Have A Ball With Your Swing


Power:  a capacity for action; a measure of the rate of work done.  Or in more practical terms, power is the result of how quickly one is able to move a certain load through a given space.  Huh?  In other words, faster club-head speed is directly related to a more powerful swing.  Faster moving club-heads mean further flying balls…this is good.

Therefore, one component of a good golf-fitness program is a power exercise. By definition, then, this type of exercise must use acceleration to be effective.  The best power exercises also use many groups of muscles working in concert through a relatively large arc.  I think it’s also important in try and incorporate some sport-specific movement patterns with this type of exercise when possible.

Medicine balls allow players to perform large muscle exercises in a variety of ways as well as sport-specific maneuvers.  Before going further, a note about medicine balls:  These balls come in a variety of weights and sizes and are manufactured by a number of companies.  I like to use the gel filled balls with the rough covering as they don’t seem to get slippery when wet or perspired upon and they don’t get mashed out of shape as does the leather version.  Usually 8# and a 12# balls will cover the bases for exercise needs.

Try this exercise:  take your address stance, slowly coil into a take-away position and explode through to a finish position while throwing the ball just past impact position.  This is a deliberate exercise of 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions done two times per week in conjunction with the other components of a fitness program.  Any of the throwing moves require a partner or rebounder or brick wall for best results however.

This is an advanced exercise and requires a “grooved” swing; there is little benefit to strengthening a reverse pivot for instance.  Also it is important to remember these types of exercises are done after 3 weeks of general conditioning for the shoulders and torso in particular.  A strained abdominal muscle or shoulder won’t do much to increase the speed of your club head unfortunately.

Ralph Simpson