Benefits Of Deadlifting For Golf
Golf is one of the toughest sports in the world to master but it is also one of the most enjoyable and it comes with a ton of benefits.
Golf is a hobby that you can enjoy your whole life. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a budding professional or a weekend warrior, golf is an excellent way how to get fit, meet new people, travel around the world and enjoy the roller coaster of improving gradually at the game.
When it comes to lifting weights to improve your game, most players and coaches will focus on the wrong things and not see any major improvements.
The Swing Is A Full Body Movement
The golf swing incorporates the full body, travelling through the legs, incorporating the glutes, hips and the arms to swing through and connect with the ball. Most coaches and golfers in their pre-season will focus on plenty of upper body twisting movements like wall slams and cable chops and while these can be incorporated as part of a program, they will not make you hit the ball further on their own.
Strength training is the process of lifting heavy weights for a low number of reps to increase the body’s overall strength which you can transition into power and a faster swing speed on the golf course.
Bodybuilding vs Strength Training
A lot of golfer’s worry that lifting weights will make them too bulky for the course but strength training involves increasing strength without adding any useless bulk.
Bodybuilding utilizes lower weight more reps and it has a specially calorie dense diet which is why talking on a lot of muscle doesn’t happen by accident and you can still get vastly stronger without getting too big.
Benfits Of Deadlifting
Deadlifting is one of the best strength training exercises that we can do for golf for a number of reasons and here are the main benefits:
It’s A Compound Movement
Golf is a full body exercise we want to increase the overall strength of our whole body weight training. Compound movements involve more than one muscle group so it helps to build up overall strength a lot more effectively. The Deadlift utilises are glutes, hamstrings, lower back, forearms as well as increasing your core strength.
It Simulates The Golf Swing Positioning
The way you lean over the golf ball before you hit it, is a perfect reflection of your form and position before you start a deadlift. You can slightly dip the knees while keeping your back straight and adding strength to your whole body from this position and it is particularly beneficial for adding to your swing speed and distance off the tee.
You don’t have to look much further then two of the world’s leading golfers in Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods to see how beneficial the deadlift is is as it is the key lift that these pros will go to for increased distance and control.
Works Core Strength
A strong core is an absolute fundamental for a powerful swing in golf and deadlifting is a great way to engage the core and add a ton of strength. Remember to contract your core during your deadlift to get maximum benefits.
Any movements we can add to our workouts will be beneficial like planking, sit ups, mountain climbers and Sled runs.
Builds The Glutes
The glutes along with the hips are key for allowing your swing to flow through your upper and lower body. Lower body compound lifts are the ultimate way to add strength to your physique that is easily transferrable into power on the golf course.
Builds The Forearms And Grip Strength
Your forearms and grip strength will determine how much control you have over the club and how much force you can generate into the golf swing will be determined by forearm strength.
The deadlift is the best lift for building grip strength and probably the number 1 reason why we rank it above the squat as the best lift for Golf.
Prevents Injury In The Lower Back
The lower back is one of the most common injuries in golf. Deadlifting can be a solid preventive cure for lower back pain. By building up the muscles and strength in the lower back we can help to protect the delicate vertebrae and feel fresh for longer, improving our over score.
Reduces Postural Fatigue
Golf is a game of concentration and as our body gets fatigued throughout our round, we can lose focus and start hitting slices and hooks off the tee and sabotaging our round.
This fatigue can be eliminated by adding strength to the lower body and back with deadlifting for strength.
Safety Tips For Deadlifting
The most important safety tips to keep in mind when it comes to the deadlift.
Keep Your Back Straight:
Keeping your back straight is the key to an effective deadlift. If you round the back, you are much more likely to get injured. Wear a weight belt if you have too and take a video of your form to ensure you have good form on the lift.
Lift the bar up on plates if you have to, to get it up higher if needs be.
Keep The Core Engaged
Make sure you engage your core throughout the lift to ensure you are getting the maximum benefits for your golf game.
Avoid Jerking, Complete The Move Slowly And With A Good Rhythm
Jerking with heavy weights is one of the reasons likely to cause a lot of injuries. Make sure your lift has a fluid motion throughout for maximum gains and the least chance of negative side effects.
Strength Training Rep Ranges
Our goal in golf is to increase strength, not pack on muscle. To do this we stay in a range of low reps and high sets. 5*5, 4*5 or 3*5 are all perfect weights for increasing our strength.
If you are a complete beginner, I would go lighter to start for the first month or so and do 8*3 reps and sets. Once you have your beginner strength gains, you can look at going heavier for fewer reps.
These are the rep ranges we know the Rory Mcillroy and Tiger Woods use also.
Different Forms Of Deadlift
With your legs shoulder width apart, Bend over keeping the hamstrings and lower back straight, engage the core. Get a nice grip on the bar and raise it along the front of your legs until you get to a fully upright position. It is crucial to get the form correct so watch videos and ask a personal trainer to help you out.
If you can’t reach all the way down you’re the rank or some weight plates to elevate it from the ground.
How to deadlift:
Trap Bar Deadlift
The Trap Bar Provides two handles on either side and is a much easier way to get the same great benefits in a more beginner friendly manner.
The two handles make the starting position higher and it is much easer to get a good form with the trap. This is particularly useful for taller players.
You can also place the trap bar on more weight plates to ensure
The Sumo Deadlift
The sumo deadlift is another option worth considering, it involves a wider leg base as you start the move which puts less stress on the lumbar spine, brings the quads and glutes into it slightly more and it gives you additional pulling strength to possibly, start lifting more weights.
This is another good option for taller players.
Other Compound Lifts
While Deadlift is the most important lift, we can get all of our strength work into 2 days in the gym if that is something you are committed to doing, you can also do 3 or 4 days depending on your availability and how much golf practice you need to do.
Squat is another exercise that can add the perfect balance to your legs workout by attacking the Quads, Glutes, Lower Back and Core.
The squat is the number one, go to exercise for most sports, adding overall strength and explosiveness to the body. Because the unique movements in golf we favour the Deadlift.
Pull ups are the squat of the upper body and they also help us to develop grip strength, back strength and bicep strength. It works all of the upper body and it is an absolute key to increasing overall strength.
If you can do more than 5 comfortably, use a weight vest or a belt to keep your weight higher and reps lower for strength.
The Bench Press will also play a vital role in developing overall power in your golf swing. The bench press will work the pectorals, triceps and the inner head of the shoulder. Keep those weight ranges to 1-5 for maximum strength and power benefits for the course.
Press the barbell straight over your head to work the shoulders and the upper back. A really nice move for upper body strength. Keep the weights high and dip the knees for the last few reps if you are struggling and power through to the top of the movement.
That is all the compounds you need as your bare essential golf strength training.
We also like to supplement these with accessory lifts. We still keep these heavy (6 Reps *3 Sets) and include: Dumbell Lunges, Cable Rows, Lateral Raises, Chest Flies, Sled Pushes.
Power And Core Exercises
If you have a third day you work on the core and power exercises like Plank, Twisting Wall Slams, Med Ball Slams, Cable Wood Chops Etc. Exerting your maximum force for 1 rep will allow you to increase your power through the Alactic System.
2 or 3 Days of strength training is fine for golf but always remember that heavy lifting is the key in the gym for improving power, control and distance on the golf ball.
Hi, I am Matthew, a mid handicap golfer who likes to play as much as possible. I love trying out new gear and this blog is where you can find all the gear I have tested over the years!