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6 exercises using resistance bands for more distance

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Featured Writer Jaacob Bowden

In a previous article, I wrote about how you can build functional speed into your golf swing over several weeks by practicing swinging faster, and using resistance bands to perform downswing band isometrics.

Most amateurs and even professionals don’t work on their speed at all, so when you simply put in a little bit of effort to gain speed, you can make very quick improvements.

If you’re hungry for more distance, here are 6 additional exercises that you can add into your routine to continue building strength and speed to your golf swing.

Note: I’m showing these exercises with resistance bands, which are great if you travel a lot and want to be consistent with the equipment you are using. However, if you always work out in the same place and have access to a Keiser Infinity Series Cable Machine or other similar cable machine, those are OK to use too.

Wood Chops

GolfResistanceBands

Anchor your bands up high, go toward the top of your back swing and stretch the bands/cables down to an impact position.

Do a set of 2 reps (yes, only 2!) and then switch yourself around to do the same for the opposite side. Perform 3 sets and make sure that on the last set you work up to as much resistance as you can safely control and try to set a new strength max while still using your golf posture.

We want to build useable strength and not “hit it out of bounds” strength.

Decline Chest Flyes

GolfExercise

For the chest and the “pushing/throwing” part of your golf swing, repeat the same thing as above but use only the trail arm from your downswing versus using both arms.

Cross-Body Lat Pull Down

GolfStrengthTo focus on your back and lats and your golf swing “pull,” do a cycle using the lead arm from your downswing.

Triceps Extensions

GolfBands

Work your triceps by grabbing the band/cable handle with your rear hand and extend your triceps into your impact position.

Lateral Raises

GolfDistance

To strengthen your trail side deltoid, shoulder, and back, position the band/cable down low, grab the handle in your setup position with your trail hand, and pull it up toward the top of your back swing.

You can also mimic the follow through, and similarly exercising your lead deltoids, shoulder, and back, by going to your post impact position, grabbing the handle with your lead hand, and pulling the band/cable up in to your follow-through.

Incline Chest Flyes

GolfFitnessBandsExercise

To further work the trail chest, position the band/cable down low, grab the handle with your trail hand at a point where you are just prior to impact and extend it up toward the follow-through.

Twice per week, start with the isometrics for a warm-up, move into this routine, and then follow it up with 30 full golf-swing reps where you practice your speed using a feedback device like the Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar. You’ll not only get a great upper/overall body workout, but you’ll also be doing it in a golf-specific way that can get you on your way to hitting much longer drives.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing this or any exercise program.

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Jaacob Bowden is a Professional Golfer, PGA of America Class A Member, Top 100 Most Popular Teacher, Swing Speed Trainer, the original founder of Swing Man Golf, the creator of Sterling Irons® single length irons, and has caddied on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS. Two of his articles for GolfWRX are the two most viewed of all time. Formerly an average-length hitting 14-handicap computer engineer, Jaacob quit his job, took his savings and moved from Kansas to California to pursue a golf career at age 27. He has since won the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive, won multiple qualifiers for the World Long Drive Championships including a 421-yard grid record drive, made cuts in numerous tournaments around the world with rounds in the 60s and 70s, and finished fifth at the Speed Golf World Championships at Bandon Dunes. Jaacob also shot the championship record for golf score with a 72 in 55 minutes and 42 seconds using only 6 clubs. The Swing Man Golf website has helped millions of golfers and focuses primarily on swing speed training. Typically, Jaacob’s amateur golfers and tour players pick up 12-16 mph of driver swing speed in the first 30 days of basic speed training. You can learn more about Jaacob, Swing Man Golf, and Sterling Irons® here: Websites – JaacobBowden.com & SwingManGolf.com & SterlingIrons.com; Twitter - @JaacobBowden & @SwingManGolf & @SterlingIrons; Facebook – Facebook.com/JaacobBowdenGolf & Facebook.com/SwingManGolf & <Facebook.com/SterlingIronsGolf; Instagram - Instagram.com/JaacobBowden YouTube – YouTube.com/SwingManGolf – Millions of views!!!

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Dominic Dechaine

    Jun 5, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I’m an old gym rat with numerous physical limitations bad knees worn out right shoulder etc. This is a great routine, I’m optimistic that I will gain some distance off the tee. I’m also in my 60s.

