You know what they say, drive for show…putt for dough. But really not many of us are getting paid so there’s nothing better in golf than a long drive.
Whether you are a bit short of the tee and struggle to reach long par four’s in two shots OR if you are already a long hitter but would relish the opportunity to be able to go that bit further, maybe over the trees protecting that par 4 green, this blogs for you.
Kinetic Chain> Power > Club Head Speed > Ball Velocity > Drive Distance
As the golf swing is extremely intricate and complicated, club head speed is determined by the summation of forces developed throughout the whole body during the swing. Think leg muscles, hip muscles, trunk muscles, shoulder muscles and forearm muscles all combining and contributing to the final product.
The product of the swing then boils down to two things.
How good is the timing of all these components to produce maximum club head speed at the point of impact. This relates heavily to skill and efficiency of movement and in the real world is represented by that annoying mate of yours who achieves a long-ball with an apparently effortless swing.
The power capacity of your muscles. Power sounds like a vague term but is in fact a genuine measure of a muscles capacity to produce force as quickly as possible. By developing strength and power in relevant muscle groups to the golf swing we can we can use this to create faster club head speeds and greater distances.
The bottom line.
Timing and technique is heavily related to skill level and golf specific practice.
Power can be increased by improving a muscles strength. For those of you who are time poor and want to get the most bang for your buck: focus on strengthening the big hip and trunk muscles to help increase the velocity of your body rotation during the swing.
Please view the video below for a demonstration of these exercises.
This exercise works the big gluteal muscles which are the powerhouse of your pelvis and hips. Think of this as being the key to stabilising yourself in your stance and creating a solid anchor to turn your shoulder’s on. It also allows you tow power through your rotation and generate real swing speed. Any weaknesses will likely lead to a subconscious reluctance to fully weight transfer effectively. For example you will be less likely to load up your trail side hip on the backswing and or put less force through your front side as you transition from the downswing into your follow through which will slow your swing down.
Double Leg – 3 x 8 – Use a weight which ensures achieving 8 repetitions is challenging.
Single Leg – 3 x 8 – As above
RAISED SIDE PLANK
A staple of any core and trunk strength and conditioning program. This demands muscles around your trunk and pelvis to stabilise your spine and hip in a neutral position. Initially quite manageable this exercise becomes increasingly more challenging as your body begins to fatigue. Excellent for increasing endurance in many muscles involved in the golf swing and to develop strength to reduce risk of golf related pain and injuries such as lower back pain.
Go for it! perform for the maximum amount of time before you get the shakes.
If your form is deteriorating, stop.
Perfectly complimenting the leg press and side plank is the Pallof Press – This exercise uses the cable machine to create a rotation force but you can also use a rubber resistance band. Resist this force and push the hand forward and back in a straight line. The further the arms extend from the body the more force is required making the muscles of the trunk work hard. Don’t take this exercise lightly! It might not look like much but I can guarantee you will feel the burn.
Make sure you perform both sides
3 x 10 with a 3 second hold – make sure weight is challenging.
Practice these regularly and you will be rewarded with the capacity for longer drives. They may not be any more accurate, but you will have bragging rights when they are!
What can the Physiotherapists and Osteopaths at the Injury Rehab Centre Cheltenham do for you?
At the Injury Rehab Centre we specialise in assessment and collecting actionable data using the latest technology previously only found in elite sporting institutions particularly in understanding (relate to blog post). We do this using the latest assessment technology usually only found in elite golfing academies including:
M.A.T Assessment created by the therapists of the Injury Rehab Centre to laser focus on areas of flexibility, balance and movement that identify whether your are at risk to sustain a golfing injury.
Slow Motion Video Analysis to IDENTIFY YOUR BAD GOLFING HABITS and give us more insight into what part of your swing could be causing your golf related pain.
Strength Testing to identify any strength discrepancies that have a huge role in increasing your injury risk.
Force Plate Technology to put a number on differences in the power you can generate through each leg that can lead to compensations and can cause repetitive stress injuries.
Traditional Physiotherapy and Osteopathy examinations to identify dysfunction.
Next our treatment process achieves pain relief in the shortest amount of time by using hands on Physiotherapy and Osteopathy techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint manipulation, articulation and stretching techniques. This may include the use of the True Stretch system as well as Dry Needling and Taping techniques.
Finally your management plan will involve an individualised training plan to build your strength and capacity (muscle and tendon strength, stamina, specific flexibility) often to improve discrepancies from side to side that could be the true cause of of your golfing imbalances resulting in back pain or golfers elbow.