Have you asked yourself if your body is ready for the golf season that is upon us? Are the muscles on your trunk ready to work so that your shoulders aren’t compromised? Are your legs ready to help so that your back doesn’t get overused? These are just a couple questions to get you thinking, but lets expound upon them a bit shall we?
We are all well aware that swinging a golf club requires rotation. But where is that rotation coming from, or perhaps a better question is where should that rotation come from? Most people think that the low back is where we turn and rotate, but the lumbar spine has very little rotation. In fact it only has approximately 8 degrees of rotation total! So imagine the problems that can arise when we try to make our low back do things it is not designed for! When rotating your spine we need that mobility to happen in your thoracic spine, or the middle of your back and assisted by your lower extremities and hips.
The Weight Room
So what should we do in the weight room to help our swing? First I’m going to assume that you are training all muscle groups at least once a week. Following this, I suggest giving extra focus to your posterior chain (hamstrings, gluteals and back). Since the golf swing mostly happens out in front of our body make sure you’re strong enough on the opposing side. The other thing that I do with my patient’s and personal training clients is create exercises that emulate the golf swing or at least a portion of it. For example resisted thoracic rotation while in an athletic stance or seated on an exercise ball.
Your Golf Game and Strength Training
Many of the golfers I’ve worked with are concerned about weight training effecting their swing in a negative way. As long as you continue to swing a club in conjunction with specific strengthening exercises you decrease the chance to loose the mechanics or mobility of your golf swing. Learning how to activate the proper muscles at the proper time has the great potential to improve your athletic performance out on the links. Give all of this some thought and see if there’s something you’re missing!