Developing more upper body strength and flexibility are key components to generating more power which will help you accelerate the club head during the downswing. In addition, getting out of the deep rough, bad lies and heavy sand, also requires a tremendous amount of strength.
Benefits of upper body strength:
- Better posture
- More club head speed
- More power for driving and iron shots
- More shoulder turn
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Strengthens the hands, wrists and forearms
- Circuit train: Practice all the exercises in one continuous circuit, maxing out your muscle fatigue at fifteen reps and practice each exercise three times.
- Engage your core stabilizing muscles by drawing the navel towards the spine before beginning the exercise.
- Practice the exercises through the full range of motion.
- Do not use momentum but focus on the quality of the movement.
- Breathe deeply and exhale on the exertion phase of the exercise.
- To intensify the exercise and recruit the core stabilizing muscles, balance on one foot.
Cable Row / The Wood Chop: This exercise works the core trunk muscles, specifically the obliques, lats, deltoids, forearms and wrists. Additionally this exercise repeats the same movement pattern of the top of the backswing to impact.
Securely place your resistance tubing in the door hinge and place your body perpendicular to door. Bring the outside hand, or left hand to the cable handle and then place the right hand over the left. Slightly bend the knees, engage the core and on your exhalation pull the handle down and across the body as if bringing the cable to outside of the opposite pants pocket.
Tip: This exercise is initiated from the trunk and the arms and hands follow the trunk.
Repeat ten to fifteen times and switch sides.
One Arm Row to Tricep Extension: This exercise builds strength in the lats, deltoids and triceps, strengthens the shoulder girdle, reduces risk of shoulder injury and increases power off the tee.
Standing in a triangle pose position , engage the core and roll your torso so you are facing the floor. Extend the right arm feeling the stretch in the back (lats) and shoulders (deltoids). On the exhalation, pull the arm back inline with the body. Squeeze the arm against the body and hold for an additional two seconds. Now extend the lower part of the right arm back focusing on the tricep. Hold for two more seconds, repeat fifteen times and switch sides.
Shoulders and Chest:
This series of exercises target all the muscles of the shoulders, primarily the deltoids. Strengthening the shoulders helps you generate more turn, club head speed and reduces the risk of the most common injury in golf ' the shoulders.
Note: In the photos below I use resistance tubing, which I use in my 8 Minutes to a Better Swing DVD. You may substitute the tubing with weights.
Front raises: Sitting on a Balance Ball ( see our product section for the Balance Ball) or balance on one foot, turn the palms towards the quads. Maintain a slight bend in the arms. Lift the arms to shoulder height.
Lateral raises: Internally rotate the arms and palms touch the outer thigh. Lift the arms to shoulder height.
Repeat fifteen times.
Now it's time to focus on exercises for flexibility....
Dolphin pose stretch: Bring the elbows to the ball, hands pressed together and the upper body parallel to the floor. Focus on the shoulder stretch. Pull the navel towards the spine. Hold for five deep breaths.
This stretch targets the shoulder, triceps and lats, increases flexibility and increases shoulder turn for more power.
Chest opener on the ball: This exercise stretches the pectorals, abdominals and strengthens the gluts and hamstrings. This pose supports better posture and reduces soreness.
With the upper body and head supported by the ball, use the strength in the core and gluts to bring the lower body parallel to the floor. Open arms with the palms facing the ceiling. Hold for thirty seconds and repeat three times.