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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Best Golf Exercises – Push Press For More Power In Your Game!

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.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout pdf for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

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

 

 

Using The Ground In Your Golf Swing

We’ve all heard it before but ‘using the ground’ in your golf swing is pretty vague, how exactly are you meant to ‘use’ the ground?

In my opinion 2 of the best exercises to give you the feeling of ‘using the ground’ are squats and vertical squat jumps.

Any squat done with proper form is great but there is an emphasis on proper form! One of the best squat variations for golfers is the goblet squat, where a dumbbell is held in place against your chest, the upper back is kept tight and upright, your core is braced and you drop into a deep squat and push through your heels or middle of your feet (whichever feels more balanced) back to the starting position. This is a great variation because it trains all the big movers in the legs (a bit of upper back too!) and has the bonus of being easier to perform correctly, plus, If you try to go to heavy you either won’t be able to hold the weight or you can just dump it of forwards at any time.

Goblet Squat

Performing a squat like this gives you the feeling of really loading up on the decent and exploding ‘through’ the ground on the way back up. When you watch great players like Tiger, Ben hogan and Rory they all have a ‘squatting’ motion in their backswing and start of the downswing, this is the loading part. Next comes the explosive part!

Vertical squat jumps are brilliant for understanding how to create leverage from the ground. Performing at least a half squat, push forcefully through your heels or middle foot, extend your arms upwards and your body straight. The key to this exercises is being as explosive as possible to generate enough force. If ever you have seen a big hitter’s swing in slow motion you will notice a ‘springing’ or extending up from the ground as you get towards impact, that is the power stored in the loading stage being forcefully unleashed!

Give these exercises a try and get the feeling of using the ground properly, the next time you go to the range try to encorporate these feelings into your swing and watch your striking and distance improve greatly!


If you liked this then make sure to check out my other posts here for more great golf exercises, workouts and tips.

If you have any requests for topics to cover or specific exercises / workouts then leave a comment below or on social media and I will do my best to provide a post or answer to them all.

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout pdf for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!

Simple Golf Exercises To Hit The Ball Further

People who can hit a golf ball a long way are worshiped as gods by some, Its time to gain some yards, bomb some drives and rightfully take your godly status! 

Gaining distance doesn’t have to be a complicated process, consistently perform a few simple exercises which effectively target the right areas and boom, job done! No need to change your swing or find that “secret trick to gain distance” bunch of crap that you see advertised everywhere, just put in a little bit of hard work with the right movements, that’s it. In my opinion simplicity is best, you can start to get more complex with your exercise selection when your progress stalls, why jump in at the deep end and loose all those easy distance gains?!

I’m going to show you my go-to, basic exercises & stretches that helped me build a lot of my distance when I first began training. Some of these require an exercise band, a very cheap piece of equipment which is essential if you are serious about gaining distance. A dumbbell would also be handy but not essential. I usually perform these exercises in the gym but to show you how easy it is to do them at home I have done them in a cramped room!


Push up – we start of with a simple move that will build upper body strength, power and co-ordination. 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps.

push up.PNG

Pause squat – this is a mixture of a strength/power builder and a mobility exercise and can be performed with a dumbbell held in front of your chest for extra resistance. Holding the position at the bottom will get a deep stretch throughout the hips and lower back, sore spots for most golfers. Simply squat down so your hip crease is at least level with your knees and hold this position for 5 slow breaths, push through your heels to stand back up and repeat. 3 sets of 10 reps.

pause squat.PNG

Upward band wood-chop – standing on one end of a cable and holding the other in both hands in front of your chest, slowly rotate your whole core as you lift your arms above shoulder height, keeping your core braced at all times. Return to the start position and repeat. make sure to perform on both sides for even development. 3 sets of 15 reps each side.

upward wood chop.PNG

Downward band wood-chop – Same as above but starting with band attached above shoulder height, here I attached it to some hooks on the door. Again 3 sets of 15 reps each side. (both of these wood-chop exercises can be performed with a dumbbell instead of a band in the same way)

downward-wood-chop

Band resisted swing – with the band still attached high, set up in your golf posture while holding the band making sure it is moderately stretched. perform a backswing and let the band become loose, now swing down with your hips and shoulders as you would in your real golf swing keep going until your arms reach just past impact and hold this position, you should feel  stretch and contraction through your hips and core. 3 sets of 12 holds, perform on both sides again to promote even development.

band-swing-resist


These are my go-to exercises for increased distance, as you become move advanced in your training experience you can add more complex movements. Perform them one after the other in a single workout 2 -3 times per week with at least one day off between.


If you liked this then make sure to check out my other posts here for more great golf exercises, workouts and tips.

If you have any requests for topics to cover or specific exercises / workouts then leave a comment below or on social media and I will do my best to provide a post or answer to them all.

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout pdf for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!

 

Golf Fitness – Mental Benefits Of Training For Golf

With the Ryder Cup under way today, it got me thinking about all the performance elements that these great players possess. It obviously takes a lot of skill but also physical ability, mental focus / strength and confidence, all three of these are ‘bonus’ benefits from training!

