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 is Part 2 in our 5 part series that will cover a number kettlebell movements which will improve your game, 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 (@kettlebelllifestyle) and Mind Pump Media (@mindpumpmedia), both are great follows on social media and full of knowledge about kettlebell and fitness. 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."(https://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 Halo for Golfers
What if I told you that one key to lowering your handicap involved a simple, quick exercise you can incorporate prior to any golf outing or conditioning program? The Kettlebell Halo involves a single, light kettlebell for the purpose of warming up and increasing circulation within both shoulders, improving the fluidity and range of motion of your swing.
The Kettlebell Halo is a circular based movement that takes the shoulder complex through a expansive range of motion, dynamically priming it for the demands that are soon to be placed upon it.1,2
For the golfer, having mobile shoulders is critically important. Any time there is a restriction at one joint, there must be compensation at another - in this case, when shoulder range of motion is limited, to make up for it the spine will often be the compromising factor. Players with especially tight shoulders tend see issues arise in their swing mechanics while coiling, making it challenging to enter into a complete and optimal backswing.2
A few common swing faults we are likely to see in those golfers who lack overall movement quality of the shoulder complex are a loss of posture, early extension, and chicken winging - all of which change the quality and consistency of how you strike the ball.3
- Stand over the kettlebell, feet approximately shoulder width apart, and handle positioned horizontally.
- Hinge at the hips by pushing your glutes back. Once you feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings, start squatting from the knees and grab the kettlebell handle by the horns (sides) with a palms-up grip.
- Using primarily leg drive, stand tall as you curl the kettlebell up into the bottoms-up position.
- Depress your shoulders down away from your ears, elbows tucked in. Next, engage your quadriceps and glutes to ensure there is no movement coming from the lower body.
- As you begin moving the kettlebell towards the left side, start raising your right arm such that the right bicep is directed towards right ear.
- Begin tracing a circular path around the head, keeping the kettlebell close at all times.
- As the kettlebell now passes behind the head, the elbows should be directed upward. This phase of the movement is matched with an inhalation breath.
- As the kettlebell travels around the right side, direct the left bicep towards the left ear.
- Return the kettlebell to the front of the body at chest level as you prepare to repeat the movement (re-set the shoulders if necessary prior to starting the next repetition).
Perform a total of 10 repetitions (alternating 1-2 reps in each direction) using a light load. Strive for smooth circular movements around the head, while avoiding the tendency for the head to project forward and/or the lower back to arch.
If you’re someone who is currently experiencing any form of shoulder impingement and/or pain, this movement is not advised. Please work with a medical/rehab professional first and get cleared.
WHAT IS NEXT?
Make sure to subscribe for Part 3, we will be publishing 5 different in depth posts about different kettlebell movements designed to improve your golf game.
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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. The Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 Seminar Manual, TPI Nevada Star I, 2016
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.
Click here to read more about Mike, and to inquire about hosting a workshop in your area.