The Fitness Strategy Of PGA Champ Justin Thomas

I’m writing this the day after Justin Thomas has just won the PGA Championship, The whole golfing world views his distance from the tee as an anomaly, he stands only 5’10” and weighs just 66kg or 145lbs!

He manages to AVERAGE 310 yards from the tee! That is incredible!

I wanted to discuss Justin and his powerful golf swing today because I think you can learn a lot from his approach to fitness.

We hear all too often that modern golfers are ‘overdoing it’ in the gym and putting on too much muscle (a pretty tough feat if you’ve been trying for any length of time!)

Justin’s approach is to forget most of the ‘power’ and ‘muscle building’ exercises, his main aim in the gym is to increase flexibility / mobility and make sure his body is moving properly and efficiently, not what you were expecting right?!

Golf has become such a power sport that many people neglect the fact that mobility is ultimately going to determine how efficient your swing is, Justin has managed to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of his body and the numbers don’t lie!

His main reasons behind this strategy are a couple of back injuries he sustained early on in his career, he learned the hard way that his body needed a helping hand coping with the stresses of his golf swing.

He learned with the help of his trainer Tyler Parsons, that his back pain was caused by tight hips (what have I been telling you?!) and as soon as he worked on hip flexibility and mobility the back pain disappeared and he gained yards on the golf course, without lifting a single weight.

Now I’m not telling you that training to gain muscle and strength is bad for golf but im using his case as an example that its not the only piece of the puzzle. Golf is a complex sport and it requires a lot of different skills (big glutes help on the tee box but on the green, the hole doesn’t care if work out or not)

Don’t neglect your mobility work, I will upload a mobility routine soon so keep an eye out for that or better yet subscribe to the mailing list and never miss an article!

Please leave a comment below on your thoughts and any topics you want me to cover.

Thanks for reading!

 

5 Exercises For A Better Backswing

The role of the right arm in the golf swing is massively underrated by some, it can provide control and serious power when moved effectively but equally it can lead to wild shots and sap power if its in bad positions.

Right arm in the backswing
This article will show you 5 exercises you can do to give you the proper feeling and strength / flexibility to get that right arm working properly in your golf swing and hopefully lead to some better shots!

Check out the accompanying video on my YouTube channel – 5 Exercises for better arm action in the golf swing – while you are there make sure to subscribe!

Exercise 1

Barbell Over Head Press / Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Golf exercise shoulder press

Golf exercise shoulder press

Moving your right arm properly starts at the shoulder and building up enough strength in the joint to be able to handle the proper movement is essential. The Barbell / Dumbbell press is amazing for overall shoulder development as it incorporates all three parts of the deltoid, the rotator cuff and all the small muscles around the shoulder blade.

For the technique check out this article – GOLF FITNESS – SHOULDER POWER & STABILITY WORKOUT

Exercise 2

Shoulder Rotations

Golf exercise shoulder Rotations

Golf exercise shoulder rotation
The importance of the small muscles often gets overlooked. This exercise will actively target the muscles responsible for the rotation of your shoulder and arm and will help you achieve a better position in the golf swing.

Start with a LIGHT dumbbell or weight plate, hold it at shoulder height with your arm bent at a 90 degree angle so your shoulder, elbow and the weight are all on the same level. SLOWLY rotate your shoulder upwards making sure to keep your shoulder and elbow aligned.

This exercise can really help to injury-proof your shoulders when done correctly and i highly recommend starting with a light weight!

Exercise 3

Face Pulls

Golf exercise face pull

Golf exercise face pull
If you have read any of my articles before, chances are that you know that i love facepulls! they are great for posture, shoulder strength, flexibility and muscle balance!

I wont go into too much detail as i cover it in-depth in this article – Best Golf Exercise Ever? Your Shoulders Will Think So! – Go check it out, do them and thank me later!

