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April 19 2012

2:24 PM

Fitness: Strength + speed = power

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness Power in the golf swing equates to speed, and more speed provides the golfer with an opportunity to drive the golf ball farther. The increasing of swings speeds is a combination of the efficiency by which the golfer executes the swing, the ability of the body to generate power, and the matching up the correct equipment to the golfer’s swing characteristics. It is via the integration of these three variables by which swing speeds and driving distances can be increased. That being said, if the desire exists to increase ones swing speeds it will require attention to be paid to by the golfer to these three entities. As noted above, on the physical side of speed development we have what is termed power. Improving the power outputs of the body will provide the golfer with an opportunity to improve their swing speeds simply because the body has the ability to generate more speed within the biomechanics of the golf swing. The simple equation for increasing the power outputs of the body is strength plus speed. The development of both physical entities (i.e. strength and speed) is required in order for the body to generate more power, and the process by which strength and speed is developed is via different types of training. Speed training utilizes exercises commonly referred to as plyometrics to increase the rate (i.e. speed) at which the body generates force. These types of exercises focus on the interaction of the nervous and muscular systems and the rate at which these two systems produce explosive movements. Strength training on the other hand addresses the amount of force the muscular system produces. The greater amount of force the muscles of the body can generate is the foundation by which speed can be enhanced. Strength training creates the foundation for power development whereas speed training enhances the explosiveness of the muscular system. Both are needed to increase the power outputs of the body, but are trained with very different types of exercises. At this point we understand two components to increase the power outputs of the body for the golf swing, strength and speed. We are also aware the exercises and training modalities utilized to develop each of these physical entities is very different. Strength training focuses on force whereas speed addresses explosiveness. On the strength side of this equation golf requires the development of what is termed lower body push, lower body pull, upper body push, and upper body pull strength. Essentially indicating strength training for golf requires attention to the entire body as an integrated unit. The exercise A very good lower body exercise for golf focused on developing push and rotary strength is the Medicine Ball Rotational Squat. To perform the Medicine Ball Rotational Squat grasp a medicine ball with both hands, place your feet shoulder width apart, body upright, and hands in front of the chest. Slowly lower the hips to the floor by bending at the knees. Continue to squat downward until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause for one second and slowly extend the legs. Simultaneously rotate the hips, torso, and shoulders to your right. Continue to rotate and extend the legs until standing upright. Pivot on the ball of your left foot during the rotation. Return to the starting position of the exercise, and repeat rotating towards the left. Perform 6-15 repetitions of the exercise. Remember increasing power is strength plus speed and we must develop both entities within the body. 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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