It's finally summer, and the warm weather and longer days are calling us to the golf course. If you want to get a more powerful swing to dominate this season, our trainers are here to help!
These 5 easy moves are trainer approved and will help you learn how to efficiently, effectively, and correctly train your body to better perform on the course and in your day-to-day activities. Remember, these moves should be completed after a warm-up or stretching session and should be done with a safe amount of weight to avoid injury.
Follow along with Personal Trainer Ben Payne from O2 Fitness Friendly Center in Greensboro in the full video below, then keep reading to learn how each move helps improve your swing's strength, power, and accuracy!
1. Palloff Press
Who or what is Palloff? We don't know, but what we do know is that this is a great exercise for improving your golf swing! This anti-rotation exercise is a simple yet effective way to strengthen and stabilize your core. Yes, we are training anti-rotation! Although a lot of golf focuses on the body's rotation, you need to train to resist rotating to increase the strength of the muscles that control the body's rotation and deceleration of your swing.
When you swing, the rotation from your legs moves quickly up your body to twist your pelvis, but the speed from your hip rotation decreases rapidly as it moves up towards the trunk of your body. This move will train your core to continue the speed and the strength from your legs and hip rotation up through your core to your arms, resulting in a faster, stronger impact of the club head on the ball.
How to do a Palloff Press:
- Anchor a resistance band to a wall or a bar. Be sure to pick a resistance band that is challenging but allows you to maintain proper form.
- Hold the band in the center of your chest and press it out directly in front of you.
- Brace your core and keep your hips straight forward as you rotate the side.
- Continue to brace your core and maintain proper form to do a slow and controlled rotation back to the center.
TIP: This move can be done just as a press for those with limited mobility. This exercise can be easily done on a cable machine at O2!
2. Kneeling Wood Chop
The kneeling wood chop is another simple exercise that can greatly improve your golf swing! This exercise works to strengthen your core and obliques by activating the muscles used when rotating your torso during your swing. The control required from your core to complete the movement with the additional weight of a medicine ball or dumbbell helps practice and improve your weight transfer and tempo for a more powerful swing. Good weight transfer is crucial to maintaining a strong, stable stance during your swing. Having poor weight transfer affects your ability to make powerful contact with the ball, hit straight, and stay balanced during your swing.
This move will strengthen your core, help you get a more powerful swing, and effectively work out your back, shoulders, and glutes simultaneously. Talk about a triple threat!
How to do a Kneeling Wood Chop:
- Find a half lunge position with about a foot of space between your heel and knee.
- Grab a medicine ball or dumbbell. Brace your core and find a balanced stance.
- Bring the weight up to a full extension crossing the body.
- In one slow, controlled movement, ease the ball back down.
TIP: To make this movement more challenging, raise your back knee off the ground and continue the movement in a standing lunge. This exercise can also be done on the cable machine or in reverse. Remember to pick a weight that is challenging but allows you to maintain proper form!
3. Kettlebell Bottoms Up (External Rotation)
You may be familiar with using a kettlebell, but using one bottoms-up is a whole other beast. By simply holding the weight up, you're forced to practice posture control and proper spine alignment to keep the weight up without failure. Centering your body and mind on the movement is the only way to see success with this move. Practicing mental focus and body awareness on and off the course is a great way to step up your golf game!
The most common injuries for golfers are in the shoulders and the lower back. This move works to effectively strengthen your shoulders while improving your shoulder mobility to not only give you a stronger swing but a lower risk of injury. Improving your shoulder mobility will help you avoid the tension that causes your weight to shift backward and throws off your swing, which will result in an explosive hit that's sure to go far and leave your shoulders intact.
How to do a Kettlebell Bottoms Up:
- Grab a kettlebell at the handle and bring your arm up to a 90-degree angle.
- Rotate your body by keeping your hips and shoulders in line with each other, but without moving your elbow.
- Rotate back in when you have reached a full shoulder extension.
TIP: Keep your core braced and avoid arching your back as you complete a rotation. Remember not to move your elbow up, down, or with you as you rotate.
4. Wall Angel Stretch
The Wall Angel stretch is a great move that improves mobility in both shoulders! On top of working the muscles in your upper back and shoulders, wall angels help to strengthen your core by actively working to stabilize your torso and keep you in a neutral position.
When your shoulders become weak or too tight, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain the posture necessary for a powerful and accurate swing. This stretch is a good way to reset your body and remind you of what good upright posture feels like. So if you find yourself experiencing difficulties when performing the stretch, you may need to focus on finding more exercises to loosen and strengthen your shoulders.
How to do a Wall Angel Stretch:
- Stand against a wall and press your heels, butt, and upper back flat against the wall.
- Hold your arms up with your elbows and thumbs touching the wall.
- Keeping your core tight, extend your arms without letting your position against the wall change.
- Bring your arms back down slowly.
TIP: If you're having difficulties maintaining a neutral spine, try lying face-up on the ground instead of standing against a wall to prevent your back from arching. You can also practice this stretch one arm at a time and reap the full benefits of the movement!
5. Thoracic Rotation
While the Palloff Press focuses on the importance of training anti-rotation, rotation-based exercises are still important to improving your golf game! It is crucial to do rotational exercises that focus on the thoracic region of the spine and hips, not the lumbar region. The lumbar region is for the stability of your spine, but the thoracic region is for mobility.
Thoracic mobility helps avoid stiffness and pain while allowing you to put more power and rotation into your swing. The thoracic region of your spine is one of the few mobile joints that rotate as you swing. If its mobility is limited, you will encounter a break in the flow of your swing that limits its power and accuracy. This stretch is a great way to stay loose and mobile for the most powerful swing possible!
How to do a Thoracic Rotation:
- Get on all fours and place a ball on the outside of your arms.
- Take the backside of your hand and place it on top of the ball.
- Push your arm until you reach a full rotation and feel a stretch in your lower back.
- When you cannot stretch any further, return to the center and repeat the movement.
TIP: Brace your core and stabilize your body while doing this rotation. Avoid twisting from your hips or letting your hips fall to the side while you rotate.
Back, shoulder, and core-focused exercises are a great way to improve your golf swing quickly! These 5 easy exercises are focused on building the strength and mobility that you need to get a more powerful and accurate golf swing. If you're ready to beat the competition this season, contact our personal training team for additional tips that can improve your game!