Now that you have your flexibility and mobility back after reading my last post on total golf preseason conditioning: flexibility/mobility, you should now be ready to start training for strength and power so you can crank that ball out there just as far as you did at the end of last season. Remember the full golf swing is a power movement (speed x strength).
The following is not a detailed training plan; it is simply a list of strength and power exercises that can be included into a training program. One key point is to always do power exercises before strength exercises if they are going to be done on the same day. So, without further delay let’s get into some specific exercises.
Disclaimer: always discuss any new exercise program or exercises with your health care practitioners before starting.
Believe it or not, a full golf swing is a power movement. Power = strength x speed; in other words, the ability to move a given amount of weight through space at a high rate of speed. So, twisting our body and propelling the golf club at a high rate of speed seems equivalent to strength x speed to me. Below are some great exercises for power conditioning, just remember if you are not familiar with the exercises get some qualified advice. To ensure you are training maximal power development, choose a repetition range that does not produce a large amount of fatigue. What you want is to be able to reach your maximum jump/throw/running speed for all reps in every set you do. I have also indicated what movements are only for advanced lifters.
- Squat Jump
- Lunge Jump
- Box Jump
- Rotating Box Jump (90 or 180 degree rotation)
- Tuck Jump
- Side Med Ball Throws – Horizontal
- Side Med Ball Throws – Down angle
- Med Ball Slams or Sledge Slams
- Wall Balls – As high as possible
- Overhead Med Ball Throws
- Chest Pass Med Ball Throw
- Supine Chest Med Ball Throw
- 50-100 meter sprints
- Short Hill Sprints
- Clean High Pulls
- Snatch High Pulls
- Power Cleans – Advanced
- Power Snatch – Advanced
- Push Press
- Power Jerk – Advanced
- Clap Push-Ups
As I mentioned in the power conditioning section, power is the ultimate goal and in order to produce power we need strength: remember power = strength x speed. For the below exercises, the goal again is not a high level of fatigue, you want to be able to produce your maximum level of strength for all reps and sets of the exercises. For targeted strength conditioning, choose a weight that allows you to perform no more than 5 reps per set.
- Back Squat
- Front Squat
- Overhead Squat – Advanced
- Lunge Variation (Front, Back, Walking, Split)
- Standing Shoulder Press (Barbell or Dumbbells)
- Bench Press (Incline or Flat with Barbell or Dumbbells)
- Push-ups (Weighted if you can)
- Bent Row (Barbell or Dumbbells)
- Chin-Ups (weighted if you can)
- Muscle-ups (If you are able) – Advanced
- Ring pull-ups
- Ring Muscle-Ups (If you are able) – Advanced
- Evil Wheels (ab roller)
- Planks of all variations
- Straight or Bent leg raises
- Ring or Bar Levers – Advanced
Golf is not an endurance sport. Aside from being able to comfortably walk an 18 hole golf course, endurance capacity is not that important. Therefore, there is no real need to jog for long distances, sprint intervals will be more effective at maintaining (or increasing) your speed and power while providing sufficient endurance conditioning stimulus for the requirements of golf. That being said, if you enjoy jogging it is not likely to negatively impact your golf game, just make sure you don’t skip the exercises listed above in favour of jogging.
Now that you are well versed in preseason preparation from a mobility and power perspective, the next post in this series will focus on nutrition to ensure you nourish your body to support the physical demands of training and golf, as well as how to avoid some of the things that can stop a round dead in its tracks like energy crashes, excessive hunger, and pain/inflammation.
The Barefoot Golfer