Golf fitness: Tried-and-true training aids stand test of time

USA TODAY Sports/Kim Klement

Golf fitness: Tried-and-true training aids stand test of time

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Golf fitness: Tried-and-true training aids stand test of time

Walk around the driving range or practice green at any PGA Tour event and it seems the future already has arrived.

Most players use at least some sort of electronics or gizmos for instant feedback. Bryson DeChambeau even uses a device to measure his brain frequencies.

The same is true off the course. With players hitting the gym harder and more frequently than ever, all sorts of tech is available and tailored to golf workouts. There’s certainly value in some of it.

Strength and conditioning specialist Trevor Anderson incorporates plenty of tools and tech that wasn’t available 10 years ago out of his Better Every Day Performance Institute in Orlando. As for the next five years, it’s hard to predict what’s coming.

It’s also easy to see that certain methods, which have been around for hundreds of years, aren’t going anywhere.

“These are not new techniques,” Anderson said. “In this day and age, even good technology, once they put it out and it’s new and exciting and fresh, people always end up settling back to the tried-and-true elements of performance.”

Anderson works with a host of professional and amateur golfers, as well as athletes from other sports, and tailors his workouts specifically to suit someone’s game. That process includes a pre-screening for Anderson to come up with a workout plan, and what he found was that certain things are right for 95 percent of the players who come through his gym.

Many of those principles can be found in three exercises that incorporate multiple elements of the body, just like a golf swing. And they all tie in to Anderson’s belief system on the most important aspects of golf fitness.

Boxing is a centuries-old training exercise that helps establish a great connection to the ground. That’s exactly what any player needs to do with a club in his hand to generate power off the tee.

Kettlebell swings aren’t exactly brand new either, but their use in helping players learn to use a hip hinge and create extension has serious value now and in the future.

Lastly, the heavy jump rope is about timing and good old-fashioned muscle endurance.

Heavy bags and kettlebells might look daunting at first glance for the uninitiated, but that shouldn’t stop players from tapping into the past as they build toward the future.

“Right now with instruction, a lot of it’s real cookie cutter,” Anderson said. “‘Let’s do this because this is what golfers are supposed to do,’ as opposed to something that matches their approach and creativity. What intangible skills can they develop to get a better version of themselves? Most people can do everything I’m asking them to do. They just don’t know it needs to be done.”

Anderson incorporates plenty of new age tools in his gym – he’s a TRX Suspension System Master Trainer, for example. He’ll continue to keep an eye out for the latest technology and see if it might work. But there’s no substitute for some of the oldest training methods around, ones that will continue to remain relevant in the years ahead.

• • •

BOXING

Anderson says: “I use the boxing to help establish a great connection to the ground and understand how you utilize the ground to generate power and force.”

Step 1: Tape your wrists to prevent injury before putting on boxing gloves.

Step 2: Focus on firing your hips and bringing your torso through. Let the punch be the result of those movements.

Step 3: Focus on punching with your first two knuckles, index and middle, so your wrist doesn’t roll.

Punch the bag for 30 seconds at a time or longer, depending on your conditioning. Stay under control and don’t worry about speed.

• • •

KETTLEBELL SWINGS

Anderson says: “The ability to tap into the hip hinge is one of the most powerful athletic mechanisms that we have. It’s very important that the swing doesn’t turn into a squat thrust. It should be maximal hips, minimal knee. Even though this is linear, the kettlebell swings help you understand how to extend the hips to get power.”

Step 1: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart in an athletic stance with the kettlebell on the ground.

Step 2: Bend forward and pull your hips back to pick up the kettlebell.

Step 3: Fire your hips forward to swing the kettlebell upright while moving into a full extension.

Step 4: Keep your back straight and neck neutral as you use the hip hinge to move the ball back down, though not all the way back to the floor.

Do three sets of 10 at an appropriate weight.

• • •

HEAVY ROPE

Anderson says: “It helps just being able to have the endurance associated with the sequence and being able to hold a rhythm and be consistent, which is what we have to do in our golf swing to hit the same spot every time. On top of that it’s great conditioning.”

Step 1: Hold on to the heavy rope on either end and use it as you would a normal jump rope.

Step 2: This is about muscle endurance, and it will take full-body muscle to get the rope around and keep it under control. Your motions will be more deliberate.

Do three sets of 25 jumps. Gwk

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

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