Strength training has rapidly grown in the golf industry for years, from body weight and resistance band exercises to more traditional strength training and powerlifting. Golfers are looking to be bigger, faster, and stronger than their predecessors, as well as their current competition. The benefits of improving strength can be seen across all sports, but we find that when it comes to strength, people tend to go back to basic lifts. While all of these are great foundation strength exercises that could be part of most golfers’ programs, these variations recruit more muscles and more neural adaptation. The primary focus of these exercises is that they are unilateral, meaning each side must work independent of the other while also asking the rest of the body to stabilize more.
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat: Split squats are the best way to load your legs without directly loading the spine. Similar to back squats, it also forces each leg to independently lift the weight. Split squats are a great lower body exercise for both glute and quad strength, as well as improving balance and stability thoroughout your swing.
Single Arm Lat Pulldown: The lats are one of the most important muscles in the golf swing. It not only brings the arms down, but it also pulls the shoulder closer to the spine, such as your side bend and rotation in your downswing. The single arm version of the lateral pulldown allows you to mimic the T spine side bend with pulling the arm down the ribcage.
Bird Dog Rows: This single arm pulling exercises forces you to be stable before you become strong, pulling only a weight your body can also stabilize. From the working arm across the back to the opposite glute. This is a great synergy of both sides of the body working together to control and move the weight, which is excellent for posture, core, and back strength.
If you try these exercises and you find them to be too challenging or uncomfortable, do not continue, until you have consulted with your physician. All exercises for golf should be customized to your needs after a proper evaluation.
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