Disc Golf Exercises and Strength Training

While mechanics are crucial to the disc golf throw, it's important to have your body in shape to throw. Talk about conditioning and injuries here.

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Disc Golf Exercises and Strength Training

Postby matthew516 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:07 pm

I've been a strength and condition coach, personal traininer, Crossfit level 1 and other such titles. I picked up disc golf several years ago and I have found that there are plenty of exercises out there that will help your endurance, distance off the tee and ability to produce power with your entire body.

Cardio is your best bet when trying to improve endurance, but disc golf isn't exactly a run as fast as you can type of sport. If your course has enough hills and length, just playing more than 18 holes usually helps with your endurance during tournaments. Some weekends I'll go play 60-70+ holes and that really has made a difference in being able to stay focused during two-four rounds of a tournament. However, I think being able to run 3-5 miles would be a good comparison to how much distance you could cover at a tournament. Also, a pretty easy substitute or addition to running is jump rope.

Flexibility is one of the most over-looked and underutilized FREE exercising you can do. It helps you warm up and also prevents injury. I would recommend a lot of lower body and hip stretches even throughout your round or while you're waiting for other players to throw. Tight hips take away from your ability to generate power from the ground up. I would also recommend shoulder and torso stretches as well, seems like common sense, but I know a lot of people who just step out of their car and start throwing. This also takes into consideration warming up before a round, throwing some putts, mids and drives just to get loose. When I worked with professional "ball" golfers, during a hour and 15 min workout 30 to 40 min could be spent just on improving flexibility. If your hips can't rotate and your back is tight you're not going to be able to produce as much power with your body to create that whip effect. Easy example: Make a fist and shake your hand as fast as possible......... now relax your hand and shake it as fast as possible......... the same is true with your body.
NOTE: A GREAT WEBSITE TO CHECKOUT IS http://www.mobilitywod.com (this is the single best site for improving and reclaiming mobility) GET A LACROSSE BALL!!!

Grip Strength: How you hold and release the disc has a big effect on distance and the amount of spin you can impart on the disc. Being able to do pull-ups will help increase your forearm and wrist strength. An easy and inexpensive grip trainer is a tennis ball, try and squeeze each individual finger along with your thumb. also if you look up http://rosstraining.com/blog/2010/09/14 ... ce-bucket/ you can see how to make a rice bucket and I would recommend checking out some baseball pitching rice bucket drills, they are AWESOME for strengthening your wrist, forearms and fingers. Probably the best $15 you can spend to improve grip strength. If you've never tried using a rice bucket you'll be amazed how much of a difference it makes.

Strength Training: I realize there are many schools of thought, different body types and certain limitations that individuals have when it comes to this topic. The best progression I have found in my experience working with college and professional athletes is to start with a good foundation. There's NO reason for you to bench press, deadlift or do any weighted movements if you can't move your own body weight efficiently. This especially applies to younger and older individuals. Some basic benchmarks I would have for beginners, intermediate and advanced:
Jump Rope 2 min
Push-Ups 25 or less
Pull-Ups 2-4
Run 2 miles in under 20 min

Jump Rope 5 min
Push-Ups 50-75
Pull-Ups 5-10
Run 3 miles in under 30 min

Jump Rope 10+ min
Push-Ups 100+
Pull-Ups 15+
Run 5 miles in under 40 min

Based on that breakdown I would say don't waste your time doing any weight lifting until you can meet the intermediate standard. I don't recommend using a lot of machines, unless you are injured for some reason. You don't play your sport sitting down, so there's no reason you should workout in that manner. Machines also don't allow you to use your entire body, it would be the equivalent to trying to throw a driver without using your legs, it's not going to workout for that well. Just like getting your entire body into your throw will help improve your distance, doing compound movements (squat, cleans, presses, ect.) will help improve your bodies ability to work as a unit and generate power.

Beginner workout example:
Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Dips, YTLWs(back strengthening), Bodyweight Squats, Lunges, Running Stairs, Box Jumps, Jump Rope, Sit Ups, Planks, Mountain Climbers, Flutter Kicks, Bicycles, Crunches, Medicine Ball Throws (incorporate X-Step) and Burpees (you can youtube video of all of these) as for reps I would do as many as possible until you are able to reach the intermediate numbers. If you're under 25 your age works well for reps or just try for a total of 50 reps in as few sets as possible.

