Maria Fassi of Mexico hits her tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round for the 2021 KPMG Women's Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on June 24, 2021 in Johns Creek, Georgia. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America via Getty Images)
LPGA Tour player Maria Fassi is known for her distance, with an average of 280 yards off the tee last year. How does she generate that much power? What are her keys to keeping her fitness in check all year?
It’s different than you may think.
Mix High With Low Intensity During a Week
First off, Fassi does not waste any time in the offseason when it comes to her training — she works out six days a week, with two days allotted for active recovery. Those sessions include low intensity workouts to help restore her muscles from previous days’ strenuous workouts. Walking or swimming are great recovery day options and will remove toxins built up during the higher-intensity workouts.
And what do those tougher workouts include?
“One day of the week, I do moderate to heavy lower body workouts in the gym,” says Fassi. “The key is to do a lot of reps with not a lot of weight. The goal is to be explosive — to be fast.”
Maria’s lower body workouts consist of a lot of lunges, squats and deadlifts, which help generate power from the ground-up in the golf swing, and she recreates this in the gym.
“It is good to train my body to move fast and explosively because those are the exercises that get me more distance, and who doesn’t want more distance?” she adds. “Another day is all about the upper body. This is where I do any sort of workout that trains for fast twitches of the arm and shoulder muscles.”
Control and Mobility are Key
A misconception about working out is by building bulk and muscle in the upper body by any means. Instead, as Fassi says, it is important to train fast with your muscles so your clubhead speed can increase.
Other days of the week in the gym consist of slower, more controlled movements to train the whole body. Yes, these are exercises with heavier weights, but since the movements are controlled — instead of fast and explosive — they help build muscle in a healthy and athletic way.
Adds Fassi: “Less reps with more weight help keep my full body engaged during the workout.”
When asked which day of the week is the most important in the gym, Fassi says, “every exercise compliments one another so there is no one day or exercise which stands out. They’re all important, but the average golfer can see a lot of improvement in their game with mobility exercises.”
Fassi’s favorite mobility workouts include yoga and pilates, which lend ample help to golfers looking to become more flexible. “Yoga and pilates are nice because they’re more than mobility to me,” she adds. “They train my mind because they’re relaxing, which helps with my mental game.”
Have an In-Season Routine
During the season, Fassi goes to the gym for one moderate to heavy session, two to three days of active recovery, and a lot of physical therapy and physio work. Her trainer Michael Urena, who creates her workout and mobility plan for her throughout the off-season, also travels with her during the season.
“With travel and golf tournaments, it’s better for my body to focus less on building muscle and more on maintaining it,” says Fassi. “Michael also helps me warm up before each event with stretches and mobility exercises, and we do a lot with resistance bands before I hit the range, which helps a lot.”
Different workouts for different days keep your body guessing. For a workout aficionado like Fassi, what’s her favorite however? The engine of the golf swing.
“Anything involving the core,” she adds. “I’m best at core exercises, like the plank dumbbell pull-through, so that might be why, but body weight workouts where my core burns are my absolute favorite.”
If you want to start hitting bombs off the tee like Fassi, these tips above will be a good foundation for your own workout plan. Good luck!
Abby Parsons, PGA, demonstrates some of Maria's go-to workouts:
Sumo Front Squats
Plank with Pull Through Dumbbell
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