Top 10 Mistakes Golfers make when working out

Top 10 Mistakes Golfers make when working out

#1 – trying to make it look like a golf swing
#2 – not doing enough to create a stimulus/response
#3 – adding fitness to dysfunction
#4 – training complex power moves to failure
#5 – not understanding the role of the core
#6 – violating the rules of the lumbar spine
#7 – not applying the concepts of open and closed chain
#8 – training for a marathon
#9 – thinking speed training is swinging as hard as you can
#10 – doing exercises with small ROI and high risk

#1 – trying to make it look like a golf swing

When you train for the golf swing, it doesn’t need to ‘look’ like the golf swing. For example, if you improve your vertical jump (doesn’t look like the swing), you can create more potential for power in your swing.

#2 – not doing enough to create a stimulus/response

This goes hand in hand with #1. The body works on SAID and if you don’t Increase Demand, you won’t get the Specific Adaptation. We need to create a training effect so that the body wants to change!

#3 – adding fitness to dysfunction

This is true for any type of training, we don’t want to have a situation where we start to load up faulty movement patterns. Back to our vertical jump example, if you go valgas every time you jump, you’re going to destroy your knees. We need to fix the dysfunction, then add ‘fitness’.

#4 – training complex power moves to failure

This is true for any type of training, we don’t want to have a situation where you are going a complicated lift/jump/movement in a fatigued state. Olympic lifting comes to mind. If your form deteriorates on a power move, you are going to get hurt, plus you’ll start training for a ‘marathon’ which will hurt our speeds.

#5 – not understanding the role of the core

The role of the core is NOT to create a lot of movement. The role of the core is to STOP movement. The role of the core is to TRANSMIT energy. We need to create speed/power/movement through the hips/t-spine/glutes/lats. The core can either stop or transmit it. If we try to create the power with the core, we will probably violate the next rule….

#6 – violating the rules of the lumbar spine

The lumbar spine needs to be treated with respect. It doesn’t have the rotary/flex mechanics of the t-spine and if we try to get too much out of it, it will respond with disc issues. The LS rules are: limited flexion, limited rotation, limited sheer force. If we respect these rules, we will be just fine.

#7 – not applying the concepts of open and closed chain

The golf swing is performed with upper body OPEN chain and lower body CLOSED chain. We want as many of our exercises to support that pattern. I’ll explain these on the full post.

#8 – training for a marathon

In the sport of golf, we either are walking or swinging. and yes, if you are a college golfer, you might play 27 or 36 holes in 1 day and have to push/carry your bag. So, you do need some aerobic capacity. That can typically be done by walking while playing. For the swing itself, we need to be able to create a lot of force in a little time, this is more akin to explosive work, the opposite of endurance work. Golfers get into trouble when they jog or do other ‘medium’ cardio work that is not explosive and is overkill for the cardio needed to walk the course. That just converts you to slow twitch fibers and is no bueno for the explosiveness you need to play.

#9 – thinking speed training is swinging as hard as you can

Some of these rules overlap, because this is very similar to rule #3 – adding fitness to dysfunction. If you have a bad ‘casting/over the top’ move and then try to swing as hard as you can, you will typically just do your move but faster/worse. You’ll have a faster cast and more over the top. You won’t gain any speed and you will hit it all over the place. If you want to do speed training, find a way to add some more force into the handle while making a larger backswing (Hello Tour Tempo). This is a proven way to gain speed and you don’t have to kill yourself to do it.

#10 – doing exercises with small ROI and high risk

Life is all about ROI and mitigating risks. I know of a PGA tour player that was doing 1 legged jumps and slipped and fell and tore his ACL. He pretty much never came back from that. The odds of it happening were probably only 1-5%, but the exercise itself had no real payout. I can think of a ton of exercises golfers (people) do that don’t really do much for them but have a 10% chance of injury. That is just plain stupid. All of your exercises should have a huge ROI and .1% chance of injury. Rule #4 fall into this category, if you’re going to go to failure, then you need to make sure there is no chance you’ll slip/drop the weight/etc…this is one reason I love tools like the Mars Bar (you can use your arms) and the K box (resistance is determined by you), you get a huge ROI with minimal risk.

In the next blog post(s), I’ll explore each of these individual concepts fully so you can understand and totally apply them to your training!

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