(Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the April, 2017 issue of Golfweek.)
ORLANDO, Fla. – It makes perfect sense that golfers trying to shoot lower scores and improve their swing will spend hours on the range. Repetitions matter.
On the range, many golfers think about how the club feels in their hands and where it should be throughout the swing. But they don’t necessarily think about what their bodies are doing and how all the moving parts should feel throughout a swing.
For strength and conditioning specialist Trevor Anderson, that knowledge is just as important as repetition. He introduces those elements with the TRX Suspension Trainer at the Better Every Day Performance Institute in Orlando.
“The biggest improvement we find (for golfers) is body awareness,” Anderson said. “The average golf swing is between 1.3 to 1.5 seconds. If you don’t have a good level of body awareness – how you feel when you’re shifting your weight, things of that nature – it’s going to be very challenging to understand how to replicate that every time in your golf swing. What TRX does is help to identify muscle imbalances.”
The TRX Suspension Trainer is essentially a set of customizable resistance straps that can be anchored to a solid base. They provide a customizable workout. Anderson, a TRX master instructor and golf performance expert, incorporates several workouts to help golfers gain muscle and body awareness.
Performing a TRX row requires even distribution and muscle balance. If an athlete pulls the straps harder with their right side than the left, the straps will slide to the right and provide immediate feedback. The more aware one becomes about weight distribution and body movements, the easier it is to apply that knowledge and create consistent, repeatable body movements throughout a golf swing.
“If your hands are on the straps and your feet are on the ground, everything in between has to stay engaged,” Anderson said. “It demands posture throughout the entire core, from the glutes to the hamstrings to the hips. It demands attention to create the opportunity to stay stable. If you’re doing a row, your core is always engaged and you’re working the back muscles.”
“These are so important in golf because posture is such a big deal,” Anderson said. “The reason we do these rows is so people have the appropriate amount of awareness with what’s happening with their shoulder blades, their upper back, their spine and their entire posture. … It’s hard to be in a bad position and be really efficient.”
Step 1: Shorten the TRX straps all the way. Extend your arms and hold on to the straps with your palms facing each other. Move your feet forward until you feel tension on the straps.
Step 2: Pull your shoulder blades back and down as far as you can, pulling yourself up in the process. As you pull your shoulder blades, rotate your hands so that your palms are pointed toward the floor.
Step 3: Squeeze your quads to straighten your legs and protect from excess pressure on the knees.
Step 4: Squeeze your glutes.
Step 5: Lower your body back to the original position while remaining under control.
Do three sets of 10. If it does not feel challenging enough, move your feet farther away from your upper body in the starting position. If it’s too challenging, move your feet closer in the starting position.
TRX SQUAT JUMPS
“This is a great exercise where you can take 15 or 20 seconds and jump as high as you can,” Anderson said. “Once you get better with 15 and 20 seconds you can do it for 25, then 30. Typically, this is a power move that falls in line with the same energy systems required to swing a golf club. … It’s a great athletic move that’s full of body power.
“This is an athletic move that utilizes an athletic response, changing direction and jumping back up. Just like in the backswing, you go into the backswing to generate a loading position and create an elastic response throughout the sequence to come down and be powerful. Create an elastic response with the legs, hamstrings and glutes, then fire up to the tall position again.”
Step 1: Start in a standing plank position with elbows underneath the shoulders.
Step 2: Squat down, which will move your hands forward.
Step 3: Jump up while pulling on the straps and try to get your body as tall and straight as you can.
Step 4: Land under control and jump right back up. Don’t pause at the bottom.
Start out by doing three 15-second sets, jumping throughout. Adjust the time as necessary.