I received an email this morning from a visitor to my site asking what are the best workout / exercises to perform over the winter (fast approaching here in the uk) to help improve his game.
Now, I don’t believe the exercise selection should be any different whether you’re in the off season or the middle of summer, the other training variables take care of that.
This did however give me an idea for a new series of articles, The Best Golf Exercises series will dive into the details of the most effective exercises to improve your game including the benefits to your game, most effective rep ranges, variations on the exercise, home workout equivalents and more!
The series will cover the exercises that actually matter and will make a noticeable difference to your performance, no nonsense! I definitely won’t bog you down with bogus movements that involve stuff like one legged jumping on a gym ball whilst juggling knives….. you know the ones I mean!
Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter here so you don’t miss a single one!
The first exercise on the list is the mighty Push Press!
The push press is an amazing exercise for your whole body, it builds strength, explosive power, stability and shoulder mobility all in one simple movement!
Because it is a movement which utilises the full pressing motion of the shoulder joint it will train all three heads of the deltoid (shoulder muscles) and the smaller stabilising muscles around the joint, which help to keep it healthy and less likely to be injured. Another benefit of it being an overhead movement is that your centre of gravity will be rising higher as you press the weight and therefore your entire body will be bracing to keep you stable, this ensures a full body stimulation of key muscles in the golf swing, the ones which will help you control your body, so hopefully less time in the tress looking for balls!
Now my favourite reason for this exercise! The movement is all about explosive power, if you don’t generate the necessary speed and body momentum, the weight isn’t moving! Studies on field athletes have showed the push press to build more speed and power than a back squat! (not that back squats aren’t amazing, you should be doing them right now…. go on…right now!) The nature of the exercise – pressing a heavy weight over head – is guaranteed to increase your strength and muscle hypertrophy, all this adds up to some serious club head speed and we all know what that means! Oh yes, hitting it LONG!
The exercise is a simple one, it doesn’t take long to learn the proper movement but make sure you do take that time, its not worth an injury just because you jumped in at the deep end! Start out light, learn the proper form, add weight and make gains! Simple!
I am demonstrating it here with a barbell and dumbbells but it can be done with 2 kettle bells if that’s what you prefer.
Standing upright, hold a barbell or dumbbells shoulder width apart and level with your collar bone.
Bend your knees and push your hips back slightly so that you maintain perfect balance but are now in a quarter / half squat position depending on your build and flexibility.
Push explosively ‘through the ground’ and as you extend your body, push the barbell or dumbbells up in a straight line (your head must move back with a barbell to allow this straight path) you should explode in a jumping motion and so that you almost leave the ground for a moment at full extension.
Make sure to stabilise the weight for a second or 2 then slowly lower the weight back down to the start position, cushioning it with a slight bend of the knees, now repeat!
*One thing to note is elbow position, try to keep them ‘tucked’ under the bar in the start position, so if I was looking at you side on your elbows would be ever so slightly in front of the bar, this may make you feel as though you are pushing slightly backwards, you wont be, this is just a safer position for the shoulders to press from. make sure to return to this ‘tucked’ position on the decent of every rep.
The Push Press is best when done at medium to low reps, meaning it is heavy enough to achieve the power, strength and speed we want from the exercise. I personally like to train around the 4 – 6 rep range for as many as 5 sets. the weight should be heavy enough to be a challenge but also so you can complete all the reps explosively, if you are grinding a rep out you aren’t building speed and you’ve gone too heavy.
Because it can be done with dumbbells as well as a barbell, it is ideal for someone who likes to train at home, there are no real differences between the barbell and dumbbell variations except usually you can’t lift as heavy with the dumbbells because it is harder to stabilise one arm on its own, which could be another benefit if you have a particular imbalance between arms.
In my opinion every golfer who is serious about improving their performance on the course should have the Push Press firmly in their workout routine, its a crime against your scores (and clubhead speed) not too!
If you liked this then make sure to check out my other posts here for more great golf exercises, workouts and tips.
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