Let’s face it, not everyone has the time to spend an hour or more a day working out to improve their golf game in order to hit it further and straighter than ever. With one tool, spending 15 minutes a day, you can add distance and consistency to your game. A kettlebell is a valuable piece of equipment that can be used for a wide variety of exercises to counteract the daily grind of your work life. Stability, balance, and explosiveness are the three components these exercises are focusing on in order for you to reach your full potential on the course.
It’s important to start with being stable and balanced in your set up. Absence of stability and balance in a golf swing leads to inconsistency in both shot direction and distance. In order to get the most benefit in only a limited amount of time, we need to make sure we get a full body workout in while also hitting on aspects of the golf swing. Below is a set of exercises that will help you strengthen your golf muscles and allow you to continue working on range of motion. A weight between 20-30 lbs would be recommended for someone to get started.
Single arm kettlebell floor press
Lying prone on the ground, pick the kettlebell up in one arm with the heavy end vertically in the air, and create a 90* angle with your forearm and the floor. From there, push the kettlebell straight up in the air as high as you can. Challenge yourself to stay as stable as you can in the rest of your body in order to get the most benefit. Isolating your right and left arms will give yourself more balance and control in your golf game as well as understanding what side you need to work on more in order to balance your body out. Keeping the heavy end up in the air through the exercise will also work on your grip strength as well as the little muscles in your forearms that help support your more dominant muscles.
Single Leg Windmill Touches
Place the kettlebell on the ground about one foot in front of you. Placing one leg slightly above the ground behind you and placing both arms parallel to the ground, rotate and touch the kettlebell with your right arm, stand back up, and repeat the motion with your left. This motion is going to help your balance and core in your golf swing by improving the strength and conditioning in the same stabilizing muscles around your hips, knees, and ankles that you would use in your golf swing.
Stand straight up with feet shoulder width apart and the kettlebell in both hands between your legs. Keeping your head and chest up, push your hips straight back while keeping your legs as straight as you can. You only need to let the kettlebell go down just below your knees. You should feel this in your hamstrings and glutes, the power house of your swing. By developing a stable lower body, you will be able to unwind quickly and on balance in order to deliver the most power to the golf ball you can. This is also a great exercise to counteract the detrimental effects of sitting at a desk all day!
Start with the kettlebell between your knees in both hands. Using the momentum of your hips and arms, swing the bell up to shoulder height and back down to the starting position. Really emphasize the shoulder turn in order to make sure you eliminate any unnecessary movements such as only using your arms. The hip motion will help you find the perfect set up in your golf swing as well as making it stronger and more repeatable. Use a kettlebell heavy enough to make this a difficult but not impossible motion. The heavier the kettlebell you use, the more explosive power you will learn to generate!
Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch
Start with the kettlebell slightly above the ground in between your legs. With your knees bent, explode upwards with the bell pulling it in tight to your chest. From there extend your arm upwards in a shoulder press motion. This is a great shoulder and back exercise! The explosion portion is great for golf, since golf is an explosion sport in its own right.
– Article contributed by Austin Jarchow; NSCA-CPT, NASM-GFS
About the Author
Austin Jarchow is a sports performance trainer in the Kansas City area with an emphasis on helping clients achieve golf performance goals. As the son of a long-time PGA golf professional and a former assistant golf pro himself, Austin is uniquely qualified to bring together the disciplines of golf instruction with sports performance training. He has a degree in Corporate Fitness and carries multiple certifications including Titleist Performance Institute Level 1, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, and NASM Golf Fitness Specialist, among others.