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September 19 2012

1:23 PM

Fitness: Strength + speed = power

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness

Power in the sport of golf equates to higher ball speeds, clubhead speeds, and increased distance off the tee. There is no doubt increasing the power outputs in the golf swing can provide great benefits. Research indicates increasing clubhead speed by 1 mph equates to 2-3 yards of extra distance. Multiplying this equation out with clubhead speed increases of 5-10 mph we can really see the advantages of how boosting power can augment ones golf game.

The most basic equation for increasing power on the physical side of the equation is strength + speed. Breaking this equation down indicates we must develop two components within the body in order to increase the power outputs of the body. The first of these components is strength.

Strength can be defined as the ability of the muscular system to exert the required levels of force to execute the functional movement patterns incorporated in the athlete’s chosen sport. Relative to the golf swing, strength is a foundational platform within the body allowing the golfer to execute the swing in the proper postural positions, rotate around a fixed spine angle, and transfer energy efficiently to the clubhead at impact.

Strength development requires the body to be overloaded for a period of time. This results in an adaption of the muscular system in the form of the ability to exert increased levels of force. Typically, external resistance in the form of dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, suspension trainers, and even one’s bodyweight is used for this process.

The second piece of the “power equation” is speed. Speed is defined as magnitude of velocity. Relative to the body our goal is to improve one’s velocity, and this is achieved by teaching the neuromuscular system to operate at higher rates of speed. We can utilize a number of different training modalities to achieve this outcome. One of the most popular and readily utilized types of speed training in the sport of golf is plyometric training.

Plyometric training incorporates what is termed the “stretch shortening cycle” to improve the process by which the body generates speed. Jump training and medicine ball exercises are common modalities found within plyometric training for the sport of golf.

At this point we now understand the components involved in the “power equation” for golf. In order to improve the power outputs of the golf swing on the physical side of the equation, it is necessary for the golfer to address both the strength and speed components of the muscular system.

A very good speed exercise for the sport of golf is the Kneeling Medicine Ball Side Throw . This exercise utilizes a medicine ball and improves rotary speed for the golf swing.

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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