Golf season is coming up soon. With that in mind many of you are have pulled out the golf clubs and started practicing your swings. Some of you have also started hitting the gym lifting weights and getting you ready for the golf season. It is important to get the body resilient to the repeated stress on your back and shoulders. Often people will focus on generating power with explosive lifts however one area that plays a huge role yet is often overlooked is the braking system. The bodies ability to absorb energy as well as redirect it is extremely important to a golfers game. If you cannot slow the club down after contact with the ball you are just going to keep torquing the back more and more tiring it out and eventually breaking it down. Working on slow eccentric lifts, anti-rotational and anti extension core exercises, hip and shoulder mobility and pelvic floor stability can not only help your game by improving your shot distance but also keep your back fresh as the rounds add up.
The best way to absorb teach the body how to absorb energy and force is to vary the movement with things like slow eccentric movements, using pauses or pulses can force the core to work my efficiently. Varying speed with controlled downward movements can help teach muscles to absorb different forces, make joints more resilient to stresses allowing you to improve your golf game through better energy storage and redirection. As well as keep you more fresh as you play. Now the important thing to remember is that you should have good fundamentals before adding pulses and pauses they can be hard on the low back during exercises like squats and deadlifts. As well many golfers spines may not be best suited for heavy weight but instead for rotation and because they are better at rotation heavy loading may not be the best for your spine health. These 2 exercises can help to strengthen the back with out compromising its health.
The pulse squat is a great way to teach the body how to absorb forces quickly and redirect them. The important thing to remember is that you should limit how much weight you place on the body. This is not a max lift but an excellent core engagement exercise. If you have joint or back problems this might not be as good of an idea just due to the strain on the back, a body weight variation maybe better.
Anti Rotation Exercises
Anti rotation exercises are often overlooked in most core programs yet a lot of low back pain can be attributed to weak or slow to activate, low back muscles and a golf swing is a fast powerful movement that requires the low back to accelerate and then decelerate very quickly. Adding the paloff press is a great way to strengthen the core for golf. Use a kneeling or half kneeling position to start and focus on quality. Many people worry about how heavy but the key is not so much weight but quality and core engagement. To add even more difficulty try narrowing your base making your knees and feet in compete alignment of kneeling on a 2 x 4 piece of wood or something to narrow your footprint.