Around the Green
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One Exercise Impacts Whole Game
Do you want to know the one exercise that builds strong posture, grip, chest, back, shoulders, core, hips, legs, ankles and increases endurance? This exercise is the weighted carry which, as the name implies, involves picking up heavy stuff and carrying it. This total body exercise impacts your golf game to increase your golf endurance, build full body stability, coordination, and overall strength.
When you hold a heavy weight while walking you will notice the demand on your dynamic stabilization from the foot through to the hips, plus the whole core continuing on to your grip. Carries are self-limiting which means you only carry what you can handle. When holding heavy weight, you naturally work on efficiency to maintain balance and a tall posture, reduce arm swing and excess movement as you manage forces that will pull you off balance.
Today’s lesson demonstrates a wide variety of options to increase the total body strength that may be required for a demanding full round of golf. Since the weighted carry is a great way to train better posture, be sure you line up your shoulders, trunk, and hips under your ears from the side view. Also remember to stand tall and take small strides.
Other considerations for this exercise include choosing the amount of weight, the total time of the carry and the type of hold used to carry the weight. Carries should feel safe and athletic as you maintain good posture and keep the weight within your control.
Grab two heavy dumbbells, kettlebells or weight plates and hold them down by each side. With a tall posture begin walking for a time of 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Try to glide as you walk, eliminate arm swing, and minimize hip and trunk rotation.
This exercise targets the obliques when you hold only one heavy dumbbell, kettlebell, or weight plate. Like the Farmer’s Carry, you will not only need to manage the momentum of your gait but also the lateral pull from the asymmetrical load. On this one-sided carry, try to keep your shoulders as level as possible. You’ll repeat the carry on the other side.
Catch or Rack Carry
Use one or two arms to hold the kettlebell connected to your chest with elbow down. Keep the weight(s) connected to the body to ensure you don’t shift the load to shoulders exclusively. Holding the weight higher on your body requires more coordination of upper and lower body while maintaining dynamic stability during the shifts in weight.
Statue of Liberty Carry
Build your wrist, elbow, and shoulder stability along with low back strength with the bottom’s up Statue of Liberty Carry. Using a lighter weight than other carries, you will keep the weight directly over your bent elbow. The upside-down kettlebell really challenges the wrist, elbow, and shoulder stability. You may also hold the end of a dumbbell in your fingertips as a great option.
Carries are extremely functional to golf and life. Enjoy the benefits when you add carries into your weekly strength training program. Start light and focus on form, then add more weight and/or more time. Contact any TPI certified fitness trainer for programming specifics for your level.
Pam Owens is the Director of Fitness for Royal Oaks Country Club in Houston and the owner of Pam Owens Fitness. A three-time Golf Digest Top 50 Fitness Professional, Pam helps golfers all over the world get lean, bendy and powerful with online or in person coaching. For the free Golf Roll-Volution Routines and more resources, click here.