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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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

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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?

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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.
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