Golf Fitness: Take mental break, set goals, then hit sled to build power

Oct 17, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Trevor Anderson covers a workout using a drag sled. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

Golf Fitness: Take mental break, set goals, then hit sled to build power

Golf

Golf Fitness: Take mental break, set goals, then hit sled to build power

There isn’t really an official offseason for pro golf with the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule, but that doesn’t mean players are teeing it up 52 weeks each year.

Most will schedule their own individual offseason for a month or two this winter, and players of all skill levels should consider doing the same. Taking a mental break to recharge the batteries is important. So is resting the body after multiple rounds and range sessions throughout the summer and fall.

It’s also the best time to set goals and build a foundation for 2019. Gaining more distance is generally high on the priority list, and the offseason is the right time to work at it. Just be sure you’re doing it the right way and remember you don’t have to look like Brooks Koepka to hit the ball as far as Justin Thomas.

That’s something strength and conditioning specialist Trevor Anderson preaches all the time out of his Better Every Day Performance Institute in Orlando.

“They want faster clubhead speed, they want to hit the ball farther. That’s universal for golf,” Anderson said. “We try to reestablish the right foundations first. It’s not just about being strong. It’s about building a strength foundation and starting to move very quickly. A lot of people
think it’s only about that first part, being strong.”

It’s also about speed. Adding 1 mph of clubhead speed will add 3 to 4 mph of ball speed, but it needs to be done under control. That means staying connected to the ground and balanced to generate power.

Building power takes a little more heavy lifting than players are used to midseason, so now is the time when Anderson cranks it up and goes to different techniques such as the sled. It’s similar to the type of blocking sled football players use, and it’s a great way for golfers to build power during the offseason.

Anderson used a 45-pound plate in the middle of the sled for our purposes, and one can add or subtract weight to find the right combination for them.

“This is a tool that demands power,” Anderson said. “You can’t just be strong, you have to be powerful and demonstrate strength quickly to move this sled the right way and do the same things we need to do to increase speed and power in our golf swing.”

Anderson uses three different movements with the sled – pushing, pulling and rotating – to reinforce these techniques. It requires about 10-20 yards of space, and Anderson, a TRX Master Instructor, uses a TRX band wrapped around the sled for the pulling and rotation.

These or similar tools should be available at a local gym and can help increase power and distance to achieve those goals for the new season.

It also answers key questions when it comes to adding distance.

“How do you use the ground, how good is the connection to the ground and how do you demonstrate it?” Anderson said. “If people want more distance, this is bigger than just being strong.”

Here are three exercises to use with the sled to make the most of your golf offseason:

Oct 17, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Trevor Anderson covers a workout using a drag sled. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Pushing

Anderson says: “Linear ground force is what we’re going for. We’re making sure that we explosively maintain a good body angle and extend our back leg, because we want to get that back line really straight. Getting that triple extension with ankles, knees and hips extended on the back side and coordinating is where that power comes from.”

Step 1: Bend down slightly and take hold of the top of the sled with both hands.

Step 2: Keeping your arms fully extended, drive the sled forward lifting your feet off the ground at a steady pace.

Step 3: Move the sled between 10-20 yards, keeping that extension throughout the body.

Do this 10 times down and back.

Oct 17, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Trevor Anderson covers a workout using a drag sled. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Pulling

Anderson says: “This is gonna demand full body attention. Pulling it demands stability and connection to the floor. It demands that proper triple extension, proper sequence, full body as a team and unit to accomplish that.”

Step 1: Attach a TRX band in the middle of the sled and take the handles while facing the sled, with the band fully extended in between.

Step 2: Squat down with your shoulders over your knees, arms fully extended.

Step 3: Thrust your hips forward and pull the sled toward you while moving into a standing position.

Do three sets of 10 reps.

Oct 17, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Trevor Anderson covers a workout using a drag sled. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Rotating

Anderson says: “If you’re not connected to the ground, you’re not going to be able to generate that power to move the sled from the ground up. All the foundations we need for a good, consistent golf swing can be found in a lot of these movements.”

Step 1: Stand parallel to the sled and hold the TRX straps with both hands on the right side of your body, with the band fully extended between you and the sled.

Step 2: Rotate to your left with both arms moving across your body from right to left, pulling the sled toward you in a motion similar to a golf swing. Gwk

(Note: This story appears in the November 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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