Bulletproof Your Body for Golf - A guide to becoming a stronger, more powerful golfer

Struggling to play a round of 18 without aches and pains? This is an all too common occurrence for many golfers. Coach Cathal gives his tips for working on your hip, back, and shoulder mobility.

Struggling to play a round of 18 without aches and pains? This is an all too common occurrence for many golfers. I’d know because I have experience of hip, back, and shoulder pain brought about from playing golf. This was all because I wasn’t appropriately conditioned.

Below are 4 areas that I focus on with my own training and with the golfers that I train. Every golfer should add these in their training if they want to be a stronger, healthier, and more powerful player!

Image source: Human-movement.com

1. Build Your Core Strength – And I don’t just mean your abs!

When I talk about the core, I am talking about the gluteal muscles, rectus abdominis, oblique musculature along with muscles of the lower back. All these muscles work together to stabilise and protect the lumbar spine, prevent injuries, and improve general back health.

Performing a golf swing requires the effective transfer of energy from the legs to the upper body through the core musculature. Therefore, good core strength will allow a golfer to generate more power in their swing because of better energy transfer.

Some exercises I use:

Single leg glute bridges Banded Deadbugs Side Planks Back Extensions

2. Improve Your Hip and Thoracic Mobility

As golf is a rotational sport performed at high speeds, adequate mobility of the hips and T-spine is essential. A lack of mobility through the hips will put further strain on a golfer's lumbar spine. Similarly, a lack of thoracic mobility is a common cause of shoulder pain and a not so powerful golf swing. The greater the range of motion a player has the more powerful he or she will be while putting less stress on the spine.

Incorporate some of these exercises in your training:

T-spine Rotations Cossack stretches 90/90 pails and rails

Image source: Pexel

3. Do More Anti-Rotation Training

Anti-rotational strength will help stabilise your body when you reach your maximum range of motion and also when the force of your movement hits the golf ball. It is important for people to be able to prevent rotation before they start producing it for a more powerful golf swing and a healthier body.

Anti-Rotation exercises:

Plank Shoulder Taps Single leg RDL with reach Banded Pallof Press

4. Learn to Disassociate

It is important to be able to disassociate the pelvis from the thorax or, in other words, move your lower body while keeping your trunk stable and vice versa. This is essential for proper swing sequencing to occur as, for example, the hips need to be able to disassociate and rotate first at the start of the downswing. An inability to disassociate can lead to poor ball striking, loss of power, and also overuse of the incorrect muscles during golf swings.

Here are two exercises that will test your ability to disassociate:

Pelvic Rotation Test Torso Rotation Test

The days of golf not being an athletic sport are long gone, and golfers need to train like athletes more than ever. Working on the above areas while also working on general total body strength and power will lead to fewer injuries and a stronger, more powerful player.

Image source: Pexel

Find Out More

If you have any queries about golf-specific training at FFS, email cathal@ffs.ie.

About the Author

Cathal is a TPI certified strength and conditioning coach who heads FFS's golf-specific training programs.