The golf swing is one of the most violent rotational movements you can perform in all of sports. By repetitively executing the same motion in one direction, it’s no wonder why injuries like oblique and lat strains, back spasms, and chronic hip pain and discomfort are at all-time highs.
Exerting and absorbing force to the best of our capabilities through rotational motion is done via training rotation in the weight room. The stronger we can get with anti-rotation and rotational movements, the more likely we are to mitigate our chances of injury down the road.
Here are three drills we like to use to build isometric, eccentric, and concentric strength. These are the three types of muscular contractions that can be executed, and should be performed throughout the course of the golf offseason to improve the quality of your movement and golf potential.
Wide-Stance Pallof Press
The Pallof press, or anti-rotation press, is a drill we use a ton to create isometric strength through the torso of our golfers. A strong torso helps prevent energy leaks between the upper and lower extremities throughout the entire swing. Swing mechanics aside, the longest hitters on the planet are also the strongest and have the best grasp on their joint movement through each repetition.
Wide-Stance Rotational Eccentric Neural Grooving
Eccentric contractions are an excellent way to increase the strength and durability of the connective tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.) involved in the movement that you’re performing. Eccentrics are our favorite way to increase the size and density of these tissues, as well as improving range of motion. Beware, these contractions are taxing and can leave you pretty sore, so you shouldn’t hammer yourself with a bunch of eccentric exercises the day before a weekend golf outing.
Wide-Stance Anti-Rotation Cable Chop
As we get closer to the golf season, we start to put more of a premium on concentric movements versus eccentrics. The concentric-focus of an exercise is more challenging to perform than eccentrics, but they’ll also leave you less sore from a muscular standpoint. This occurs because the muscle is shortening, rather than lengthening (eccentric contraction), which results in less microtrauma to the muscle.
From a programming standpoint, are all of these exercises are accessory movements that we’ll implement after total body exercises like squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups, to name a few. We like to program the pallof press and cable chop for 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps, and we’ll use the eccentric neural grooving drill for 2-4 sets of 4-6 reps because they’re performed at a much slower tempo. Remember, this is our personal preference and isn’t a written rule. Experiment and see what works best for you.