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Upper-Body Workout for Longer Drives
Upper Body workout for longer drives!
One of the most overlooked workout routines for golf is the upper body. While having a strong lower body and core is vital to being able to hit it further, having a strong upper body is just as important. For this blog, we will focus on the bigger muscles and work down to the smallest ones.
1) Bench Press
The bench press is a standard lift done to work out your pectoral muscles and triceps. When doing this lift, it is best to focus on full range of motion, as shown in the picture. When lowering the bar, tap it on your chest and explode up, making sure to extend fully and lock out the weight. When doing this lift, I try to do five sets of five reps. Once I am done with that, I add weight and do less reps to build both the strength and endurance of the muscles involved.
2) Bent over rows
The Bent over row focuses on the opposite muscles that the bench press works. It hits the biceps, along with almost all of the back muscles, as seen in the picture. When doing this lift, I try to focus on pausing at the top of the lift for a split second, tiring out the muscles just that little bit extra. I try to do three to five sets of this upper body workout, with ten reps for each set. In terms of weight, use a weight you can maintain good form with, but yet still have to work to lift.
3) Overhead/Military Press
The overhead press is another multi-muscle exercise. Focusing on the shoulders, it also strengthens the core and triceps. To perform, start with the bar over your head. Lower to the top of your chest as shown in the first picture, and press overhead to the original position. I try to perform this exercise for five sets of five reps.
4) Pull Ups
The pull up. If done correctly, there’s no more complete back and upper body workout than the pull up. To perform, grab the pull up bar or handles. Lower yourself until your arms are straight, and then pull up until your chin is at bar or handle height. I try to do five to ten sets of ten reps a piece when performing this exercise. However, if they are harder to do, you can simply hang from the bar and pull yourself to the highest point you can and hold for five seconds. Doing so will strengthen your back to be able to perform full pull ups in no time.
A key muscle group to help stabilize your club during the swing is the biceps and triceps. The tricep extension replicates the motion of a swing and how your lead arm opens during the swing. To perform, stand with your arms tight to your sides and lower the rope, locking out your arms for a couple seconds. Then, let the rope come back up. I do five sets of this workout with ten reps per set.
The curl is the most effective way to gain strength in the bicep. As shown in the video, stand with a solid core to stabilize you through the motion. Raise the bar, rope, or whichever handle you choose to use for this lift. Pause at the top for one to two seconds, and then release back down again, fully extending your arms. This upper body workout will also help stabilize you through your golf swing and have greater control of the club at impact.
Possibly the most overlooked body parts to exercise, the wrists, forearms, and hands are vital to having a strong, fast, and injury free swing. The best upperworkout I recommend for your wrists and forearms is called rice buckets. It is exactly what it sounds like. A five-gallon bucket filled with rice. It may sound a little strange, but this technique has been used not only for golf, but baseball, tennis, and almost every other sport that requires great hand, wrist, and forearm strength. The video below gives more examples of rice bucket workouts that are very effective at building strength and stamina within your wrists, hands, and forearms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUA0iDi7Uj4
Overall, these lifts are designed to build strength, but at the same time, allow you to maximize swing speed, leading to further drives. Remember, full extension and range of motion is key with these workouts, as well as any. So after you are finished, I recommend stretching, even icing if you are very sore or injured. Now go and hit it longer!