Exercise 4

Resistance Band Backswings

Golf stretch and exercise resistance band backswing

Resistance Band Backswings will really help you to get the right feeling of the proper movement in the backswing, loop a band around your trail arm (right for me as im a right handed golfer) and loop the other end of the resistance band under your lead foot (left for me) now make some backswings and notice how the band keeps your elbow pointing downwards and infront of your body, this is a great position in the golf swing!

Hold the top position (as far as you can comfortably go, usually around a 3 quarter backswing) for a few seconds and then relax before holding again. this will ensure you get the correct feeling, stretch the muscles and strengthen the ones which hold the arm in place!

Exercise 5

Wall Assisted Static Sholder Stretch

Golf stretch wall assisted static shoulder stretch

This is a really simple stretch which im sure you have come across before, sometimes simple is the key! This stretch will mobilise the shoulder joint and allow that prefered backswing position. Just dont over-do it, the shoulder is a complex joint!

Give these exercises a try and hopeflly you will be using that trail arm properly in your golf swing!

Please leave a comment below letting me know if you have any topics you would like me to cover in an article or video!

If you don’t have a resistance band, why not? They are really cheap and super versatile, get one from here – Resistance Bands

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Exercises That Golfers Should Avoid!

Normally I would be talking you through a great exercise or workout that will help your game, today I thought I would do the opposite! There are some exercises that seem harmless enough but train muscles and movement patterns that could really harm your golf swing and bring about bad habits.

1. Training too much chest!

The first thing to avoid is more of a caution against training a muscle group too much, the chest and anterior deltoid (front of the shoulders) to be precise. Now don’t get me wrong, training the chest and shoulders is definitely recommended however when training specifically for golf you need to make sure you train the opposing muscles, the upper back and rear deltoids, at a ratio of 2 : 1. This may seem high but you have to remember that the muscles of the chest and anterior delts are big and strong and if the smaller muscles of the rear delts and upper back are not trained significantly more then your shoulders will be pulled forwards and your upper back will round, not great for golf posture or getting an effective turn in the backswing!

method golf fitness resistnce band face pullmethod golf fitness exercise one arm dumbbell row

2. Crunches!

The next exercise to avoid is one that I have been guilty of doing until recently, the crunch! This may sound like a great exercise for golf, a strong core can’t be bad right? Well, crunching is no good for golf, it trains you to use your core in a ‘bending’ movement, nothing like the rotation we really want in the golf swing. The proper way to train the core would be with planks and rotational core exercises like wood-chops and band rotations, teaching you how to use your core as a stable rotating unit.

method golf fitness exercise plankmethod golf finess exercises cable wood chop

 

3. Upright row!

The third exercise is the Upright Row. This is one of the worst exercises for Golf and  sports specific training in general, the reason being the way the shoulders move in the exercise is horrible for your shoulder health! The shoulder joint and muscles extend so far that they can trap and tear tendons and small muscles between them causing shoulder impingement and basically ruining your chances of a decent swing! The best way to train your shoulders is in the way they are designed to move, Barbell press, Dumbbell press, Face pulls and side raises performed properly (bend slightly from the waist and lift the weight with thumbs facing the sky) are all you will need!

method golf fitness exercise barbell shoulder press

4. Leg extensions!

The fourth and final exercise to avoid is machine leg extensions, they are just no good! They train a completely un-natural way of using the quadriceps, they normally function with the hamstrings and hip joint as a whole unit but the leg extension forces it to contract all on its own forming imbalances, if the quads overpower the hips and hamstrings then your butt is going to shoot towards the ball in the downswing and early extension is going to be your new worst enemy! To avoid this make sure to train your quads in movements like squats, lunges and deadlifts so that the whole lower body works together and ensures the hamstrings don’t lag behind.

method golf fitness exercise deadliftmethod golf fitness exercise goblet squat

If you have any exercises you avoid then please comment below! Make sure to subscribe to the mailing list so you don’t miss out on any article plus stay up to date with exclusive tips, news and offers!

