When golfers ask me if they should be doing medicine ball tosses and overspeed training to gain ball speed and distance, my answer is usually “it depends.” This week I want to set the foundation for what to expect from me this year so that you can play and enjoy this game for a lifetime. The exercise examples I provide this year will usually fall into one or more of the following categories, and I want to explain the categories and their importance in the golf swing.
Mobility – The ability of a specific joint to move through a range of motion.
Flexibility – The ability of a muscle or muscle groups to lengthen through a range of motion.
This is the most important foundational component when it comes to the human body and its connection to the golf swing. In order for us to take a back swing, our muscles and joints need to stretch to create potential energy for us to prepare our body to swing the club at very high speeds. If we don’t have adequate range of motion, our body is very good at compensating and will place stress in areas of our body where we shouldn’t, leading to injury and not being able to play the game we love!
For example, if we don’t possess proper mobility/flexibility we tend to lose posture throughout the swing, which can lead to poor ball striking and the infamous shank!
Stability – The ability to maintain control of one joint, while moving another.
Control – The connection between our brain and its ability to control muscles leading to movement.
This is another important component next to mobility/flexibility. Once we possess adequate joint range of motion, we then need to be able to control that new motion that we have acquired from the mobility/flexibility exercises. The reason the tour professionals are so consistent with ball striking is because their brains are so good at controlling their bodies in space. They have performed proper repetition after repetition, engraining that proper movement pattern to where they don’t have to think about it anymore.
3. Strength – The muscles ability to produce force.
Once we have adequate control of our bodies, we can then efficiently build strength. This is where the rubber starts to meet the road. As you improve your muscle’s ability to produce a large force, you will start to see this carry over into increased power and swing speed. Don’t get me wrong, I have had clients improve swing speed just from improving their flexibility and range of motion, but when you are able to produce increased muscle force, your power production will increase, therefore more energy will be transferred to the ball leading to further distances.
Before moving to power training, I want to see my clients possess adequate strength from their lower body, core, and upper body with perfect form and control with a set of specific tests that I utilize with my program.
4. Power – The muscles ability to produce a force over time. The more force you are able to apply over a shorter amount of time, the more power you are able to produce overall.
When I am assessing clients for power I like to assess the upper body, lower body, and core separately to see which area needs the most work. This allows us to find the weak link and equal out power amongst those three groups. This in turn will allow our bodies to optimize the most efficient golf swing leading to further ball distances.
5. Speed – this is the distance your body or golf club is able to travel over the time that it takes to complete that distance. Distance/time
When assessing speed, I like to use a radar device which tells us how fast your club is traveling through the impact zone. Once we possess adequate mobility, stability, strength, and power, speed is going to be my focus.
At The Royal Treatment, our goal is to assess where you are along this hierarchy and create a personal plan focusing on your goals. Our plans are focused on helping you to play pain free, gain distance on your shots, and to be able to play and enjoy this game for a lifetime. If you felt this was helpful, or have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by email or phone. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.