Perrine Delacour played in just six LPGA events in 2016 and 10 the year prior, unable to stay healthy enough to compete for a full season. Last summer, with Delacour done for year, Karine Icher suggested she see strength and conditioning specialist Trevor Anderson at the Better Every Day Performance Institute in Orlando.
“She thought that the pain and discomfort was just how it was supposed to be, because she played golf every day,” Anderson said. “I was able to introduce to her that no, you don’t have to be in pain. When we tweaked a few movements, gave her a very high confidence level and foundation of movements, she was able to immediately get healthy.”
Finally pain free and having built a foundation during the offseason, Delacour played in 20 tournaments last year and shot 62 at the Manulife LPGA Classic in June. She even called Anderson after a tournament in August to say that it was the first time she’d ever been able to play that late in the summer.
Now Delacour and Anderson will up the intensity in offseason training, using a variety of methods to increase strength and power. Some of it is too taxing to incorporate during the regular season. Offseason strength training is about building the body up to the point where it can handle lengthy practice sessions and three or four tournaments in a row once the season starts.
“It’s the durability factor,” Anderson said. “You’re trying to build durability to have long, quality hours of practice and not break down. … All players break down a little bit over the course of the season, but being able to stay on top of that really helps.”
3 exercises to build offseason strength
Here are three different exercises to help build strength and durability this offseason.
Hex bar dead lift
Anderson says: “I like the hex bar lift for golfers much more than the straight bar dead lift because it helps golfers stay in better position to keep them safe. The bar is more central to the body line, it’s not out in front of the body. Barbell deadlifts are fantastic, but being that golfers are in certain positions, sometimes the lower back is a little more at risk. I like to make sure I use the hex bar, because when done correctly it can take some of the tension off the back.”
Step 1: Bend down and grab the hex bar with legs slightly bent at the knees and shoulders directly over the feet.
Step 2: Get a grip on the bar while keeping your back straight and head down.
Step 3: Lift up with your shoulders and finish while standing completely straight, arms at sides.
Anderson says: “One of the most important mechanisms in the body for performance is the hip hinge. Many people do kettlebell swings incorrectly and squat down to raise it up, but it’s very important they use the hinge as the dominant movement to complete that exercise. A hinge is maximal hip flex with minimal knee. If you think about what happens through impact in the golf swing, knees and hips extend at the same time. That’s how we create that good impact position on the front side. Understanding how those forces come together to maximize the sequence is key.”
Step 1: Bend down at the knees with a kettlebell placed between your legs just past your feet.
Step 2: Stand up by extending your hips and your knees at the same time, focusing on a good hip hinge. Swing the kettlebell backwards, between your legs.
Step 3: In the same motion, swing the kettlebell back out in front of you and up until your arms are reaching straight out.
Step 4: Bring the kettlebell back between your legs and up again, repeating a pendulum-like movement.
Kettlebell squat to rotational press
Anderson says: “We’re always focusing on stability. We want to make sure we’re connected to the ground. If the kettlebell is in the right hand, as we come down we want to feel like we load into that right hip and drive up and through. The hips fire up and the rotation of the kettlebell is the result of great rotation.”
Step 1: Stand straight up and hold a kettlebell in your left hand, with your arm raised to chest level and bent at the elbow.
Step 2: Drop down into a squatting position
while keeping the kettlebell
in your left hand.
Step 3: Stand up out of the squat and rotate the top half of your body from left to right.
Step 4: In the same motion, raise the kettlebell straight up with your left arm to complete the rotation.
(Note: This story appears in the January 2018 issue of Golfweek).