Last week I included weighted or resisted golf swings as one of my top 5 dumbest exercises ever……but really this one could be the dumbest exercise of all time!
Why you ask? Well, this opens up Pandora’s box into the world of sports specific training. If you want to find a subject that gets me fired up, this is it. I felt my voice getting more aggressive just typing about it.
In the world that is Golf Fitness, everyone somehow decided that if an exercise looks like a golf swing, it must be good for the golfer. However, I will argue until the end of time that this is the worst approach ever!!!!!
The bottom line is that when working with a golfer, the biggest consideration is symmetry. No golfer will ever be perfectly symmetrical, although I would also argue no person out there ever will be either. Golf is a pattern overload sport, and the more you play, the more asymmetrical you will become. These asymmetries though are part of what makes your body and golf swing unique, but if they get too out of control, hello injuries!
Despite this factor though, trainer after trainer keeps having golfers hold onto the cable machine and take golf swings. Have you ever considered that perhaps their golf swing is not efficient or has faulty movement patterns to begin with? Adding resistance will only reinforce those bad patterns! And on top of that, it’s just grinding in more reps in one direction further locking in a body that uses one side more than the other.
Before I continue to go off on a huge tangent here, let me get to the point. The golfers job is to play and practice to create the necessary asymmetries to be awesome, and my job is to fight those. When these two thing work together in harmony, great things happen!
So why on earth would I have a golfer swing a weighted club or take resisted golf swings causing asymmetries to be further ingrained potentially leading to injuries and working in contradiction to my training program designed to level the body out? Whew! I’m out of breath now!
As I mentioned last week, the other issue in play is that adding weight to a golf swing changes up the timing. In order to deliver the extra resistance, you actually have to slow your body down. So basically resisted golf swings will lead to poor timing, injury and slower swing speeds. That’s worth a big old thumbs down!
All hope is not lost though, it is possible to work on similar muscle firing patterns in the gym that are safe, reinforce good timing and address the asymmetry issue.
Here are a two of my favorites to replace weighted golf swings with:
Step and Swing
- Flip your golf club around so the grip faces the ground
- This move is similar to throwing a ball
- You are simultaneously pullin the club back as you create momentum in the opposite direction
- This creates a huge stretch between upper and lower body leading to a sling shot feeling, can you say speed!
- Repeat both directions, this is very important!
Reverse Lunge and Chop
- Step back into a solid reverse lunge paying special attention to knee alignment, neutral pelvis and loading the glutes
- As you drop into the lunge, reach your chest and arms to the opposite side once again creating a stretch
- Drive up through the ground bringing the back knee up to 90 degrees and reaching your chest and arms up to the ceiling against it
- This exercise works on the cross sling patterns necessary for great golf, separation and allows each side of your body to adapt individually
The moral of today’s post: I beg you, please throw away the weighted golf clubs. Please, please, please, stop taking golf swings with the cable machine. Remember that there is so much more to a functional and powerful body than just a golf swing. Train the body to work at it’s best, and great things will happen on and off the golf course!