“Dear, ‘The Golfing Doc.’; Are there any good medicine ball exercises that I can add to my golf workouts? Thanks. John R. Seattle, WA”.
The medicine ball has been used for decades as a training aid to help build explosive speed and power. In golf-specific training, the medicine ball can be used for developing all the same things, in addition to helping you build a strong and functional core. In this article, I will discuss how to incorporate a medicine ball into your training program and show you a few of the top exercises I use with my players.
The first step in medicine ball training is to get the right equipment. You will need a medicine ball that weighs around 5 pounds. Some bounce, some don’t bounce, but it doesn’t really matter. If you want to get a second medicine ball, get one that is around 10 pounds. You don’t need anything heavier than that. For this type of training, I would prefer that you have something lighter and do more reps and sets with proper form– rather than trying to max out your sets with a heavy ball. Most of the movements with medicine ball training are dynamic and explosive but should always be performed with good control and proper form.
Training with a medicine ball is good for developing power– generating it from the ground and transferring it up through the core to the upper body. A simple exercise to start with is the Squat to Press with the medicine ball. Starting with your feet shoulder width apart and the ball held out in front of your chest, lower yourself into a squat, keeping your knees over your feet. Then come back up into a standing position while pressing the ball overhead. Your pace for these reps should be to lower yourself for a count of two and then getting into the finished position with a count of one. You will feel your legs, glutes, core, and arms in this exercise. If you feel pressure in your lower back, do not arch it when you stand up. Make sure to inhale as you lower yourself and exhale as you come up to press the ball.
Another great exercise for developing weight transfer and power is the Side Lunge to Press with the medicine ball. Standing with your feet wider than shoulder width, perform a lunge to one side while holding the ball in front of you. Then in one smooth transition, drive from the bent leg to a standing position while pressing the ball above your head. Maintain balance for a second before dropping back into another repetition. Use the same speed count as the first exercise. Again, you will be working your legs, glutes, core, and arms in this exercise.
In golf, we want to develop a good strong base while having good mobility in our upper torso. We need to be able to generate explosive speed and power in order to hit that ball farther. A great exercise to help with this are the Slams with the medicine ball. This can be done in two different positions. In the first position, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the ball at face level or higher. Then in one explosive, but smooth move; slam the ball down in front of your feet. This is where you may want to use the heavier medicine ball. You may also do this exercise from a split stance without moving the legs. Basically; step forward into a lunge, hold your legs steady this time and slam the ball to the open side. You will definitely feel the core activate with either one of these exercises.
I suggest doing about 8 to 10 repetitions of each exercise per side for one to two sets. Perform them two to three times per week. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult your physician.