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The Real Reason Lifting Weights Helps Your Golf Swing.

When you think of someone lifting weights you probably picture a huge, musclebound monster performing bicep curls with an ungodly amount of weight. In reality sportspeople have been reaping the benefits of lifting weights more and more in recent times, Tennis stars are able to squat almost 3 times their bodyweight and Golfers can perform pull-ups with added weight for reps. When you take a look at any top sportsperson there will be a rigorous strength & fitness routine as one of their top priorities.

This may come as a surprise as most of these sport stars aren’t hugely developed muscularly, they are seriously strong but usually not seriously muscular, this is because they are taking advantage of the main benefit of sports specific training, improved neural efficiency. In a nutshell neural efficiency is the rate at which your brain communicates with your muscles and the amount of muscle fibres the brain communicates with, meaning if you train and get stronger your brain is telling more muscle fibres to contract and faster!

This is what we want to achieve as golfers, being flexible and strong is key. Don’t get me wrong, building muscle is fine and actually needed after your strength gains come to an plateau, as long as you maintain the flexibility required.

golf exrcise dadlift

So how do we train to stimulate improved strength? With relatively low reps of heavy, multi joint movements like the Squat, Deadlift & Overhead Press. Many athletes train in a way which minimises the amount of fatigue built up over time so they can practice their skills and perform on ‘game day’ with no negative effects from their training. They do this by performing multiple sets (3 – 5) of 2 – 3 reps of an exercise like deadlifts with a weight that is heavy but they feel could be done for at least 4 – 5 reps, this ensures they never reach failure on the exercise, the worst thing for strength gains, and always have room for continued gains as they slowly increase the weight over time.

Bear this in mind next time you head to the gym and jump on the pec deck for 3 sets of 12, is that really going to help your golf game or improve your overall strength? I think you know the answer! If you need a helping hand with your training don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, either by commenting below or sending me an email from the contact page of this website. I am also very proud to announce that I will be releasing a beginner golf workout program very soon which will help you in your journey to a better game so make sure to subscribe to the mailing list to stay up to date on the release, you also get all the new articles sent to your inbox and news and offers exclusive to subscribers!

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Is Your Golf Game Lacking In Distance?

Distance can be a sore subject for some golfers, when you are always the shortest hitter in your fourball its no fun at all!

Many golfers hear that ‘technology’ is making it too easy nowadays, just watch the golf on tv, the players are dominating golf courses and making some unplayable due to them being judged as too short!! In my honest opinion, technology is helping but less than you might think. The guys on tour are fitter, stronger, more athletic and flexible than their counterparts of years gone by, this is the main difference between weekend warriors and the pros.

If you feel like you are lagging behind in the yardage department then fitness is definitely the best way to improve in my opinion! Golf is way more fun when you hit it long!

Check out some of these great golf distance, exercise and workout articles and get ripping those drives down the fairway!

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Golf Fitness – Medicine Ball Full Body Workout!


One workout, one piece of kit, train your whole body and develop a powerful golf swing!

The medicine ball is a great bit of kit, it is so versatile! Below is a great full body workout compiled of my favourite medicine ball exercises for golf, if you don’t have a medicine ball I highly recommend that you get one, you can find one of my favourites and least expensive in this amazon link – Gold Coast Professional 3KG-10KG Double Handle Grip Medicine Ball – For Weights Training Exercise Fitness MMA Boxing | Free 2 Year Warranty

So here is the workout!

1. Explosive Power – Medicine Ball Slam!

These are as fun as they sound and look!

  • Stand with feet just outside shoulder width holding the medicine ball in both hands.
  • Extend your body upwards as you reach as high as possible with the med ball.
  • Slam the med ball as hard as you can into the ground!
  • Aim to slam the med ball so it bounces straight back up and you can catch it on the bounce.

