We’re all in the same boat now. We all face the same challenges when it comes to training under the current shutdowns due to COVID-19.
And that includes rotational athletes.
A rotational athlete is any athlete who uses twisting within the torso in order to perform their sport-specific movement. They include golfers, swimmers, tennis players, and baseball/softball players. Here’s what all rotational athletes have in common: They transfer forces generated from the lower body through the core to accelerate the upper body and limbs. Like everyone else, rotational athletes are stuck at home with minimal equipment and little space to train. But that does not mean they can’t load and challenge their bodies. There are four main areas that need to be addressed: 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
Here’s the good news: A little creativity goes a long way. And here’s how to succeed using only 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. 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 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 pushups add a 5 sec slow eccentric lowering.
Plyometric Push Ups
Rotational Power Without Medicine Balls
Most people rely on medicine ball throws for rotational power 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
All About Mobility
Mobility, as it pertains to the needs of the golf swing, tennis stroke, throwing or hitting, should focus on:
pelvic anterior/posterior tilting
shoulder external rotation
Work in and out of the end range of each movement with some pauses at end range mixed in. Make mobility work a daily practice. Shoulder 90/90 ER Lift Offs
Side Lying Open Books
Seated Hip Flow
The fundamental and eternal truths of training have not changed. You can AND MUST continue to train for the physical demands of rotational sports like golf, tennis, baseball/softball and swimming. And you can AND MUST do so with minimal equipment, as described above. The payoff? You’ll improve performance, strength, power, and mobility. You’ll also reduce the risk of injury and improve general health. Any way you look at it, it’s a big win on every level. So do it. Questions? Contact me using the link below. About the Author Dr. J.P. Guidry DPT is the owner and head strength coach at Guidry Golf and Sport and creator of the Lifelong Athlete Program. He is a licensed physical therapist, certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a Titleist Performance Institute Level 2 Certified Fitness Professional.