In this post I’m going to discuss some things that you can focus on if you have to train at home during this offseason. Don’t let that bring you down! Unfortunately, a lot of fitness facilities are closed right now which will make it harder for a lot of golfers to improve their fitness. Harder…..doesn’t mean we can’t all still improve and make 2021 the best year yet! This post is about how YOU can still improve even without a gym.
If you’re at home and don’t have a full set up, that’s fine, but you should still have some basic equipment. If you don’t these are some fairly cheap (approximate prices) pieces of exercise equipment to invest in this off season.
- Resistance Band ($10)
- Medicine Ball (Depending on the size $20 – $50)
- Small Kettlebell (Depending on the size $20 – $50)
- Medium weight Dumbbells (Depending on the size $50 – $100)
- Roller or Trigger Point Grid ($20 – $75)
All of these items aren’t necessary to improve but ideally you have at least a resistance band and medicine ball. Now, let’s dive into the essentials that will keep you moving better on and off the golf course.
Mobility & Stability
As golfers, we all want to have a stronger mid-sections but what does that really mean? It means that your torso (core) can withstand the demands that you place on it. Core stability is often something we hear in the golf world. Or sometimes golfers say they want to work on their core to help their games. Understanding how to utilize your torso will not only provide you stability in your core, but throughout your whole body.
Some of your joints are stable and some mobile. This is very important information to understand when determining exercises. As golfers we need to be stable through our feet, knees, lower back and scapula in order to be able to separate and really create a solid turn.
To train stability I really like to use variations of planks (muscular endurance), bird dogs, single-leg drills (balance), dead bugs (core stability), anti-rotation (resist rotation before you can rotate effectively), anti-flexion and anti-extension exercises.
Here is a great exercise that focuses on stability. Specifically balance and anti-rotation.
MOBILITY! Such a buzz word in the golf world these days. I have talked about the importance of mobility in my previous posts so I won’t go into it too much.
Mobility workouts are very undervalued because they aren’t the sexy exercises that people think of when they want to train.They are very important, if not more important, than the harder or more metabolic exercises. A great workout doesn’t mean you need to be peeled off the floor at the end of it.
A great workout means you accomplished your goal and got a little bit better than you were yesterday. Small incremental improvements is the name of the game. Especially when we’re talking about mobility and stability. Mobility drills can be done as prep, cool down drills or even as active rest if you don’t want to dedicate a whole workout to training it.
All of my athletes receive mobility programs that I advise them to do daily. All of the mobile joints in the body are important, but the ones I focus on the most are the t-spine, hips and ankles. If you haven’t already, download my FREE Mobility for Golf e-book. You can find the e-book on my home page.
Here’s an example from my FREE Mobility for Golf e-book:
Tempo is highly undervalued by a lot of athletes and regular exercisers. Tempo is a great way to increase difficulty with little to no load. Depending on what your goal is should dictate your tempo. A lot of the people that I’ve talked to who have been forced to workout at home always complain that there isn’t enough weight at home. Weight is only one way to progress an exercise.
Tempo is another great way to progress an exercise! Your typical strength tempo looks like this 2-0-2-0. What does that mean? 2 seconds on the way down, no pause, 2 seconds on the way up, no pause and right back into the next rep. Here’s a video of me explaining how to perform squats, lifts and pulls with different tempos.
One thing I’ve noticed from my time training golfers is a lot of them lack endurance. Whether that be muscular endurance or aerobic capacity. Great news! Both of these things can improve with little to no equipment at all. A couple things to think about is what exercises to choose, how long / how many repetitions, tempo and how much rest should be involved. Both things correlate with golf. How you walk the course to how you recover is all influenced by your ability to utilize oxygen.
Increasing your aerobic capacity can be done in a variety of ways. Depending on what you have available will determine how you train your system. Walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming and callisthenics are ways you can increase your aerobic capacity. As golfers, this isn’t a primary focus but should be considered when designing training programs.
Golfers have to walk a long way over 18 holes and building a better aerobic capacity will help you do that easily. Who wants to be tired on 16? 17? Or even 18? That’s not a good way to close out your rounds!
With that said, I do want to say that you shouldn’t be doing excessive amounts of aerobic activity (cardio) if you are a golfer. Tiger Woods said that running ruined his body. He ran 30 MILES a week for years and that’s why running ruined his body. Any of these modalities are suitable in moderation. I recommend doing some sort of aerobic activity three times per week. Start slow and progress, so that you’re ready to walk the course in 2021.
Muscular endurance training consists of high repetitions, little rest and little to no weight. I like to train endurance right after the season has completed, so it’s a great time to start training this way. Try to choose whole body movements if you’re training endurance to get the most of your training.
This shouldn’t be the focus for extended periods of time but is great in bursts or for a training phase. Golf is a powerful sport and we should train that way but throwing in variation assures your always progressing. Here’s a great exercise to incorporate into your training during an endurance phase or program.
A lot of the best power exercises don’t need a lot of equipment if any at all. Plyometrics, medicine ball throws, slams and opposite side swings can all be completed at home to improve your power. You should be careful and have some coaching before completing powerful movements.
Plyometrics are great but also very dangerous. Maintaining alignment in your lower body and posture is crucial. Soft landings will save your hips and knees and you should never complete these type of exercises for volume. Always short bursts (1 – 5 repetitions). If you aren’t familiar with these types of exercises please hire a coach to assure you are doing them correctly and that you’re ready for them.
This exercise is great for developing rotational power and is featured in my Power for Golf program.
Don’t let not being able to go to the gym stop you from reaching your goals in 2021. There are a lot of creative ways to still achieve the desired adaptation that you’re looking for in the new year. Hire a coach, get some guidance with your programming, come up with a plan and set some goals. Your only limitation is your self! #LETSGO
Below is a free workout that can be completed at home. All you need is a resistance band and a golf club or broom stick. This workout will help improve your mobility, core stability, endurance and power. All of the things discussed in this post. Check it out!
If you want a digital copy of this workout with a warm up, cool down and cues for each exercise email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in improving your fitness and moving better than you ever have in your life, you’ve come to the right place. While you have to be committed and have self-discipline to complete an exercise program, these habits will help you advance as a golfer to play this sport at a higher level and for a longer time. I’m passionate about helping people reach their potential through fitness and I’m excited to use my experience and expertise to take you to the next level.
Don’t forget to join me on my social media pages to view content that I put out a few times each week.
Until next time….