3-4 sets of 8 reps

2. Full Body Strength – Squat to Press

  1. Stand in your normal squat stance with the med ball in both hands, resting on your chest (like a goblet squat)
  2. Squat down maintaining a neutral spine and keeping your chest up.
  3. As you push back up and almost reach the start position, begin pressing the med ball overhead finishing fully extended.
  4. Return to the start position.

3 sets of 15 reps

3. Upper Body Strength – Rolling Press-up

  • Start in press-up position but with one hand on the med ball.
  • Perform a press-up in this position and then roll the med ball towards the other hand.
  • Receive the med ball with the other hand and perform another press-up

3 sets of 8-12 reps depending on current strength levels (reps are per press-up not per side unless your strength permits)

4. Shoulder & Full Body Bracing – Front Raise

  • Stand with feet shoulder width and med ball in both hands, arms straight.
  • Brace your whole body as you raise the med ball, still with extended arms
  • Stop when you reach shoulder height or a couple of inches past
  • Slowly return to the start position.

3 sets of 12 reps

5. Core Rotational Strength – Low to High Wood Chop

This is basically an upper body rotation with the med ball and chest aligned at all times, going from low to high.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width, med ball in both hands, arms extended.
  •  Squat slightly and rotate to the right and face your chest slightly downwards, keep the med ball in front of your chest.
  • Keeping your arms extended and the med ball in front of your chest, rotate and extend your legs as you bring the med ball round and up.
  • End with the med ball above shoulder level still in front of your chest and rotated fully to the left

3 sets of 12 reps per side

6. Abdominal Strength – Med Ball Crunch

  • Lay on your back with med ball in both hands, arms fully extended above your shoulders and legs in the air, bent to form 90 degree angle.
  • Maintain extended arms as you crunch up, hold for a moment and return to start

3 sets of 15 reps

This workout is guaranteed to get your heart pounding and strengthen your whole body with one piece of kit! Perform 3 times per week with at least one rest day between workouts for best results.

Watch the video version of this post on YouTube here and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!

Give it a try and then leave a comment below to let me know how you got on!

If you liked this then make sure to Subscribe to the Method Golf Fitness mailing list so you never miss an article plus get 3 FREE Golf Workouts as a thank you and subscriber exclusive content!

Like Method Golf Fitness on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram for workout videos, posts and motivation – all linked at the bottom or to the side of this page.

If you have any requests for topics or questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact me on social media, I am always happy to help!

 

 

 

 

 

GOLF FITNESS – SHOULDER POWER & STABILITY WORKOUT

Golf asks a lot of your shoulders, as the anchor points of the arms and ultimately the golf club, they take almost all of the responsibility of keeping the club moving in time with your body. Training your shoulders for power and stability is a great way of improving their movement in the golf swing, increasing distance and avoiding injury along the way!

This article will give you 3 great exercises to achieve this, they can be performed together for an effective all-round shoulder workout.

Exercise 1 – The Power Move – Barbell Press – 6-8 reps x 3 sets

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The Barbell Press hits all three heads of the deltoid (shoulder muscles) and is great for training power and force production. This exercise requires strict form and should be done light to start off. Make sure to press the bar in a straight line, this is done by moving the head, not by excessively leaning back! As you finish the movement allow your shoulders to shrug slightly and always keep your elbows directly under the bar.

Exercises 2 – The Isolation Move – Resistance Band Side Raise 10-12 reps x 3 sets (each side)

Side raises isolate the side deltoid more than the front or rear. I prefer the resistance band to dumbbells on these because you can keep tension on the muscle and they work more of the small stabilising muscles too. Make sure to bend slightly from the hips as this protects the joint, helps to activate the side deltoid the most and replicates the movement of the shoulder in the golf swing as it brings the arms and club in front of the body. Keep a slight bend in the elbow and try to keep the thumb side of your hand slightly higher than the other throughout the movement as this keeps the shoulder in a safer position.

