Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Power Up Your Golf Game and Fitness with the Kettlebell Swing!

PicturePhoto by Thomas Kreutzer
Without a doubt one of our favorite exercises to build both strength and power in the back, hips, hamstrings and core is the kettlebell swing. The kettlebell swing delivers more bang for your buck than any other exercise we've come across, and according to EP Golf co-founder Hugh Kinney, whenever he hears people say that they only have 10 minutes to do something he recommends the kettlebell swing.

When done with heavier weights for sets of lower repetitions this exercise is great for strength and power development. When done with lighter weights for longer sets of higher reps it improves joint integrity by strengthening the tendons and ligaments, and challenges the cardiovascular system as well.

As an added benefit to the golfer, the kettlebell swing strengthens the postural muscles required for the stance. A stronger more balanced stance that you can maintain for longer periods of time will not only improve your performance, it will reduce your chance of injury and post-play soreness.

Please enjoy this video of EP Golf co-founder and physical preparation specialist Scott Shetler instructing EP Golf team member and professional golfer, Melissa Siviter on the dynamics of this awesome exercise.

Kettlebells are great to have at home. To do an effective kettlebell workout you need very little space and in a short period of time you can get more work done with one or two kettlebells than you can at most big-box fitness centers. We recently came across a study that showed 8 minutes of high intensity kettlebell circuit training to have a similar metabolic effect to 20 minutes of running!

If you take advantage of our $69 / year EP Golf Club membership we have an entire fitness training program with options for beginner, intermediate and advanced fitness enthusiasts, that provides instruction in kettlebell exercises as well as other drills we recommend to round out your training plan. The EP Golf Fitness Program is a downloadable e-book with corresponding videos available in our members-only section. In addition to the EP Golf Fitness Program we provide tons of awesome content through articles and instructional videos.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Develop a Powerful Golf Swing with the Full Contact Twist!

In golf, and virtually every other sport, rotation of the torso is an important physical skill. Rotation allows us to swing golf clubs and baseball bats, throw footballs and baseballs, and throw powerful punches and kicks. Strong and powerful rotation comes from driving through the legs and the hips and not twisting at the waist.

Many of you might have seen, or even used, those Nautilus-style abdominal rotation machines at your gym or fitness center. The goal of that specific machine is to strengthen the oblique abdominal muscles which are responsible for both rotating and laterally flexing the spine.

There are a few problems with this type of machine.

First it is a seated machine and swinging a golf club is not a seated movement. The development of power in a rotational movement, such as the golf swing, begins with the feet driving into the ground to produce the force that it sends up the legs into the hips and torso and finally into the arms and club which make contact with the ball.

Second the machine locks your hips into place and encourages rotation of the lumbar spine. This is not to goal when swinging a golf club, rather we are looking for an integrated rotation between the hips and torso with little to no separation of the two.

A better way to develop a strong and powerful rotational capacity in the hips and torso, is to perform the Full Contact Twist exercise using a rotational sleeve device (we favor the Westside Barbell powerlifting club coach Louie Simmons' "Grappler") or to simply stick the end of a barbell in the corner between the floor and two walls to create a pivot point.

For instructions on how to perform this exercise, please view our training video with EP Golf advisory board member, Melissa below.
There are many levels of core training for golf, from static exercises to dynamic exercises, and for more in-depth information we recommend joining our exclusive EP Golf Club. This gives you access to our members-only section of the website that provides more articles, training videos and the entire EP Golf Fitness Program. In addition we update the site with new content regularly and as a member you will have access to all published articles, videos, e-books and other information property we develop.