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Improve Your Golf Drive the Kettlebell Way

written by: Terry Caron • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 6/29/2011

Strength and flexibility play a big part in a golfer’s ability to hit the ball long distances. One of the tools that athletes, including golfers, are incorporating into their workout routines is kettlebells. Learn about kettlebells and golf drive improvement.

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    What are Kettlebells?

    Kettlebells have been used for hundreds of years beginning with Russian soldiers. The kettlebell is a weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. Its unique design, shape, and use, create a source of strengthening and toning that cannot be derived from other free weights. Kettlebells require explosive strength as well as endurance to perform the typical exercises with them. They also require you to learn how to use the entire body to effectively move the weight correctly. Kettlebell training works great for strengthening, toning, and endurance, but how do golfers in particular benefit from kettlebells? Let's explore the relationship between kettlebells and golf.

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    Benefits of Kettlebell Training

    Recently golfers have learned the benefits of weight training and the improvement in their game. A few of these golfers have also learned the benefits of strength training with kettlebells. One exercise, called the kettlebell swing or two handed swing, is particularly beneficial to golfers. The two handed swing is the basic movement for all kettlebell training and is one of the most effective total body workouts you can find. This exercise strengthens every muscle in the body from fingers to toes. This adaptable increase in strength and flexibility is important for golfers because of the benefits to the shoulders, core, fingers, and forearms. The kettlebell swing is a great workout for the shoulders, lower back, hips, and buttocks, which is of particular interest to golfers. These are the same muscles that are used for swinging a golf club. This exercise and others provide functional strength that will transfer directly to the links allowing golfers to enjoy the benefits of both health and a better drive.Here is the basic steps behind the kettlebell swing. (It is recommended to get professional training with kettlebells before beginning any exercise program.)

    1. The kettlebell swing is performed by grasping the kettlebell with both hands and holding between the legs.
    2. Force the kettlebell back between your legs and then with an explosive movement, swing the kettlebell up.
    3. The kettlebell should be extended out in front of you, at about eye level.
    4. As the kettlebell begins to fall, control the return, bend at the knees, and drive the kettlebell back between your legs.
    5. Repeat steps two through four as many times as you can until tired.
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    Improved Focus and other Benefits

    Focus is very important to a golfer during a tee shot, drives, and putting. Training with kettlebells will actually improve focus. Like swing thoughts in golf, the same mental focus and constant brain activity is used and developed when working out with kettlebells. As you work out using the kettlebell, you train your mind to focus on the key movements necessary to perform the exercises. This is the same type of focus that is required throughout the entire swing of a golf club, from the backswing to the follow through. The same mind and body training that is used when working out with kettlebells can be transferred to the golf course and leads to better concentration and focus. Not to mention it’s a lot of fun.

    The popularity of kettlebells is increasing all the time. Many professional athletes, big screen stars, and other professionals are incorporating kettlebells into their workouts due to their effectiveness and speed. Functional strength, conditioning, and mental focus are important in any sport and kettlebells provide an effective means of delivering.