Golf season is now well underway and with the opportunity to play more golf, the temptation is to sack off the gym until October. Unfortunately if training ceases then the benefits soon decrease in what we call ‘detraining’, you can then expect to see a visible reduction in the contribution of strength to your golf performance.
The key to in-season training is therefore to maintain the gains that have been made and focus on sport-specific strength programmes. My key considerations for in-season strength training would encompass:
Load & Speed
Golf is a power based sport and strength should be increased with a view to then convert into power production and speed within the golf swing. We must therefore train with speed and an increase of the rate we produce force in our muscles.
Lower your load to around 50-70% 1RM
Reduce reps to between 1-6
Perform each rep explosively, whilst maintaining great technique
Two sessions per week focusing on strength and power should be sufficient to maintain the strength levels that you have worked so hard to develop. But remember you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get the results that you want. Train hard but train smart.
Pick 4-5 compound exercises that work all movement patterns
Perform 2-4 sets of 1-6 reps
30-40 minutes maximum per session
Superset exercises to reduce time
Ensure good rest between sets
As well as working on explosive movement with certain lifts, focus should also be paid to balance out asymmetries that can develop by playing golf and other sports.
Anti-rotation exercises (such as the pallof press) are a great way to develop trunk stability and enable you to reduce the effect of rotational forces present in the golf swing.
Golf, like most sports can create asymmetries in the body, the best way to counteract these is to work each side (leg, arm, core) separately.
Single leg exercises such as the split squat are great for developing single leg strength and are functional to specific transfer to golf performance. Although the golf swing sees us on both feet throughout the swing, there is a transition of weight from one leg to the other.
Single arm exercises, especially pulling exercises are great for developing stability in the shoulders and strengthening the back which are important for golf posture and the ability to maintain posture through the swing. The half kneeling single arm cable row is an effective exercise for this purpose, but it also has the element of developing hip stability which is important for the transfer of force from the ground to the golf club.
Try out some of these considerations during your in-season workouts to ensure that you get the effect of transfer of training into your golf performance throughout the season.