover’ to sports performance, but rarely do you hear fitness professionals talking about the importance of single-arm upper body exercises, which offer some awesome functional carryover to performance, as well as a host of health benefits.
There’s an increased challenge to rotary stability, and athlete encounters weight shift dynamics, common to sporting movements, and extra thoracic rotation. These movements also teach protraction and retraction on rib cage, and scapular control to a far greater extent than bilateral work. And perhaps the greatest benefit, less external loading is needed to create a training effect. Don’t just think that bent-over rows, inverted rows, and pull-ups cover everything you need!
The half kneeling single arm shoulder press is one of my favourites as you even get a bit of hip stabilisation and glute training effect too.
2. Programming Turkish Get-Ups
I’m often asked where we plug Turkish Get-ups into our programming. There are actually a few places we put them:
- When done lighter and for technique, you can work them in at the end of a warm-up for practice on a daily basis.
- When loaded up a bit more, I prefer to use them as a first exercise in place of pressing on an upper body day. And, we’ll often pair it up with some kind of horizontal or vertical pulling exercise before moving on to more traditional pressing stuff.
So, I guess really the answer like so many things in strength training is “it depends”, but probably more usefully it’s always early in the session.
3. Substituting Med-ball Throws
One equipment limitation many folks run into when training at commercial gyms is the lack of a medicine ball wall against which they can do rotational shotputs and scoop tosses. It’s a huge disadvantage, as these exercises can be of tremendous value for training rotational power.
That said, it’s not a perfect replacement, but I have found that a decent substitute is band-resisted heidens (or heiden variations without the bands). You at least get some of the same hip sequencing, even if the lower-to-upper body force transfer isn’t quite the same.
Video Credit: Eric Cressey
For more ideas about how to train outside of the sagittal plane take a look at this
4. Intensity trumps programming, no matter how good the program
I’d rather see a mediocre program executed with outstanding intensity and adherence than an outstanding program executed with mediocre effort. You can’t out program a lack of effort so be sure to focus on working hard, as well as having a smart and appropriate golf fitness program.