November 16 , 2014
Assuming you know how to execute a decent swing, if you want to become a better golfer you have to work on improving your body. This isn’t a new concept. Improve your mobility, stability, how you move, strength, and power and you’ll be able to execute your own golf swing better than you did if you don’t train. The biggest mistake I see most people do when they do start training to improve their body for golf is they think their training has to be super golf-specific and they start making everything too “golfie”
What’s golfie? If you know the FMS or TPI 4×4 Corrective Exercise Matrix then it’s all the exercises that fall in within that matrix. Without getting too detailed about the 4×4 Matrix in this post, let me tell you that the first number of the matrix indicates the position of your body in any particular exercise and the second number of the matrix indicates whether a pattern is loaded or unloaded with resistance or if there’s passive assist or not.
The corrective exercises within this matrix are primarily designed to improve one’s stability or motor control with the intent to progress the athlete so they’re performing a stability drill in a standing position. Let me back up a bit and give you an example. Let’s say an athlete scores bilateral 1’s in their Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR) on the FMS screen at the beginning of their training program and let’s say after an assessment, it’s determined that the reason for this dysfunction is a stability issue. A strength coach would then typically determine what progression their athlete needs to “live” within the matrix until their athlete learns how to stabilize in that position and improve to the point where they’re able to stabilize in a standing position.
The problem is most people who want to train their body for golf stop here in corrective exercise land and don’t progress their training to building strength and eventually developing power.
It’s not like training with this mentality is going to cause a catastrophic failure or injure the person but there comes a point when their training needs to progress to strength and power development to really start seeing some significant improvements in their ability to deliver an efficient and powerful golf swing.
There are many excellent programs out there that will develop strength and power and that’s up to your trainer or strength coach to determine the best program for you that will get you to your goals. Examples of some great strength building exercises are front squats, deadlifts, and strict overhead presses. Notice how I didn’t say front squats while balancing on a bosu ball or some unstable surface. Build strength on two feet on solid ground and don’t get caught up in Cirque du Soleil style training where everything is balancing on a bosu ball, while you’re twisting holding onto med balls.
Examples of some great power development exercises are box jumps onto a high box, moderately-heavy med ball tosses into the air, and hang power cleans. Again don’t get caught up into thinking that the power exercises need to look like a golf swing either so don’t be hanging on to a handle attached to a cable, universal machine and start doing loaded golf swings. That’s just going to mess up your actual golf swing timing and get you tons of funny comments on Facebook and YouTube. If you can’t help yourself and you MUST do an exercise that has to look like a golf swing and you want to develop speed and power then perform speed swings with implements that are lighter than your golf club. I learned this protocol from Tom House at a TPI event at Oceanside, California and it really does work wonders. I’m not going to go over the details of that protocol here either.
In conclusion, don’t just stop at corrective exercise land on your journey toward a better golf body for you. Pick up some heavy weights, build strength, and develop power with traditional exercises that don’t have to look exactly like the golf swing and you’ll see significant improvement in how you swing the club.