by: Brandon Richey
Strength And Performance For The Recreational Athlete…
So are you interested in improving your golf swing? What about dominating on the tennis court? I know, I know you just play for fun, right? Well of course I know you play for fun, but I’m also willing to bet that you still enjoy winning and playing at a respectable level too! I mean that’s the part you refer to as fun, right? If you’re looking to improve your golf swing, or any other swing for that matter then take a minute to continue reading.
The Strength And Performance Edge…
So for today’s blogisode I want to talk about engaging the recreational athlete. The fact is that everybody’s always reading material from trainers online and in magazines and constantly exploring to find that perfect workout to increase individual performance. This is something that many trainers preach at such a high level that many of them miss the mark when trying to both design and implement a quality strength and conditioning program.
The fact is that at some point you just have to step up to the plate and lift with effort, with good technique, and with consistent desire and the rest will fall into place. The truth is that if you spend all your time searching for that perfect workout it just ain’t gonna happen, but we can still try to be smart about it! In addition to this don’t try to tell me that you still don’t enjoy winning a few side bets on the golf course with your buddies either. If this were true then there would never be a “Price is wrong, bitch” line to joke about.
Now I hope you got a good chuckle out of that. The point is that no matter the level of play that you are playing at there is still a level of play! One of the biggest reasons Tiger Woods was able to come on to the golf scene and outdrive everybody on the circuit and consistently hit his shots was because he was the strongest fittest guy on the circuit.
The truth is that in this day and age if you are neglecting the application of a sound strength and conditioning program for yourself then you are just hurting yourself, period. When looking at most recreational sports such as golf, tennis, soft ball, basketball and even soccer a few simple things need to be addressed in order to maintain a respectable level of performance so there is no digression into the Happy Gilmore state of brawling on the 9th hole.
The biggest 2 physical elements you can acquire in order to maintain a respectable level of play for most any sport is stability and mobility. Stability and mobility are both the result of acquiring strength, but it has to be the right kind of strength! For instance, you can be strong when swinging a golf club, but if you aren’t in control of your swing and are unable to maintain a solid base of support then you’re golf swing is going to be ineffective. Hence, the importance of stability!
Likewise, if you are able to bench press the club house, but you aren’t able to bend over to lace up your own golf spikes to hit the greens then you are going to be less likely to swing a golf club with any reasonable level of effectiveness. This is where the mobility factor comes into play.
A great way to start with this is learning to master the sagittal plane of motion with respect to your strength and conditioning program. A great set of exercises to build dynamic core strength and stability in the sagittal plane can include some kettle bell swing variations along with some overhead snatches for added shoulder stability. Here I am demonstrating the double arm swing, single arm swing, and overhead snatch all in one complex series.
As you can see this is a tremendous dynamic series of exercises to activate your core midsection, your hips, and overall leg drive. Hmmmm….sounds like a few physical traits that might be necessary for a golf swing, right?
In addition to this we can include some additional movement in the transverse plane of motion by including some more rotational movement for the act of swinging a golf club, a baseball bat, or even for kicking a soccer ball with more Happy Gilmore approved force! One tremendous drill I prefer to implement to meet these needs is with rotational medicine ball slams. There are several variations to this drill, but for the sake of discussion I’m performing this with a sand filled ball that doesn’t bounce so easily.
As you can see I’m activating a serious level of thoracic rotation (from the waist up) when turning to throw the ball into the wall. This type of movement should be performed by maintaining a tall body (not bent over) and by pivoting the front foot. The better you pivot and rotate the hips the harder the ball will hit the wall! You see it’s just like a swing.
The point is that with each of these examples I’m trying to force the development of functional strength. Like I was saying earlier it doesn’t have to be perfect, but we can still be smart about what we’re doing. If you don’t do anything else just get out to lift and move, period.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and if you are a recreational athlete please drop me a comment in the box below this article. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Start your smart training here today.