BY JASON KRANTZ
In my experience there is one common goal for most golfers looking to improve their game: They want a more powerful golf swing. The reasons I have found for this are:
- The golfer wants to be able to swing easier (which will help them maintain good, solid technique and make good contact with the ball) but still wants to hit the ball the same distance they currently do with their scoring clubs.
- They want to be able to hit their long clubs, especially their driver, further. Much further.
If this sounds like something you desire then there are two ways to achieve your goal of having a move powerful golf swing and longer drives:
- Increase the amount of force your body is able to produce through both technical and physical improvements.
- Decrease the amount of time it takes for you to develop and deliver maximum force to the golf ball.
Obviously, if you could increase the amount of force and decrease the time required to produce maximum force then your power levels would go through the roof. In order to have this happen, you must focus on doing high quality power training.
Golf Power Training Program Focal Points
Establish a Baseline Level of Conditioning. No matter the sport or event, once you get tired, power levels will decline and technical proficiency will start to drop off. This is especially true for the golf swing since it is a very technical movement. You can play better golf deeper into your round by making sure that you have a baseline level of conditioning. This will allow you to prevent fatigue late in your round and finish off strong.
Focus on Speed of Movement. Another very important part of enhancing golf performance and increasing golf specific power levels is training with loads that will let you move at or near the speeds that you normally move in a golf swing. It has been proven time and time again that individuals looking to enhance power levels should train with loads and speeds as close as possible to those of the actual sport.
Bouncing off my first point, you should not try to exercise at or near golf swing speeds when you are first starting off because doing so when you are not properly conditioned will almost certainly result in injury.
Once you get your body accustomed to basic training movements then you can begin focusing on golf-specific movements at speeds close to your actual golf swing.
Exercise Over a Complete Range of Motion
Many “golf specific” flexibility training programs are not very effective at enhancing the dynamic flexibility needed for the golf swing because they stretch the muscles individually and in static positions. In reality, your muscles work as a unit in the golf swing and stretch/contract together from dynamic positions.
A few dynamic stretches in which you gradually increase the range and duration of the multi-joint motions found in the golf swing will serve you much better than a single extended session of many single-jointed static stretches. We want to stretch various muscles together since they operate together in the golf swing.
It should also be noted that heavy resistance training used over a full range of motion constitutes a very efficient and effective means of active stretching/flexibility training.
Perform Shorter, More Intense Workouts
If enhanced golf power is your goal then short, intense workouts should be your primary focus. If you are training with a higher level of intensity then after about 45-60 minutes you will see your power levels drop off.
By performing shorter workouts it is much easier to maintain the level of focus that is needed to execute a workout with a high level of intensity. You will also get better overall results (weight loss and overall body structure) by performing these types of workouts.
Warm Up Before Your Workout/Round
Warming up should be a staple for anyone serious about playing better golf. In addition to helping you avoid injury it will also help you play better golf and swing at full capacity.
I know that when I do not warm up I can’t comfortably top a 110 MPH swing speed. Once I get warmed up I can easily top 130 MPH and can usually get to around a 140 MPH swing speed. By taking the time to warm up you ensure that you are capable of having a great workout or round on the course.
By focusing on these basic power training principles during your off-season training you will see significant improvements in your swing speed, club head speed, ball speed, distance, power, flexibility, balance, stability and overall scores.
As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the NSCA, Jason Krantz’s focus is on significantly improving the power levels and injury resistance of all golfers. He specializes in power enhancement and all related components of improved golf performance. For more off-season golf power training tips, read his off-season golf fitness training guide.