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The Tour Report
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March 15 2012

1:59 PM

Fitness: 4 keys to developing speed

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness

Speed development in the golf swing is an extremely important goal in the execution of an effective golf swing. Not only is it one of the more important objectives of the golf swing it is definitely one area where most every golfer would like more of it. And rightfully so as more speed equals more distance.

The question to ask is how can we increase speed in the golf swing?

To answer this question we must first take a look at how speed is developed in the golf swing. According to research from the Titleist Performance Institute power (i.e. speed) development within the golf swing is created via four channels.

The first of these channels is angular. Angular is a reference to the ability of the golfer to maintain the hinging of the wrists in the downswing into the impact position. Research indicates the greater “lag” within the downswing results in a more efficient and larger amount of energy transfer into the club at the impact position.

Angular speed development is ultimately contingent upon the efficiency by which the golfer executes the biomechanics of the golf swing: Basically, the greater efficiency within the execution of the golf swing equals more “lag” and increases in angular power.

The second channel of speed development within the golf swing is termed “Vertical”. Vertical power is a reference to the ground reaction forces generated during execution of the swing. An oversimplification of vertical power at work in the golf swing is the “posting action” onto the lead leg during the downswing and impact position.

Throw power is the third channel of speed development within the golf swing and is associated with the ability of the body and its muscular system to work like rubber bands where muscles are stretched and then contracted rapidly to produce high levels of speed.

The final channel of speed development in the swing is rotary power. Rotary power is the ability of the body to generate torque. Torque is basically speed in a rotational movement pattern and is evident in the golf swing in concepts such as the “coiling” and the development of an X-Factor.

We can see from this information four channels exist for the creation and enhancement of power (i.e. speed) within the athletic actions of the golf swing. Research also indicates outside of angular speed, the ability to increase power via these channels has a “physical” and “instructional” piece to the equation: Instructional referring to improving the efficiency by which the body executes the biomechanics of the golf swing. This in turn allows for greater efficiencies to occur within the development and transfer speed.

On the physical side of this equation, we are looking to enhance the power outputs of the muscular system through specialized types of exercises and training programs. This allows the golfer with the potential of the muscular system adding speed to the athletic actions of the golf swing.

An example of an exercise for speed enhancement in the golf swing can be viewed in the video above of the TRX Rip Trainer Straight Arm Rotations. This is a very good example of golf specific power exercise as we are incorporating a rotary movement pattern, initiating the utilization of ground reaction forces within the exercises, and enhancing the “rubber band” effect of within a number of the muscles associated with the golf swing.

Remember four channels exist for speed development exists within the golf swing: angular, vertical, throw, and rotary power.

To learn more about Sean Cochran and his golf fitness training exercises and golf fitness programs go to http://www.seancochran.com
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