Trevor ‘TA’ Anderson has worked with some top golfers including two-time World Long Drive Champion Tim Burke. He believes that physical stability is the foundation of a good golf swing.
He uses the TRX suspension trainer to get results with his golfers, whatever level they are, because he has found that it’s a great way to improve mobility, add distance to golf drives and increase the consistency of performances.
As he points out, the golf swing is one of the most explosive moves in sport where you have to accelerate and decelerate movement in a very short span of time. Having a strong and stable body will help you to do this with less injury risk, so read on for his top stability training tips, as well as five killer TRX suspension trainer moves...
RSNG Can you sum up your strength and conditioning work with golfers? TREVOR ‘TA’ ANDERSON “To me, golf is all about movement. If I can help them move better, then I can help them perform better. My philosophy is “MAP” – Movement, Athleticism, Power. Each session should have aspects of each of these, and if I do a good job of incorporating aspects of MAP, then we are getting better.”
RSNG Can you define stability, particularly in relation to golf? TA “Stability is the most important and primary factor in the golf swing. My definition of stability is: the ability of the body’s neuromuscular foundation to remain constant, unchanged, and firmly aligned when experiencing stress from external forces being placed upon it.”
“Proper stability allows for the body to accelerate, and subsequently decelerate, through the kinematic sequence of the golf swing. Strength, balance, and proprioception are some of the main factors for stability.”
Adding distance to your drive is a positive byproduct of great stability but improved consistency is the most beneficial factor
RSNG How does stability relate to grounding and generating power off the ground during a golf swing? TA “Proper stability creates a great relationship with the ground. Added distance is a positive byproduct of great stability. However, improved consistency is the most beneficial factor.”
RSNG Can using a TRX help you increase your club-head speed? TA “Absolutely. TRX does an amazing job of creating an environment where a golfer can fully activate the body, from the ground up, to first establish stability, which lends itself to improved mobility, and ultimately efficient coordination.”
RSNG What else is it about a TRX that makes it the ideal tool for working with golfers, when compared to things like stability balls and bodyweight exercises? TA “TRX is a tool that is a part of a bigger system of training. Although there are so many great tools to use, if I had to choose just one tool to take on the road to be at my best from every aspect of fitness, TRX would be it. Full body activation, strength, power, range of motion, metabolic conditioning – TRX covers all of the bases that a golfer needs to be successful.”
RSNG Are golfers more at risk of muscle imbalance because the sport is so one-sided? TA “Of course. The golf swing is one of the most violent activities in all of sports – standing in one place, aggressively changing directions, shifting weight, creating a bunch of speed, and then rapidly decelerating everything to a stable finish is a lot to ask… So, training from both sides is something that I make sure I do.”
“The goal is not to necessarily be as coordinated or efficient with the opposite side, but to balance out movement patterns and muscle activation from both sides, especially for the sake of a healthy spine.”
RSNG What does the TRX Rip Trainer offer to the golfer doing strength and conditioning training? TA “The TRX Rip Trainer allows users to engage in unlimited movements which, when performed properly, enhance stability, fluidity, and range of motion in the golf swing, and decrease the risk of injury. Whether used for high speed striking movements or slow speed strength and stability exercises, the Rip Trainer is the perfect training tool for elite level golfers, weekend warriors, and even people wanting to play golf for the first time.”
RSNG How does managing deceleration help with a golf swing and why is stability relevant to this? TA “The Kinematic Sequence is the way that the human body biomechanically generates power from the ground up. Maximizing the way that the body transfers energy from one segment of the body to the other is essential to generate power and control, and acceleration and the subsequent deceleration is the key to this.”
“The proper sequence for the full golf swing, starting from the transition (top of the backswing), begins from the rotation of the pelvis, followed by the torso, then the arms, and finally the club. Without the ability to decelerate each of these segments, the golf swing will fail to be efficient and repeatable.”
Every swing must start and end with great balance because stability is the foundation of the swing
RSNG How does balance come into this equation? TA “Every swing must start and end with great balance. Understanding how the feet connect to the ground at the beginning, during, and at the finish of the golf swing will determine the success of the golfer. Balance is critical, because stability is the foundation of the swing.”
RSNG Have you worked with golfers in their 40s and 50s who have increased their driving distance through working with a TRX? TA “Absolutely. Although my mission is to help golfers MOVE better, they immediately begin to enjoy gains in distance and speed, especially because we activate the appropriate movement patterns, stability, and activation.”
RSNG Is there something you see people doing in golf workout videos that you wish they wouldn’t? TA “Haha….all the time. One thing is that I am not a fan of trying to specifically mimic or replicate the swing with extra weight. I don’t think loading the spine in rotation with heavy medicine balls or the like is safe or effective for the golf swing. Do I use medicine balls? Yes! I love using them, but even with the 2x World Long Drive Champ, I don’t use more than a 10lb ball.”
“One other thing I recommend against is swinging heavy clubs of distally loaded clubs. The biomechanics must change to swing them, and the deceleration patterns change as well. I have seen countless people hurt themselves, as the wrists, elbows, shoulders, serratus, and obliques take a tremendous load that they often are not prepared to handle. More is not better….BETTER is better.”
RSNG What three things can our readers do in their next workout to make it more golf-specific? TA “I would say start by focusing on dynamic stability (single leg and in golf posture), transition into functional mobility, and ultimately into coordination and sequence. Improving these fundamental aspects of golf performance will translate directly to the course.”
RSNG Can you recommend five killer TRX moves for golf stability and strength? TA ‘1. TRX Mid Row (for posture and activation in the upper back) Start with the straps in the short position, standing facing the anchor point, in a tall plank posture, with the arms bent and hands next to the rib cage. Slowly lower body towards the floor by extending arms to full extension. Pull shoulder blades down and back, bending arms to pull body back to start position.
2. TRX Chest Press (to actively open up the chest and shoulders for great posture, a healthy spine, and balance from front to back) Start with the straps in the long position, standing facing away from the anchor point, in a tall plank posture with arms extended, straps hovering over shoulders. Lower the body towards the floor, by bending the arms until they are bent just past 90 degrees, widening the hands as the chest drops between them. Press your body away from the floor by extending the arms back to the start position.
3. TRX Crunch (performed on forearms – to activate pelvis movement and activation for a better posture and positioning throughout the swing) Start with the straps at “mid calf” position (bottom of straps 12 inches from the floor), lying on the floor facing away from the anchor point, with forearms on the ground, one foot in each strap, and body in the plank position. Bring both knees to chest as hips raise up, looking back at the knees. Extend the legs and hips to the original plank position.
4. TRX Golf Swings (to establish a stable address posture, full rotation, and effective sequence – while maintaining full activation throughout the swing) Start with straps at mid length, arms straight, with the right palm facing up, and the left palm facing down (for right handed swing). Initiate the backswing, allowing the torso and hips to rotate, and right arm to fold, while maintaining taught straps throughout the movement. Initiate downswing from the ground up, starting with the hips, then torso, and then the arms, rotating until the arms are parallel to the ground.
5. TRX Rip Trainer Impact Holds (to establish first, a great sequence, and then a position of stability at impact) Stand sideways to the anchor point, holding the Top Trainer with the right palm facing up, and the left palm facing down (for right handed swing). Initiate movement with the hips, driving them to the front side (left), followed by the torso, and then the Rip Trainer, focusing on rapidly pulling with the front (left) arm, and rapidly pushing with the back (right) arm to full extension and balance. Hold the end range, and control the movement back to the original position.
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To find out more about how to use training tools like the TRX Rip Trainer, visit TRX Training Club.
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