I’ve extolled the virtues of kettlebells for general fitness many times before. Conditioning, strength, coordination, mobility, kettlebell exercises have it all. But what about specific improvements for sport? I was asked what I would do to help someone improve their golf and you guessed it, kettlebells are great to that too!
Most golf workouts appear to focus on rotational movements. Probably because they look the most like a golf swing and that makes sense right? Doing endless rotation exercises won’t necessarily improve your swing. Something simple like improving your squat may seem a bit generic but if you can’t maintain good posture throughout your swing then you’re not going to be playing to your full potential. Early extension during the downswing for example can cause a player to mishit. The first step to eliminating early extension is to work on full squat form. If you can’t deep squat ass to grass then you’re not going to have a good address position and your spine will not be stable through the swing. Early extension is also caused by limited thoracic mobility and lat flexibility. So working on overhead squats hits both those issues.
A golfers ability to stabilise his lower body is also directly proportional to core and glute strength. Even the pros suffer from problems with their bums! Tiger Woods become the butt (sorry!) of everyone’s jokes back in 2015 when he said that his glutes had “deactivated”. Well your glutes don’t really turn off like a swift, more when your brain sends the signal to squeeze your muscles don’t activate to their full potential. Lack of use and posture problems can cause this gluteal amnesia. When the body tries to do a movement where the glutes are needed, such as a golf swing, if they’re not firing on all cyinders the body will find a way. It’ll start using other muscles groups to complete the task. Hence why Tiger had to stop playing because he was getting back pain.
So what exercises would I recommend? Well the first one that comes to mind is the get up. This exercise works on grip strength, thoracic mobility, shoulder stability, core strength and hip hinging. It is good for ironing out imbalances from one side of the body to the other. It is great for rotator cuff function and fantastic for opening up the hips.
Secondly kettlebell halos will help with shoulder strength, upper back mobility and core strength as you stabilise your trunk. This will help you stay on plane and reduce the risk of soft tissue damage around the shoulder.
Next I’d go for swings. Fantastic for firing up the glutes and avoiding any of Tigers problems. It’ll develop powerful hips so supercharge your downswing.
Finally bottoms up pressing will develop an iron grip and make your forearms and shoulder good and strong. Having a good grip will mean you can swing harder out of the rough and reduce the chances of any tendonitis in your elbows.
Right, there you go, my recipe for improving your golf swing. If you have any more questions or fancy some tips on improving your sport drop me a line.