Push-Ups 2x25 or 1x50
Pull-Ups 5x5 or 12x2
Dips 10x5 or 5x10
Squats 2x25 or 1x50
Lunges 2x25 or 1x50
Burpees 5x10
Core Work: as many as possible

Intermediate Workout Example:
Bench Press 10-15 reps
Pull-Ups 50 under 10min, and then under 5min
Dips - sets of 10-15
Squat (start with the bar and slowly add weight)
Trap Bar Deadlift 10x5 or 5x10
Shoulder Presses 10x5
DB Rows 5x10
Start working on learning how to do power clean and hang cleans
Core Work: Hanging Leg Raises, Palloff Press and Medicine Ball Throws

Advanced Workout Example:
Weighted Pull-Ups
Ring Dips 20+
Bench Press Body Weight 15 times
Squat Body 1.5 Weight x 15-20 times
Trap Bar Deadlifts
Power Cleans
Hang Cleans Push Press
Handstand Push-Ups
Muscle Ups
Double Unders with the Jump Rope
Rope Climbs
KB Turkish Get-Ups

Basically, you want to work your biggest muscle groups because they are the ones that can generate the most power whether you're a football player or a disc golfer the same rules apply for power and force production. Also, lifting weights don't limit range of motion, exercises such as squats, cleans and presses actually help increase flexibility and range of motion. Obviously, everyone is different, but I do know that starting with body weight exercises and gradually moving towards weighted movements is the safest and most effective way to increase strength and prevent injury. Pretty much all of those Advanced exercises work on improving fast twitch muscle fibers which if you were a baseball player you would use to hit a ball and in golf "ball" or disc, you use your body in a very similar manner. If you have any thoughts or individual questions let me know..... this merely a guide and hopefully some useful information.
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Re: Disc Golf Exercises and Strength Training

Postby JR » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:54 am

In the off season i don't see a problem about bench pressing or any other exercise that is not directly applicable to increasing throwing distance. Because in a secondary way not getting as tired in the non throwing time being in better shape allows you to start in a more fresh state allowing to get better exercise in throwing. From being able to hold the angles not rolling wrists etc. So you train better allowing a quicker progression in skills. One needs to account for psychology as well so in practicing throwing getting success motivates one to keep on throwing and doing it carefully. Not being mad and trying to force the throws which is not the way you normally throw. I'm so guilty of pushing too far and being mad. At times i do throw farther with adrenaline but open field practice hardly relates to on course performance around obstacles and honestly a dozen or two more distance with a low chance of success in distance only throwing is hardly gonna net you any more birdies on the course. More bogies though. I've done that to ad nauseum.

My background is different to that of most in that i'm using disc golf and field practice with hundreds of reps as exercise and rehab.

Some years ago i started to bench press semi systematically for the winter only and using Wii Fit boxing program and starting from muscle athrophied operated throwing arm i did get more putting distance. How much came from bench pressing and how much from punching air with the Wiimote in the hand i cannot say. Starting from almost nothing doing anything will help to a degree. Bench pressing is actually the same movement that is used for laser putting and that is my preferred putting form. Or actually was back then. Now i've incorporated a small few inches high arm lift for a hybrid mostly laser with some pitch putt in it hybrid form. Still the faster than before snake strike arm movement helps even now. So building up the muscle power by bench pressing probably has not been detrimental. Probably for driving either because you do need to straighten the elbow in a drive too and if bench pressing won't add speed and distance you still have more endurance. Which helps in later rounds in a tournament and in field practice with more drives than in a tourny. That means you can get in more quality practice drives in field practice. It is better to get 200 good drives than 40 good ones and 160 iffy drives.

Bench pressing caught my eye and i took it only as an example. If your physique and the rest of the life allows doing more exercising to places not directly contributing to throwing will still help as long as the training does not take away from disc golf training. Being more fit rarely hurt anybody in scoring.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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