Minimalist Home Training for the Rotational Athlete
We are all under the same challenges when it comes to training under the current shut downs due to COVID-19. Most of us are stuck at home with minimal equipment and space to train but that does not mean that we cant load and challenge our bodies. When it comes to physical preparedness for those rotational athletes involved in sports such as golf, tennis, swimming and baseball/softball there are four main areas that need to be addressed: A rotational athlete is any athlete who uses twisting within the torso in order to perform their sport-specific movement. This is done by transferring forces generated from the lower body through the core to accelerate the upper body and limbs.
Regardless of the sport all rotational athletes need to focus on the following areas:
1. Lower Body Strength and Power
2. Upper Body Strength and power (specifically chest pressing)
3. Rotational Power
4. Mobility of the hips, thoracic spine and shoulder complex
While having access to a fully stocked gym gives us a number of options to work on, these issues they can still be very effectively improved with minimal equipment. One of the silver linings of being quarantined with the Covid-19 madness is that if has forced me to get creative with my training and programming for my clients. For the sake of this article, the only equipment needed will be a beach towel, bands, your body and a small area of floor space.
Lower Body Strength and power
When it comes to minimalist training for lower body strength and power the two main areas that should be focused on are jumping and single leg movements. On top of these, I like to use slow eccentrics and isometrics to increase the challenge and intensity. Stick to 3-5 rep range for jumps and 8 to 12 for the single leg movements. When using eccentrics and isometrics I like to stick around 4 to 8 seconds for both. Below are some good options that cover all of your lower body strength and power needs. I borrowed the towel ideas from the great coach Nick Buchan.
Iso towel split squat with split squat jump
Iso squat with squat jumps
Banded Modified RDL
Slow eccentric/Paused Split squats
Upper body Strength and Power
The basics do a great job here. A simple complex of pushups and plyometric pushups covers all of your bases for upper body strength and power needed for golf. Stick to 3-5 rep range for plyometric pushups and with pushups I like to work sets of 10-15 with solid mechanics. If you want to add some difficulty to push ups add a 5 sec slow eccentric lowering.
Plyometric push ups
Most people generally rely on medicine ball throws for this but it can be accomplished just as well with a set of bands. The key here is a fast explosive concentric movement with a slow controlled eccentric return. I like to stick to 6 to 8 reps with a 5-6 sec eccentric return
Standing banded rotations
½ kneeling Banded Rotations
Mobility as it pertains to the needs of the golf swing should focus around hip rotation, pelvic anterior/posterior tilting, thoracic rotation and shoulder external rotation. I like to work in and out of the end range of each movement with some pauses at end range mixed in. In my opinion it is good to a make a daily practice out of working mobility.
Shoulder 90/90 ER lift offs
Side lying Open Books
Seated hip flow
As you can see you can sufficiently train your body for the physical needs of the golf swing with minimal space and equipment. Continuing to improve the principal physical characteristics of strength power and mobility can no doubt have a huge benefit on not only performance but injury reduction, general health and wellness and longevity in sports.
About the author
My name is Dr. J.P. Guidry DPT and I am the owner and head strength coach at Guidry Golf and Sport and creator of the Lifelong Athlete Program. I am a licensed physical therapist, certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a Titleist Performance Institute Level 2 Certified Fitness Professional. We offer a variety of Remote Online and In-person Training options to fit your needs and goals. For more information check us out at www.guidrygolfandsport.com or www.guidrypt.com
“Enjoy the game and remember that we are all lifelong athletes”
Dr. John Paul Guidry DPT CSCS TPI F2