How Jon Rahm, a Master’s favorite, prepares his body for play
The current world’s third ranked golfer and popular Master’s favorite Jon Rahm is the pinnacle of golf fitness, and the perfect example of how to best optimize the body-swing connection.
Apr 3, 2023 | Larry Piretra, PT, DPT, CSCS, TPI-M2
The current world’s third ranked golfer and popular Master’s favorite Jon Rahm is the pinnacle of golf fitness, and the perfect example of how to best optimize the body-swing connection. Rahm was born with a club foot (a congenital condition in which a baby is born with their foot typically turns inward and downward), which meant he had to have corrective surgery. Because of this, Rahm lacks mobility and stability in his right ankle, which along with limited right hip internal rotation, directly impacts his backswing. Instead of accepting this as a permanent limitation, Rahm was able to work with his team of golf, fitness, and health professionals to modify his swing and build up other aspects of his body for the most efficient swing possible. As you watch him, you will see his patented short backswing, with which he is still able to generate significant power with his bowed wrist and strength throughout his upper and lower body.
Jon Rahm’s current fitness regimen is a balance of mobility, stability, motor control, and sequencing. Rahm credits a lot of his success to his team from Titleist Performance Institute, including his trainer Spencer Tatum, swing coach David Phillips, and health professional Greg Rose. He notes the collaborative communication was vital in everyone adjusting their work depending on everyone’s feedback within their respective field. Rahm ensures his workouts are structured all around compound movements and asymmetries within the exercises specifically, with balance and stability as a specific focus, as these are vital within the golf swing.
Throughout his long 4-day tournaments, Rahm credits his mobility routines and physio-based massage to keep his body in high performance playing shape. He credits much of his in-season success to his offseason programming and putting in the time which directly translates into his in-season performance. Rahm has also worked with nutritional experts to formulate a plan for a proper eating and hydrating schedule for before, during, and after his round. He constantly snacks through his round on trail mix, dried fruit (pineapple, mango, raisins), and pistachios or almonds. This allows him to keep his constant energy without being too lethargic, along with eating a full peanut butter sandwich at the 9-hole turn (the halfway mark).
Jon Rahm’s pre-round routine may look like most individual’s full workout routine. Through a resistive and dynamic warm-up, Rahm ensures his muscles are activated and primed for optimal performance. He focuses on low reps and high intensity-based exercises which include medicine ball toss, kettle bell swings, banded rotations, reactive hip twists, and Turkish getups. This aligns with the current research of resistive warm-ups resulting in longer distance played, compared to isolated or dynamic warmups.
This health and fitness journey is one of the main reasons Jon Rahm is always in the hunt to win, especially in the Master’s Tournament this week. He is the epitome of optimizing your swing based on how your body moves; while there are a million ways to swing the golf club, but based on you and your body, there is one, most efficient way. Along with his team around him, Rahm is constantly improving his body, and in turn, improving his swing.
Larry Piretra, PT, DPT, CSCS, TPI-M2, is a physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist who serves as the Manhattan Site Lead and splits his time between the city and Fairfield County. As a Titleist Medical and Fitness Professional, Larry also serves as the Golf Programming Lead for Performance.