Intermediate

These Exercises Will Add Distance to Your Drives in 2023

By Abby Parsons, PGA
Published on

“Golfers need to train like athletes, not bodybuilders,” Dr. Tony Megna said about golfers going to the gym.
Dr. Tony Megna is the Director of Fitness and Wellness at The Country Club at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona where he has built a passion for studying the golf swing piece by piece to incorporate fitness into the sport.
“The art of the golf swing is sequential, you have to teach yourself how to combine training muscle groups and golf training,” Dr. Megna said. 
Dr. Tony Megna provided me with fantastic golf workouts to create longevity in the body and golf swing. “You train the body three-dimensionally,” Dr. Megna said, “If you lift too much weight, you will be bound to yourself. You have to be functional enough to generate power when you need it. You should not be fighting with your own body- there is no power generation in a tight muscle.”
Disclaimer: Before you get into the gym to gain those extra yards off the tee, it is best to be assessed by a local trainer or expert to see what your body is capable of. 

Warm Up

These are called “marches.” They help warm up your core and your spine. “ Activate your spine first, it’s your engine,” Dr. Megna said. Stabilize your hands by pointing them outward, set up in a plank position, and march your knees towards your chest one by one. You will feel it especially in your core. 10-12 reps each leg. 
The “helicopter.” The blue kettle-bells are 3 lbs each, so nothing too heavy. Once you are set up in a split stance with your back heel off the ground, hold both of the weights in front of you. Next, you rotate your arms back and forth to get one weight behind your body and one weight in front of your body. Switch your feet and repeat that motion. This will warm up your spine even further, and stretch out your chest and shoulders. 10-12 reps each side. 
Have your back against the ball with your legs in this seated position. Put the weights beside your ears, then extend your legs and body while pushing the weights above your head. This lengthens your back and continues to warm up your upper body. 10-12 reps. 

Engaging the Golf Muscles

With a medicine ball that best suits your strength, set up in a power-stance. Load on your back foot (like you do in your golf swing) and power forward on your front foot
(like you do in your golf swing). Launch the ball into the wall at a fast pace for 10-12 reps, then switching the stance to strengthen the other side of the body.
Strengthening your hamstrings. Start with your legs extended and your heels on the ball. Bring your knees towards your chest, and slowly extend them back for 10-12 reps. Then, do it one leg at a time for 10-12 reps each. You should really feel the burn in your hamstrings, I definitely did.
Get in the split stance with your toes facing forward and your back heel up. You should feel like your back foot is squishing a bug. Find a resistance band of some sort connected to a pole/wall. Set up with your hands clasped together around the band extended directly in front of you. At a quick pace, rotate your upper body and power your hands to the front-leg side. Bring hands back to center, and try not to cross your center point on the way back. You should feel a full-body workout here. 
Using a Keiser machine or a resistance band of sorts, set up in the split stance like the workout before. Rotate your body and bring your hands/rope down to your front hip. Do this at a faster rate for 10-12 reps then change your stance to work on the other side of your body. You should feel this as a full body workout, but especially your core. Going from a horizontal rotation to a diagonal one the past two workouts.
If your gym has one, hop on a Power Plate and do a series of squats with your hands on the bars. Do as many as you can in one minute at a normal pace.  The vibration will help with blood flow during your workout and the squats will help with lower body power/generating power from the ground-up in your golf swing. 
Using any sort of similar machine to this Keiser back row machine, do the motions above. Try to keep your shoulders away from your ears as you squeeze your elbows back. Strengthening your back is arguably the most important to prevent future injuries. Do this for 10-12 reps. 
Lay on a mat in the first position above. Using a lighter-weight kettlebell and keeping your arm extended- push yourself onto your elbow from your foot-up. Feel your body rolling up from your foot, do not just push yourself off of your elbow. Return to the original position slowly. This one makes your core BURN. 10-12 reps each side. 

Cool Down

Get on all fours with your back flat. Take one hand and “thread the needle” under your other arm, then bring that hand up to the top. This helps cool down the body, engage your core, and stretch your body. Switch hands and do 10-12 reps each side.
Using a foam- roller, place it under your lower-back and roll it up and down your back. This will help massage out your spine and muscles surrounding. 
Placing a foot over the opposite knee, sit on a foam-roller and rotate your body so your glute of the extended leg is on the roller. Roll back and forth on your glute. Swap legs and repeat the same.
“Power is force divided by time. You have to train fast, but in a way you don’t get hurt. Most golfers only do fast movements when they swing the club; otherwise, their body is not used to fast movements,” Dr. Tony Megna said. 
If you do these workouts in the gym, you will see an improvement in clubhead speed and distance over time, but do people like myself and Dr. Megna a favor and be sure to at least stretch before you start swinging the club. Like he said, “you should not be fighting your own body.”

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