Exercise 3 – The Stability Move – Resistance Band Face Pull 15 reps x 3 sets

img_1847img_1848

The face pull is one of the best exercises for your shoulder health, it trains all 3 heads of the deltoid with a large emphasis on the much neglected rear deltoid. It moves the joint through retracting and rotating movements and therefore strengthens the small stabilising muscles very effectively, rotator cuff muscles included. This will help injury proof your shoulders and allow you to use them to their full strength potential.

I would highly recommend getting a resistance band, not just for these shoulder exercises but for a whole host of muscle groups and movements, it will be one of your best investments towards the improvement of your golf fitness! They are inexpensive too which makes them ideal, you can get one from Amazon here – Exercise Bands

Check out the YouTube Video to accompany this article – Shoulder Workout For Golf and subscribe to our channel for more great golf fitness videos!

Please leave a comment below to let me know how you found this article and if you tried the workout, how did you get on?

If you liked this then make sure to Subscribe to the Method Golf Fitness mailing list so you never miss an article plus get 3 FREE Golf Workouts as a thank you and subscriber exclusive content!

Like Method Golf Fitness on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram for workout videos, posts and motivation – all linked at the bottom or to the side of this page.

If you have any requests for topics or questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact me on social media, I am always happy to help!

My Journey To 300 Yards+ (Part 1)

This is Part 1 of My Journey To 300 Yards, it is a brief introduction to the series.

When I started golf distance was not something I was blessed with, I struggled with a huge slice and generally struck the ball far from solidly. Within 2 summers of solid practice and play I had a handicap of around 11. I still had some problems, I was not long of the tee or with my irons and I found it hard to strike the ball powerfully. In the modern game the best players are usually a combination of the longest and best strikers of the ball. This is when my golf fitness journey began and I was officially on the road to driving it 300 yards (and more as it turns out!) and straight down the middle!

In Part 1 of this series I will give a brief introduction to the things that helped me the most when starting my golf fitness journey and what mistakes I made along the way.

I began with research into golf exercises and workouts that had actually helped people achieve what I wanted to do, I found this very difficult as there was so much nonsense to filter through, I quickly learned through trial and error that a lot of ‘specialised golf exercises’ were in fact useless! These included things that were labelled as ‘functional’ exercises and usually involved being seconds from injury!

I found most of my valuable information when looking at the way athletes trained for other sports. putting an emphasis on big compound movements to build overall body strength, specialised speed and power moves and training the core to be strong and rotationally capable.

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Take tennis training for example, a huge emphasis is placed on strength in the big, basic barbell lifts, the squat, deadlift and overhead press. There is also a lot of value placed in bodyweight movements like pull-ups, chin-ups, press-ups and squat jumps/box jumps.

This is how I changed the approach to my golf fitness training, I focused on building overall body strength and explosiveness and strengthening my core in rotational movements.

In the next 2 parts of the series I will cover the process I went through to increase my strength, power and core stability including the exercises and workouts that I used.

If you liked this then make sure to Subscribe to the MGF email newsletter to never miss an article plus get 2 FREE Golf Workouts and exclusive content!

Like Method Golf Fitness on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram for workout videos, posts and motivation – all linked at the bottom of this page.

If you have any requests for topics to cover or specific exercises / workouts then leave a comment below or on social media.

 

 

Golf Workout – Train Like Rory

Rory Mcilroy is part of the new breed of golfers, he’s one of the fittest on tour and in this article were going to run through a workout comprising of exercises that Rory uses to improve his performance on the course.

The workout

1. Warm-up –

Spend 5 mins on a bike / treadmill / rowing machine at a light pace to get the blood flowing, follow that with some shoulder windmills (spin your arms like a windmill) and some light stretching of the lower body. The goal here is to get ready to workout, not to challenge yourself.


2. The power move – Deadlift

The aim is to work up to a heavy set of 5 reps but not so heavy you aren’t able to be explosive, as a rule aim to have at least 2 more reps in the tank at the end of a set on these to ensure you are building power.