  2. Pingback: The Dreaded Golf Injuries | WeJustGolf.com

  3. Bert

    Oct 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I purchased a set of starter bands and have used them about five days; already notice a difference. Now bear in mind I’m older (70) and have seldom exercised other than heavy yard work. I noticed a little better turn (with balance) and the ability to turn back through the shot. Hopefully I’m not crazy and will continue to benefit from these light isometric exercises.

  4. Patricknorm

    Oct 15, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Good sequencing of band exercises which involves good core and shoulder work. I like the specificity as it relates to a powerful golf swing which basically mimics the driver. The beauty of bands is that it allows the novice to gradually increase the resistance depending on one’s strength. As you progress through this routine and your movements become more efficient, you can increase your sequencing and dynamic movements.
    Having done these, it’s quite easy transistion to a real golf swing. Good core work too.

  5. marcel

    Oct 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    there is no specific golf exercise. you gotta exercise all of it… no lower back and legs strength but strong arms will lead to serious injury.

    crossFit or gymnastics will benefit most for endurance and explosiveness game of golf requires.

    • Patricknorm

      Oct 15, 2015 at 6:47 am

      Marcel, ironically these exercise are not for your arms, or shoulders. You need to use your legs and core to perform these exercises properly. Until you do this sequencing don’t slag something until you’ve tried it. I’m guessing that you looked at the pictures only and haven’t tried any of these routines. Or you’re not a golfer. Or , just a gym rat. These band exercises work very well.

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Instruction

Golf 101: How to hit a bunker shot

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I’ve heard from numerous people over the years that theoretically, the bunker shot should be the easiest shot in golf—you don’t even hit the ball.

Sounds romantic, but common sense would suggest the polar opposite. Any new golfer or one walking into the game knows that hitting it into the bunker can be a disaster if you don’t know what to do. Figuring out how to hit a bunker shot can be daunting. So in the spirit of the 101 series, I want to give the beginner a three-step strategy to playing out of a bunker with one goal in mind: get it out of the bunker.

Keep in mind, this is simply to get the ball outta the sand, not spin it, not get it close, just get it back on the grass.

How to hit a bunker shot

Use a 56-degree wedge. Non-negotiable. You need the loft, the bounce, and the forgiveness.

Dig in: Gives your feet and body not only a feel for the sand but also a firm base. The bunker shot isn’t a full swing but you need stability. So when you address the ball, wiggle your feet a bit to get in there. It also makes it look like you know what you are doing—that helps for social reasons.

Face open: Imagine if you had to hold an egg on the face, that’s the visual. If the face isn’t open enough to do that its not open. Remember also that when you open the face, you are not cranking your hands over to do so. Turn the club open, grip it normally, and there you go.

Thump

This is what I have taught beginners a few times, and I’m not a teacher, but I’m a pretty gnarly bunker player. It works. Now that you are dug in, the face is open and you are ready to hit it, pick a spot an inch behind the ball, and with some speed, control, and a firm grip (hold the face open) THUMP down on that spot. Even more, THUMP the heel down on that spot. When I saw THUMP I mean CHOP, BEAT down on it with some purpose. Two things will happen, the ball will pop up by simple momentum and the face will stay open because the lever (and meatiest part) that holds it open (the heel) is doing all the work. Your tempo is key, and yes, I’m telling you to beat down on it, but also be mindful of staying in your body.

Could you potentially stick the club in the ground? Yup. Maybe. But the odds of you skulling, whiffing, chunking are reduced to almost nothing.

The best way to get outta the sound is to use the sand to help you. That’s how to hit a bunker shot. Pounding down on it with an open face uses a ton of sand, a ton of energy, the bounce of the wedge, and requires you to do very little.

Give it a shot.

 

 

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How the direction of turn influences your swing

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Understanding the direction you turn in the backswing will help identify your swing pattern. To start, turn is simply a word for something going around or moving circularly. When teaching, the term turn is very broad. The spine, shoulders and pelvis can all move in different directions.

So what direction should you turn? After an efficient setup (How Posture Influences Your Swing) I want players to coil around their original spine angle. This gives players an efficient “shape” to the body at the top of the backswing. Shape is the relationship between the upper and lower half of the body. Shape retains body angles from the setup, which also mirror impact. The relationship between the upper and lower body are highlighted in the pictures below.

