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 Exercise Ever? Your Shoulders Will Think So!

Imagine trying to play golf with dislocated shoulders…..just going to leave that there for a second or 2! Obviously that is a massive exaggeration, that would never happen, you would be straight to A&E but it helps highlight a point often overlooked by golfers, the health of your shoulders.

Your shoulder joint is a complex web of muscles, tendons and bones, all working together to be the most mobile joint in your body. This mobility is what allows us to do much of what we do with our arms an upper body (including playing golf) but it can also be a weakness, the muscles, tendons and bones are very easily injured if the structure of the shoulder isn’t sound.

Your shoulder is highly susceptible to muscular imbalances usually caused by too much sitting, hunching, training the anterior (front) of the body more than the posterior (back) or neglecting the to train the upper back and rear of the shoulders altogether! When you are out and about and look at the people around you, how many of them have good posture? How many stand tall with their shoulders back? I’m willing to bet not that many, the usual posture you see is a rounded upper back and shoulders rolled forwards and in towards the chest.

Now when we play golf, the shoulders play a pretty big role in the swing and you can see from some of the best players in the world that golf posture counts for a lot! If you have imbalances in your shoulder and bad posture in every day life, you don’t stand much chance of a decent golf posture and a good golf posture allows you to make a full turn and for the body and arms to work together in the golf swing.

The single best exercise for training the muscles in the upper back and rear of the shoulders that help you to get that perfect posture is the Face Pull, it can be done with a cable or a resistance band which is my preference as you can activate more muscles.

method golf fitness exercise face pull

Method Golf Fitness Exercise Face Pull

  • Make sure to attach the band securely, you don’t want one of those to the face!
  • Keep your back straight and hold the band at arms length, the band being tight.
  • Relax the shoulders before you start the movement.
  • Slowly pull the band towards your forehead and pull your hands apart at the same time.
  • Finish the pull when you reach the ‘double bicep pose’ and hold for a second.
  • Slowly return to the start and repeat, simple!

That’s how easy it is to have strong, healthy shoulders! Watch the video on the Method Golf Fitness YouTube Channel where I talk you through the movement and things from this article, make sure you subscribe while you are there!

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

Let me know what you think is the best golf exercise ever by commenting below!

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Give the Facebook page a like, follow on Twitter and Instagram and share this post with your playing partners! (Social links to the side and below)

Have a look at Method Fitness Apparel! Our online store sells quality fitness clothing and accessories – Check it out here – Method Fitness Apparel Store Use the code METHOD10 to get 10% off your first order and show your support for method fitness to the world….or just the guys in your gym!

method fitness apparel clothing

 

Simple Shoulder Mobility Exercise For Long Drives!


Shoulder mobility plays a huge part in the golf swing, I have already discussed the importance of healthy shoulders and how shoulder mobility can help your swing path – Shoulder Mobility For A Better Swing Path and the benefits of strong shoulders – Golf Workout Series – 4 Exercises For Strong & Healthy Shoulders and Best Golf Exercises – Push Press For More Power In Your Game!

In this article I will show you a really simple exercise you can do at home that doesn’t require any equipment that will open up the shoulder joint, getting it nice and mobile and at the same time strengthening the rotator cuff, both of which contribute to injury prevention.

Strengthening and mobilising the shoulder will give you the ability to really fire the shoulders and arms in the golf swing by fixing a common swing fault that leaks power. A lot of golfers find they cant get the right elbow into the proper position on the downswing, in front of the right hip (for right handed golfers) like a boxer about to deliver a powerful uppercut, instead they allow the elbow to fall behind the hip because of tightnes and general weakness of the shoulder resulting in less than accurate results that lack in distance. With strong, mobile shoulders this position is much easier to get into resulting in better accuracy and much more power.

The exercise is a really simple one but equally it is very challenging when you give it a go.

  • Stand up straight with your back against (touching) the wall.
  • Retract your shoulder blades and bring your arms straight up above your head and place them flat on the wall.
  • Your elbow and wrist should both be in contact with the wall
  • Slowly bring your arms down towards your sides keeping your elbows and wrists touching the wall.
  • Stop when you cant go any further whilst keeping contact with the wall, slowly return to the start position with arms above you head.

shoulder-mobility1

shoulder-mobility-2

Your aim every time you perform this movement is to every so slightly increase the range of motion you can achieve all the while keeping your elbow and wrist in contact with the wall.

If you notice one arm is noticeably less mobile than the other then I would suggest you focus a few minutes on a single arm version of this (exactly the same but with only one arm) on the less mobile side before you perform with both arms.

You may feel this isn’t for you if you already have mobile shoulder joints however I believe that it will maintain your good shoulder health, strengthen the rotator cuff and keep you injury free and on the course! This exercise is a must for any golfer.

Give it a go, I like to do this every day as my shoulders tend to get fairly tight. You can even throw this into your pre-round warm-up, I do these at home before I leave for the course but you could just find a wall in the clubhouse or locker room, a great way to get your playing partners talking!

Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know how you found this and if it has helped you increase your shoulder mobility.

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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!

 

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.

 

 

Shoulder Mobility For A Better Swing Path

One common problem found in golfers is not having the required flexibility to get into good positions in the golf swing.

Not being able to use the right arm effectively is one of the main problems I see, the right arm is important for creating a powerful and controllable swing path on the backswing and even more importantly, the downswing.

The problem stems from A lack of mobility in the shoulder, the picture below demonstrates poor shoulder mobility:

Bad shoulder mobility

This makes it very difficult to get into a good position at the top of the backswing and usually ends up with the right elbow pointing behind you too much (for a right handed golfer) instead of being more down towards the ground.

Good shoulder mobility
Right elbow in a better position
 

It also makes it very difficult to get the right elbow in front of the right hip (right handed golfer) on the downswing and shallowing the plane, getting this move right prevents the club from getting too steep or getting ‘stuck’ behind you, 2 situations that make consistency very hard to achieve!

Increasing shoulder mobility can be achieved with some very simple stretches, I will show you some effective stretches for the shoulder and surrounding muscle groups that can hinder the mobility.

Behind your back shoulder stretch – I perform this with either a towel or a golf club but you can use anything you see fit, with one arm behind you from below and the other from above, attempt to touch both hands together. Holding a golf club in both hands is great because you can slowly inch your way to a deeper stretch.

Both shoulders being stretched

External rotation stretch – This stretch has helped me a lot, it shouldn’t be over-done to start with, work your way up to a deep stretch on this one. Holding the head of a golf club in one hand, spin it so the shaft is laying along your forearm. Now bring your arm up as seen in the example pic below, with your other hand, gently put pressure on the grip end of the club to feel a good stretch throughout the shoulder.

Rotational shoulder stretch

Lat & shoulder stretch – This targets the front of the shoulders and also the large Latissimus Dorsi muscles which, when tight, can contribute to poor mobility in the shoulders. Simply place both palms on a wall infront of you and take a step back, leaning formards until you feel a nice stretch down through your shoulders and each side of your upper back.

Stretching the shoulders and lat muscles

Biceps & chest stretch – This one is a killer if you are tight in the biceps and chest area! Standing side on to a wall, place your palm against it with your fingers pointing to the floor, the higher your hand on the wall, the deeper the stretch. The chest and biceps can internally rotate the shoulders when they are tight which impeeds shoulder mobility and hinders good posture in the golf swing in general.

Chest and biceps stretch

All of these stretches will help you to have a more healthy, mobile shoulder joint which should help you get into better positions in the golf swing. I usually do these after each workout session but they can be performed at any time and are a great way to warm up the shoulders before playing or practicing golf.

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 any of my social media.
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!