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!

 

Using Visualisation On The Golf Course And In The Gym

Slightly different topic today but a huge relevance to what we are all trying to improve here, our golf game and our bodies ability to perform.

You have almost definitely heard people talking about visualisation on the golf course, each shot should be played through in your mind before you pull the trigger, its a great concept but how many of you honestly do this every time you play? I’m willing to bet that not many of you do, you may sporadically visualise during a round but a full 18 holes where every single shot has been clearly seen in your mind is probably still on your ‘to do’ list!

I want to tell you that visualisation is one of the most important things you can do on the course, it narrows your focus and gives your body clear instructions. You should clearly see what you are trying to achieve to tell your subconscious mind what you want to happen, feel the weight of the club and how your body will move to produce the desired shot, see the effects of spin, wind and bounces. Visualisation is one of the main differences between struggling golfers and superb ones.

Visualisation also plays a key part in the fitness side of improvement, when you think about it, why wouldn’t it?! Visualisation is a way of informing your body and subconscious mind of what you trying to achieve, in the case of exercise you should be feeding them with all the information to correctly train a given movement or muscle group.

  • Spend time before each exercise to see the correct movement pattern.
  • Feel how the exercise will target the muscles you wish to train.
  • See the weight move at a good pace and under control.
  • See and feel all the performance improvements you want to make to your body.

These techniques help me every training session, in rest periods I make sure not to just waste time but to feel and visualise all of the above. I attribute a large amount of the progress that I have made in the gym to visualisation, it gets me through the hardest of sessions and keeps me focused on the outcome and end goal.

The great thing about starting to do this in your training sessions is that it starts to make a habit of visualisation, making it easier to transfer and stick to on the course. Once you have it ingrained in your pre-shot routine on the course and rest periods in the gym-you will start to see a huge difference in your ability to do what you see in your mind, your body becomes more synchronized with your mind and becomes the translator of those images and feelings to the real world.

Give visualisation a try, its not like you have anything to loose!


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

Thanks for reading!

Golf Improvement – Do you have what it takes?

A slightly different article today after having a week off, gets you thinking!!


Do you have what it takes to be better tomorrow than you are today?

So many people say they ‘wish’ they were better, that they ‘cant’ improve, some of these people take half hearted steps towards improvement-they might read a golf magazine, watch a youtube video or read one of my articles-but they never put any of it into practice. These people aren’t actually serious about improvement, its something they might say yes too if they had three magical wishes but nothing they are willing to dedicate time and effort towards.

You need to take a hard look at yourself and ask the question-‘Do I REALLY want it?’ deep down you know if you have the real desire to be better or if you are happy at your current state.

If you answered ‘YES, I want it!’ then you have to realise it is a lot of work, people expect to go to the range a few times, hit a few chips and putts and maybe do a couple of exercises now and then and see results on the course-that wont cut it i’m afraid, if that’s your idea of hard work then you don’t really want it.

To be great at anything, golf included, you need dedication, commitment, a strong will to succeed and a slid plan of attack! The best players in the world plan their success, you should too- The 4 key points of that plan are:

  1. Know your game – Take the time to really analyse your game, know you strong points and know your weak points, you should be able to tell me everything about your game in detail including your mental game-when you get nervous, loose concentration, ability to focus and visualise…..everything!
  2. Allocate time in your plan accordingly – If you suck from 100 yards and in, time on the range hitting 70 balls with a 6 iron won’t improve your game one bit, once you know your game, divide your practice time in a way that heavily favours your weakest areas. Set aside time for your fitness, try my golf specific workouts-don’t neglect the physical side of the game. Allocate time to learn more about the game, read articles on technique, fitness, sports psychology and determine how often you will have golf lessons (if you choose too) plan your time precisely.
  3. Obsess over that plan – This is where the people who really want it get separated from the ones who don’t, if you really want something, you have to obsess over it-live and breathe it! Execute your plan to perfection, don’t let yourself slack and think ‘oh, ill do that tomorrow’ if it says you do it today-guess what?-you do it today!
  4. Set aside time in your plan to review it – when creating your plan, set specific times when you will review your progress and its effect on your improvement, I review mine monthly. This is the time to change the focus slightly if you have strengthened a weak point successfully and now another area lags behind. Use this time to reflect on where your game is now and where it was at the last review, you will be surprised how much improvement you can make when you have a solid plan.

If you have what it takes too put all of this into play, you have what it takes to be great at golf. This wont make it easy, if you think it can be then you wont get very far, but it will make you constantly evolve and improve as a golfer.

One final note-stick with it! Too many people start with great intentions but waver after they read or hear something that differs slightly from what they are doing right now, taking in new information is great but don’t let it interfere with what you are currently doing, stick the course and be consistent, that’s the best way to achieve anything in life.

Make some great improvements!


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 never miss an article and get great golf exercises, workouts, tips and motivation directly to your inbox! Click here to subscribe and get ripping those drives!

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

Thanks for reading!

 

Improve Your Golf With These 4 Simple Exercises You Can Do Every Day

In my last post I detailed a great strength workout program for golf (read it here), there is no doubt that it brings great results however it does revolve around big compound exercises and unless you have a home gym set-up then it requires going to the gym. For some people this is perfect and the gains can be huge, for some people new to fitness however, this may be a large jump!

This article aims to bridge the gap, as a great start to your golf fitness and hopefully leading on to a workout similar to above! I am aiming to get you into good habits and performing basic exercises that will build up weak areas important for golf.

When you are new to specific exercises or just exercise in general, the most important thing is getting the form down! Bad form does the opposite to what you want, it teaches bad motor patterns, causes muscular imbalances and can cause injury. For these reasons, the exercises here are simple and easy to learn, they also give you a head start with learning good form habits for more complex lifts in more advanced workouts!

These 4 exercises are formulated into a routine that can be done daily, every other day or 3 times per week. I would recommend performing it as many times as possible to start with as they are low impact exercises and the more you practice the exercises the better your form will be, usually after around a month it is advised to switch from daily to every other day training as by now the sessions should be harder and some fatigue will build if you don’t get enough rest.

These exercises strengthen your whole body and the best part is, it should only take between 15 and 45 mins and is designed to be done at home! Easy!


So here are the 4 Exercises:

Exercise 1 – Bodyweight Squats – 3 sets of 10 reps


Exercise 2 – Push-ups – 3 sets of 10 reps


Exercise 3 – Exercise Band Face-Pulls – 3 sets of 10 reps

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Exercise 4 – Plank – 3 sets of 30 second planks 



The reps I have added next to the exercises are what I would like you to start with, each time you perform the workout you should aim to add an extra rep to every set. Do this until you can perform 3 sets of 15 solid reps on each exercise, then add another set and build that up to 15 reps, continue until you can do 5 sets of 15 reps, at this point I would advise beginning a workout program like my golf strength workout.

There are a few things to mention:
– The squats should be done so that your hip crease, at the very least is parallel to the top of your knee at the bottom position.

– Push-ups can be done from the knees if you cannot perform all the reps on your feet so do as many as possible then drop too your knees to finish off the set.

– I know that an exercise band is required for the face-pulls, they are so cheap its a great investment, get one!

– Progression on the plank – instead of adding 1 rep to each set, aim to add 5 – 10 seconds. Build up until you can do 3 sets of 90 seconds and then start adding sets until you get to 5 sets of 90 seconds.

Give this workout a try and watch your distance and control improve! I would also love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this workout and any other topics you have questions for.


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!

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

Thanks for reading!

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!