For those that don’t know supersets are a technique of putting two or more non-competing exercises together and alternating between for the prescribed number of sets and reps.
If you were to superset a deadlift and a press for 3 sets of 5 reps, for example, it would look like this:
Press variation x 5
Repeat process twice more
Traditional supersets are meant to save time in the gym and maximize metabolic stress or hypertrophy. Whilst saving time in the gym is essential for golfers - we want to get you in and out as quick as possible having achieved what you need to, in order for you to get back on the course and practice your skills – maximizing metabolic stress and hypertrophy is not typically of huge importance for golfers so instead we have developed some non-traditional supersets that save time in the gym and improve the quality of movement.
The supersets below should be programmed directly into your workout and fall into two broad categories mobility-strength/power supersets or activation-strength/power supersets
Mobility is widely accepted as vital to an effective golf swing, and for good reason. Performing mobility exercises can aid in getting the body into more optimal positions both for the golf swing and for the exercises we use to increase strength and power in the golf swing. For example, improved hip mobility can lead to more depth on your squat, while better thoracic spine mobility may improve your ability to rotate. Even better, better positions due to increased mobility means greater force output:
However, many golfers loss the effect of mobility exercises due to a lack of proper programming. We need to not only increase range of motion, but we need to learn how to control it. By pairing a mobility drill with a strength exercise, we make use of that newfound range of motion. This leads to an adaptation both muscularly and within the motor plan itself.
As I mentioned above, the mobility-strength superset should be placed within the training session itself. Exercises that increase hip or ankle mobility, like a 90/90 switch, hip flexor or ankle mobilisation will directly influence the depth of the squat, and by performing the squat right after, we immediately make use of the new found mobility. This in effect teaches the central nervous system that it’s ok to utilise the new range of motion, as we possess adequate stability to control it.
It is also vital to avoid overdoing it on the mobility portion of the superset. Keep it short and sweet, just enough to create change. One of my favourite pairings for mobility-strength supersets is to pair a hip flexor mobilisation (this is great as it combines some ankle mobility too) with a squat variation. Alternate between these two movements to enhance mobility, technique and ultimately force output in the squat.
1A: Hip flexor mobilisation - 3x8/side
1B: Goblet squat - 3x8
This method can also be utilized in exactly the same way to develop better movement and rotational mechanics in power exercises, such as med-ball throws. The split-stance rotational med-ball toss is a great way to develop t-spine mobility in it’s self, however it is hard to rotate if you’re stuck in t-spine flexion, so superset an extension drill will mean better rotation and more range of motion with greater force output as a result.
1A: Bench t-spine extension – 3x10
1B: Split-stance rotational med-ball scoop toss – 3x5-8/side
In the same fashion as the mobility-strength superset, this superset goes directly into the training program. We’re looking to maximize the amount of muscular contraction and integration for the strength or power lifts, like the squat, deadlift, press variations or jump variations.
For example, many athletes struggle to brace their core when deadlifting, this leads to an over reliance on the lumbar spine to create stability, and an excessive arch of the spine that could lead to or exacerbate back pain. This makes performing a set of an anti-extension core exercise to fire the core and promote neutral spine before deadlifting very valuable.
1B: Deadlift variation
Similarly, when overhead pressing (or pressing in general) many people have an upper trap dominance and don’t properly upwardly rotate the scapular by using the serratus anterior and/or the lower trap, a single arm y-raise or wallslide variation to fire up these muscles before doing an overhead press is very valuable to enhancing form.
1A: Forearm wallslide on roller
1B: Overhead/ Landmine press variation
The key with the activate-strengthen supersets is to activate not annihilate the muscle with the activation exercise, don’t chase fatigue here, do that with the strength exercise if you must.
This method can also be utilized in power development, to create better landing mechanics when jumping. We often see a valgus, or inward, knee collapse when jumping due to poor glute activation – the glute musculature being one of the primary hip external rotators – activating the glutes prior to jump work can therefore be of use in improving jump mechanics.
1A: Single-leg glute bridge
1B: Static jump
The key to training for golf is to train with purpose. These supersets allow us to achieve the purpose of getting stronger, more powerful and moving better in less time and possibly more effectively than if the exercises were done separately. Give these a try, and if you're interested in knowing more or getting these supersets tailored exactly to your needs, why not check out our online coaching services.