What Do We Want? More Distance!
When the majority of people go into the gym for golf they have one goal: they want to hit it further. With so many tour players picking up speed and bombing it out there, it makes it look like a lot of fun. Especially now with so much data bringing to light the advantages a longer player has over the field. I will agree, the gym is more than half the battle to picking up speed. Unfortunately, what I see people doing is not going to help them swing faster. In fact, it may tighten you up and make your game worse.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You want to hit the ball farther
You’re willing to get to the gym to improve your game
You want to know how to use your gym time effectively
Strength Training Isn’t Speed Training
Is strength training important for getting faster? Yes. Is this is the only piece? Absolutely not.
Most the time people think if they get stronger they will swing faster. I will agree that a general strength program is important. You can only produce as much power as you have strength. Activating the muscles and getting them to contract is a very important piece of the puzzle to swinging faster. However, you must keep in mind what you are doing to your body when you are lifting. During the lift we are actually putting small micro tears in the muscle. The body then repairs them and makes them slightly bigger and stronger than before, assuming we have proper nutrition. When the muscle is repaired, we must make sure we are not losing range of motion and flexibility. This is where a lot of you can be damaging your golf game due to “bulking up” and not maintaining or improving on your range of motion.
How is strength training different than power training?
Strength is being able to lift as much weight as possible, which will result in a slow motion. Think of squatting as your max weight for one rep. You will drop down with the weight and, pushing as hard as you can, slowly rise up.
Power is much different. Power is speed plus strength. Think about throwing a 5 pound rock as far as possible. You used your strength to pick up and move the rock. Then you rapidly moved the rock by throwing it. This is why Olympic lifting is a home for golfers. Exercises like power cleans and snatches move the bar using the entire body for strength, and they force you to quickly perform the rep. Do not go straight to the gym and start doing Olympic lifting. Make sure you have a good understanding of the movements, positions, form and using a light enough weight. Everything you do for golf fitness should be to prevent injury first, then improve performance.
If you are wanting to boost your club head speed you should be doing a blend of all these things. A great way to start incorporating these things would be in a 1/2 kneeling lunge. This requires you to work on balance, stability, and strength of the lower body. You can then use a cable machine or band and perform a punch. In this position the hips should stay very still, so we are now working disassociation of the upper and lower body. You can rotate and punch hard enough to create power and work on rotation. When it comes time to go back into a normal standing position to do the same exercise you feel much more stable and ground and can produce much more power through sequencing of the hips.
The “Secret Formula”
Players needs to have enough stability to load and hold specific muscles and body parts still, while others are unloading and increasing speed.
They need to have the proper amount of flexibility for the muscles to move without calling upon others to help aid in the motion.
The player needs every muscle to be activating properly so they will not leak power.
They need sound swing mechanics to do the task at hand. Golf instructors and a knowledgeable fitness professional speed this process up.
Mix in enough strength to boost your power
Knowing how to train for power and making sure everything falls into place so you do not cause injury in the swing.
For more information on golf fitness programs, contact Tyler at TParsons@olde-stone.com