TIP – Make sure to keep the bar as close to your body as possible throughout the whole movement, the further the bar is away from you the heavier it will feel and you will easily be thrown off balance.


3. The Explosive Move – Box Jumps

The reps will be low on these because of the explosive nature of the movement, explosiveness takes maximum exertion on every rep so fatigue is useless. Pick the highest box you can manage and perform 4 – 6 sets of 3 reps depending on the amount of fatigue you are building. if you feel great go for all 6 sets.

TIP – Really focus on tucking your knees and using your arms, in order to launch yourself as high as possible use your arms to help and tuck your legs in to your chest as you leave the ground, this serves as a mental aid to increase ‘spring’ and also helps you use higher boxes easier.


4. The Strength / Stability Move – Exercise Ball Dumbbell Pullover

The aim of this is to build some muscular strength and stability, especially in the shoulder joint. Go for 3 solid sets of 12 reps on this movement and try to really feel the stretch in the extended position of the movement.

TIP – Don’t go too heavy on this one as you want to feel that ‘stretch’ and make sure you can comfortably complete the 3 sets of 12 before upping the weight.


5. The Muscular endurance Move – Push-up to Hand Walk to Renegade Row (what a mouthful!)

This exercise sounds complex but its really not – start with 2 moderately weighted dumbbells on the floor about 6 foot apart from each other, you drop down between them and perform a push-up then ‘walk’ over to one of the dumbbells on your hands and toes and perform a renegade row (Row the dumbbell with one arm whilst holding the push-up position) then put the dumbbell down and hand walk over to the other dumbbell and row the other side – that’s one rep! Start with 3 sets of 10 reps (that means a row on both sides makes one rep!) and when you can perform 3 sets of 15 you need more weigh for those rows.

TIP – You can make it even more challenging by having the dumbbells further apart, performing 2 push-ups at the start, performing a push-up between each row or a mixture of all of these.


6. The Core Strength & Stability Move – Resistance Band Wood Chop’s

The Band wood chop is amazing for golf, its almost like it was invented solely to strengthen the rotation in your swing. Perform both low to high and high to low wood chops on both sides to ensure even development and to guard against imbalances. Try to keep your arms straight and in front of your chest throughout the whole move.

TIP – Try to move in a fairly slow and controlled motion to engage the core completely and get the most out of these. Red bands are the best for these, if the resistance gets too low try adding another red band, the step up to the next resistance is usually too large to make in one go.


There you have the workout, Rory Mcilroy  would approve! This works the whole body and every performance element you need to develop to hopefully get more distance, balance and control!

Give it a go and let me know how you found it in the comments below or on social media (linked to the side or below this article)


If you liked this then make sure to Subscribe to the MGF email newsletter to never miss an article plus get 2 FREE Golf Workouts and exclusive content!

Like Method Golf Fitness on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram for workout videos, posts and motivation – all linked at the bottom of this page.

If you have any requests for topics to cover or specific exercises / workouts then leave a comment below or on social media.


Below are links to the equipment I use for this workout, I have hand selected each item and highly recommend investing in the resistance bands, Dumbbells and an exercise ball if you don’t train in a gym as you can get a great workout at home with just these.

Resistance bands – Resistance Bands – Pull Up Bands – Exercise Bands for CrossFit – Powerlifting – Assisted Pull Ups – Mobility Bands (One Per Set) for Men and Women – Lifetime Guarantee

Dumbbells – TNP Accessories Dumbbell Weights Set 30KG

Exercise Ball – Exercise Ball – 65 cm Yoga Swiss Ball with Hand Pump – Gym Quality Fitness Ball for Women and Men – Lifetime Guarantee

Box for Box Jumps – OrangeA Plyometric Boxes 12 Inch 18 Inch 24 Inch Plyometric Platform Jump Box Exercise Plyometric Jump Boxes for Jump Training

Barbell & Weight plates – Bodymax 145kg Olympic Cast Tri-Grip Barbell Kit with 7ft Bar

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