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.
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.
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