We are excited to begin our series on kettlebell workouts for golf. We will be covering kettlebell exercises that are designed to strengthen the muscles which help your golf game by hitting the ball further and having more control over the club path. This will be a 5 part series that will cover a number of movements in depth, make sure to subscribe to notifications for when each new post is released by completing the form below.
We have collaborated on this series with Master of Sport, Mike Salemi and Mind Pump Media. In order to prepare for this series, Mike Salemi went to the Titliest Performance Institute certification and completed his TPI certification which is designed to "teach professionals how to increase player performance through a deep understanding of how the body functions during the golf swing." (http://www.mytpi.com/certification). 14 of the last 17 Major Championships were won by golf professionals advised by a TPI certified expert. Combining the knowledge taught at TPI certifications with Mike's already indepth knowledge of the body and lifting will create an amazing series of posts designed to help improve your golf game as well as overall strength.
By Mike Salemi:
Kettlebell Single Arm Suitcase Deadlifts for Golfers
Did you know that up to 30% of all professional golfers play injured?
For the golfer who must swing a club repetitively in the same direction for 18 holes, overuse patterns and muscle imbalances are almost guaranteed. The Kettlebell Single Arm Suitcase Deadlift is one type of Anti-Rotational exercise that when done properly and with the right intent, can help identify asymmetries in the body, restore body balance and reduce the likelihood of injury. Anti-Rotational exercises include those that involve an athlete stabilizing and resisting rotational (and often frontal plane) forces from acting on and within the body. These exercises often tend to be unilateral in nature, forcing one limb to work independently of the other; in contrast to barbell exercises where a stronger arm or leg has the ability to compensate for the weaker side.3
With the Kettlebell Single Arm Suitcase Deadlift the goal is to teach the golfer how to stabilize the pelvis and trunk effectively while resisting rotation, as well as lateral flexion (side bending). This movement develops the muscles concentrated on the backside of the body (low back, glutes, and hamstrings), as well as the lateral core stabilizers (those located on the opposite side of the loaded arm).1 The strict hinge pattern and midline stability this movement develops further helps set the necessary foundation prior to power generating exercises present in most golf conditioning programs. Watch the demonstration below!
For this movement:
- Stand with one kettlebell placed at your side, handle positioned vertically.
- Hinge at the hips by pushing your glutes back. Once you feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings, start bending from the knees to grab the kettlebell.
- Depress your shoulders down away from your ears, lengthen your spine, and take a big belly breath. Next, gently draw in your navel towards your spine, increasing the pressure within the abdomen (this intra-abdominal pressure helps stabilize the spine).
- Keeping your hips and shoulders level, and nose inline with the belly button, push the earth away as you move towards a tall standing position.
- When passing approximately the halfway mark, you may partially exhale through pursed lips to avoid excessive breath holding, while also still maintaining trunk stability.
- At the top of the movement, stand tall and if needed re-set the breath to stabilize the torso once again before lowering down for the next repetition.
- Repeat for 6–8 repetitions each side.
Read detailed description of this video above!
If you experience any degree of back rounding when reaching for the kettlebell handle on the ground, modify the movement for the time being. Reduce the range of motion by elevating the kettlebell on a box such that the handle is now at knee level - or whatever height you can reach without rounding and losing good spinal alignment. Once your flexibility and mobility improves, gradually lower the kettlebell 1-2 inches at a time.
WHAT IS NEXT?
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Also, we recommend you subscribe to our posts so you can be notified when we publish helpful content for kettlebell workouts. We cover topics like technique, how to chalk a kettlebell, breakdown of kettlebell movements, strength building and kettlebell workouts for specific niches like combat sports and fitness competitions. Additionally, you can be notified when we publish new articles about specific kettlebell movements or techniques as well as niche pieces like this designed for specific training.
1. Blandine Calais-Germain, Anatomy of Movement. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press, 2013
2. Chek, P. Golf Biomechanic’s Manual, 3rd edition. C.H.E.K Institute, 2010.
3. Chek, P. Pattern Overload. C.H.E.K Institute, 2000-2012.
About Mike Salemi
Kettlebell Master of Sport and WAKSC World Champion Mike Salemi's road in strength and conditioning started at the age of 15 while competing in Powerlifting. Today, as a Sports Performance Specialist, Mike’s focus is primarily geared towards Kettlebell, Golf, and Combat athletes alike. By collaborating with industry leaders who share a similar vision of building more balanced athletes, Mike offers workshops on topics ranging from integrative kettlebell training, athlete nutrition, and shoulder & spine health.