Deadlifts are one of the best exercises for any sport, golf is no exception! Watch the video on our YouTube channel where I discuss the conventional deadlift including technique and tips to perform it safely!
Before we get to gaining yards I have some exciting news! I have been working hard on a beginner golf training program! Its going to be awesome and will take you all the way from a complete novice to training specifically for better performance on the course, increasing power, building strength, core stability and speed! I’m really excited to share it with you, it will be available as an E-book and is almost ready! Make sure you are subscribed to the Method Golf Mailing list so you stay up to date with the release and get a special, subscriber only discount!! Now that’s out of the way – on with the article!
Watch the video version of this article here!
Training for distance is a popular subject, golf is so much more fun when you are playing well but even more fun when you are playing well and feel like you can really take on the course, hitting it long and creating opportunities for birdies and eagles!
In this article I will show you 3 awesome deadlift variations that are sure to increase your strength and inject some power into your golf swing!
The first exercises on the list has to be the Classic Deadlift! The standard deadlift is one of the best tools available to anyone training for sport, golf is no exception. Synonymous with power lifters and strongmen, the deadlift can sometimes be seen as a brutish exercise, it is one of the best overall strength builders however and you should drop any preconceived thoughts you have about the deadlift immediately, I mean, if Mcilroy and virtually every other tour pro think its good for their golf game, there must be something to it!
The Deadlift builds your ability to move powerfully from a dead stop, as the name implies! This makes the deadlift fairly unique as it is one f the few exercises where momentum cant be used to ‘cheat’ the weight up, so if its too heavy for you, its not going anywhere! The dead stop and heavy nature of the move means it builds strength like no other, meaning speed in your golf swing and yards out on the course.
The form for the deadlift and all other variation is fairly simple, the most important thing is to start of light and build up slowly so you get used to the movement before you try and test yourself!
- Make sure to start with feet shoulder width apart (personal preference but start there and adjust as you see fit)
- The bar should sit in line with the middle of your foot and you should grab the bar where your arms comfortably hang.
- Brace your core meaning breath in and force down and out into your stomach.
- Drop your hips slightly and then, keeping your back in a nice neutral position, push through your heels, thrust your hips forwards and extend your whole body to the finish.
- Make sure to lower the weight slowly and under control, never perform a ‘touch and go’ rep, always set the weight down and start from a dead stop.
The deadlift is a strength move so to get the most out of it I usually recommend sets of no more than 5 reps, usually for 3 – 5 sets.
The next variation is The Stiff Leg Deadlift This is one of my favourite golf exercises, it is a deadlift but without using any leg extension, this limits the amount of weight you can use but builds strength in the hamstrings, glutes and lower back, perfect for your golf swing. The form is virtually the same as a standard deadlift but the hips stay high, the knees have a small bend in them and this is maintained throughout the exercise.
The stiff leg deadlift is always great in any golf workout because it has another benefit that helps almost all golfers, it is an amazing way to stretch and mobilise the hamstrings and hips! Almost everyone spends a good portion of the day sat down and as a result can have tight hips, hip flexors and tight, weak hamstrings, this exercise will help guard against all of those!
Perform these for 3 – 4 sets of up to 8 reps as this will be a lighter exercises and going to heavy on this doesn’t bring the best results!
The final variation may seem strange to you but trust me, it builds power and lot of it! The Deficit Deadlift. This variation is a standard deadlift but with your feet elevated, this means the bottom part of the lift is much harder and again, you probably wont be able to use as much weight as the standard deadlift. This is an awesome golf exercise because it builds strength but also will help you lift more weight in the standard deadlift, meaning even more strength!
The form is the same as the standard deadlift but you are standing on a stable weight plate or platform, as you progress you can move to 2 weight plates to make the exercise even more challenging. As with the standard deadlift, I like to perform these for 3 – 5 sets of no more than 5 reps.
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The absolute raw strength and power move that is the deadlift is the latest in the Best Golf Exercises series, the previous 2 articles covered the powerful push press and the king of kettlebell moves – the kettlebell swing! (click on each of the exercises to read those posts)
I am a self confessed deadlift lover! There, I’ve said it! If I see a workout program that doesn’t have deadlifts at some point during the week (barring some home workouts) then i’m immediately put off.
The deadlift stimulates and strengthens pretty much every muscle in your entire body, not to mention the awesome direct effect it has on key golf muscles – quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back and your core! The deadlift will get you using the ground more effectively too as it is your only source of power to get that weight moving off the ground. Putting some hard work into deadlifts is an amazing way to see some huge improvements in your golf fitness, you can expect plenty of power, core and leg stability and co-ordination from this exercise.
The deadlift is a relatively simple movement to learn but learn it you must! just with anything else, bad form can case a lot of issues with imbalances, injuries and lack of progress. One great thing about deadlifts is the inability to lift a great deal more than you should, if its too heavy, it wont leave the floor!
What does good deadlift form look like? Your feet should be spaced hip-width apart with your grip just outside your legs. Your back should be flat—neutral spine—from start to finish. The bar should remain in contact with your legs for the entire range of motion. Your hips and knees should move in unison to transfer the bar from the ground to an upper-thigh, locked position. You almost want to feel as though you are pulling backwards (behind you) only slightly mind! Lower the bar in a controlled manner, all the way to the floor, you should relax the bar on the floor and begin your next rep. Never stop before the floor in mid air and trying another rep!
A couple of great variations of the deadlift are
- The dumbbell deadlift, exactly the same but with dumbbells!
- Stiff leg deadlifts, same form apart from the legs have a slight bend at the knees and this remains constant throughout the movement, less weight for this one and it focuses slightly more on the hamstrings and glutes. Can also be done with dumbbells.
I love to perform the deadlift at least once a week, twice if I am recovering well. Due to its full-body stimulating nature and the fact it is a huge, heavy lift-it can take it out of you. One of my latest articles outlined a great strength workout for golfers, it implements the deadlift brilliantly, check it out here and give it a try!
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