When in this shape, the downswing can become a reaction towards the target. The club and body can return to impact with efficiency and minimal timing required. The body doesn’t need to find the impact position. This impact position is a common look to all great ball-strikers.

An important concept to understand is the direction of turn is more important than the amount of turn. Think of throwing a ball towards a target. You don’t turn more to throw the ball further or for more accuracy. Your body coils the correct direction to go forward and around towards the target. The golf swing and direction of turn is similar to a throwing position.

A great drill to get the feeling of this coil is what I call off the wall on the wall. Start by setting up with your lead side against a wall. Make sure your trail shoulder is below the lead shoulder with a tucked trail arm. From this position, swing your arms to the top of your swing. Note the backswing position.

When doing this drill, note how your upper body moves off the wall, and the lower body stays on the wall. An important note to make is the hips and glutes don’t stay stagnant against the wall. They go around, sliding against the wall as the upper moves off.

The beauty of the golf swing is there is more than one way to do it. Many great players turn with lead side bend in the backswing. This is where the upper body tilts towards the target (lateral trunk flexion). However, these players will have to change their spine angle to find impact. This pattern isn’t incorrect, just needs more recovery in the downswing to find the impact position.

I do not prefer players having to recover in their downswing. I define recovery as having to re-position the body in the downswing to find impact. Think of a baseball player having to throw a ball to first base when his body starts in a contorted position. I the golf swing, this requires more talent and timing and can lead to inconsistency unless precisely practiced and trained.

Educating yourself on how your body coils in the backswing is critical when working on your swing. Remember, there is no one perfect swing and people have different physiologies. However, coil in a direction that will give you the most efficient swing and prevent injuries.

www.kelleygolf.com

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The 3 best ways to train your golf swing

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Understanding how to effectively train and practice is critical to transferring skills to the golf course.

In golf, I view training as a thoughtful, deliberate rehearsal of a motion to develop technique. This is better rehearsed away from the golf course. Practicing golf consists of developing your skill to take to the golf course—an example being learning to hit shots in certain winds and shot shaping.

“A lawyer will train to be a lawyer, then he or she will practice law” – The Lost Art of Golf

I find the below examples the best ways to train effectively. These techniques will also help facilitate a swing change and make your training and practice more efficient.

Mirror Work

I like my student to implement what I call “mirror work”. This is done by looking into a mirror from the face-on position.

This is a great way to get external feedback (information delivered from an outside source). Learning by external feedback will help facilitate the required body movement to produce a particular shot. It’s also a cheap and effective way to train. Research suggests observation in a mirror is considered external, so the use of mirrors will elicit external feedback, enhancing the learning process.

I prefer students to only check positions from the face-on view. If a player starts checking positions in a mirror from down-the-line, moving your head to look in the mirror can cause your body to change positions, losing the proper direction of turn.

Train Slow

Learning a new motion is best trained slow. At a slower speed, it is easier to monitor and analyze a new motion. You will have increased awareness of the body and where the shaft is in space. At a faster speed, this awareness is more difficult to obtain.

I often use the analogy of learning how to drive a car. First, you took time to learn how to position your hands on the wheel and position your foot next to the break. When comfortable, you put the car in motion and began to drive slowly. Once you developed the technique, you added speed and took the car on the freeway.

In martial arts, there are three speeds taught to students: Slow-speed for learning, medium speed for practice and fast speed for fighting. Again, the movement was trained slow to start. Once comfortable, the motion was put into combat. This should be similar to golf.

Finding Impact

Use an impact bag to get the feeling of impact and an efficient set-up. If you don’t have an impact bag, a spare car tire, bean bag or something light and soft that can be pushed along the ground can be used.

I like to refer to the impact bag as a “Push bag”. Start by setting up into the bag, lightly pressing the shaft into the bag. You will notice how your trail arm slightly tucks in and as your right shoulder drops below the left with your body leaning forward, an efficient set-up.

To get the feeling of impact swing the club back and down into the bag while maintaining your body shape. Don’t move the bag by hitting it, rather pushing it. Note how you maintain your wrist angles while pushing the bag (not flipping) and the right side of your body moves through impact.

Train your swing with these three training techniques to play better golf.

@KKelley_golf

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