The most obvious is the physical benefit, strong, explosive muscles in the right places will help you with many aspects of the game, distance, stability and control just to name a few. Along with all these benefits comes confidence, hitting towering drives past your playing partners / opponents gives you an edge over them, in match play I have seen first hand the effects of this kind of ‘intimidation’ my opponent starts to swing harder in an attempt to keep up and looses any rhythm! Also, having the stability and control when external factors are against you really helps your confidence grow, if the wind is howling yet you have built a solid, stable base and strength required to hit stinging punch shots, you feel like you can take on the world!

Other boosts to mentality and confidence come actually in the gym or at home, wherever you prefer to work out. It takes mental strength and resilience to keep pushing for progress in training sessions, something you build up as you initially start training. Getting that final rep on something like squats is a real mental battle, your body is telling you to stop but you know that for the best gains you have to dig deep and push harder! This has served me well on the golf course, many times things have seemed to be going against me, you may have had a stretch of bad holes or be down in a match, whatever it is it helps when you know you can dig deep for that extra something.

There is nothing that boosts confidence like feeling strong and powerful, if you are standing over the ball and you feel strong and like you have complete control over your swing, you can be unstoppable! I believe this is why Rory McIlroy loves to train for golf so much and we all know how good he can be! Another confidence booster is realising what you are actually capable of, when you are stuck at the bottom of a squat or a deadlift just wont budge, and you manage to tap into that something extra inside of you, you start to really believe in yourself. Believing in yourself is priceless in golf.

Forgive me if I sounded biased or overly passionate! I really do believe that specific golf training helps you in many aspects of your game, not just the physical. If you like the sound of all this but are new to working out then Check out my other posts here on great golf exercises, workouts and tips. In my last post I outlined a great home workout that strengthens your whole body and only requires a pair of dumbbells! I also offer a FREE bodyweight plyometric (don’t worry, its not too complex) workout when you subscribe to my newsletter which brings great golf exercises, workouts and tips straight to your inbox! Details are just below.

If you have any requests for topics to cover or specific exercises / workouts then leave a comment below or on social media and I will do my best to provide a post or answer to them all.

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout pdf for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!

 

Golf Performance Elements & How To Develop Them

HomehereHomeEveryone wants more distance in their game, its in the nature of it, longer hitters get better opportunities. Look back over the years and more often than not the best golfers in any given generation were also the longest, obviously there are exceptions but generally its true. In the modern game there are long hitters left, right & centre, they train like athletes because they realise what an impact it can have on their game and ultimately their scores.

Training for golf can be as simple or complex as you want to make it, there are multiple performance elements to improve but if you are new to training then basic, broad range workouts are just fine to get the ball rolling (good pun eh? ha!) In this article however, I’m going to give you an overview of the different performance elements and how to train to improve them.

First up we have muscle hypertrophy or muscle building. Now you may be thinking golfers aren’t supposed to get too bulky, in my opinion this is a myth and to actually get too big to swing a golf club effectively would be a mean feat! A bit of extra muscle will really help with all the other performance elements. To concentrate on muscle hypertrophy focus mainly on compound exercises (exercises using more than 1 joint and therefore multiple muscles) and work in the 6 – 15 rep range (nice and broad as most rep ranges will have some effect anyway)

Next up we have strength. Strength in the golf swing allows you to be better in control of the club and ultimately the ball, it also is important for speed which will be covered later on. Building some muscle will usually result in some strength gain anyway however we can really build some strength by training exclusively for it. Again, compound lifts are the best, that’s squats, deadlifts, over head exercises, bench press, rows etc. Rep ranges of 6 or below for 3 – 8 sets will do the trick here, make sure not to fail too many reps as we want to create some quality neural signals to each of the required muscles.

Speed! Everyone’s favourite, I like to build speed by performing explosive movements. Plyometrics are great, exercises with medicine balls, explosive reps etc. Basically anything that is really explosive and at a weight that takes a good amount of effort to move. I have a few good workouts specially for this, here is a medicine ball speed workout from a recent post & if you subscribe to my newsletter here you get a free Plyometric bodyweight workout PDF. Speed training should be kept to low reps and high sets e.g. 6 sets of 3 reps is a good structure that I have used many times. You want to be moving at maximal speeds and too many reps equals fatigue and less than maximal speed. Strength + Speed is the elusive equation of power, make sure not to neglect one or the other when looking to increase your power output and distance!

Mobility and flexibility, I will have new articles up covering this topic so stay tuned for those! Mobility  and flexibility are what allow you to move your body effectively and not develop injuries, it is a major part of golf training that is often overlooked.

Endurance. Building some level of overall fitness will do wonders for your game, not only will you have more energy and more mental focus but you will find it much easier to make the same swing on the 18th tee as you did on the 1st making for a huge advantage when it comes to closing out rounds. Cardio is the way forward here, many different ways to go about it and I will be posting an in-depth article covering the best approaches soon.

There you have the main performance elements for golf, I will be writing guides for each detailing the best exercises, workouts, rep and set schemes and progression methods. If you don’t want to miss out then subscribe to my newsletter here for great content straight to your inbox!

If you liked this then make sure to check out my other posts here for more great golf exercises, workouts and tips.

If you have any requests for topics to cover or specific exercises / workouts then leave a comment below or on social media and I will do my best to provide a post or answer to them all.

Make sure to like my page on facebook and follow on twitter and instagram, all linked at the bottom of the page and to the side.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Also when you subscribe, I kick things off with a completely FREE Plyometric Power Home Workout pdf for you to make some swing speed gains with straight away! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!