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tuffluck

Exercise to Improve your clubhead speed

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tuffluck    10

i've done a bit of research about using exercise as a means to make your body produce more power.  some people suggest golf exercise books, some suggest good ole stretching, some say yoga, working out, etc.  heck it all seems like everyone has a different opinion and there really is no consensus that any particular form of exercise can actually help you increase your clubhead speed.  what would you recommend?  seems to me like through sifting through all the thoughts out there on the topic...the best way to improve clubhead speed is to simply play regularly and work on your rotation and flexibility that way.  thoughts?

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joekelly    55

IMO, for anyone over the age of 30 who is not in the low H'cap range, no amount of strength will help hit the ball any farther.  Exceptions being folks battling illness, surgery etc. Flexibility will help but mostly the freedom of lower and upper body movement synchronized towards the precise desired moment is what counts towards clubhead speed. Sure the hips move and rotate and the arms flail around the spine and the wrists break at the top and are back solid at impact but  unless it's all unrestricted and freewheeling it's gonna be slower than is possible. Any mental picture of 'hitting the ball' (which is a strength or force  image) will bring the shoulders and arms into play far too early and result in slower clubhead speed. My personal experience is totally conforming with this idea. If i can forget the notion of 'hitting the ball' ,which implies a target on the ground in front of my feet, my body gets relaxed, loose and free. Thus the clubhead moves faster. However, this is not easy for me to frequently achieve because my overriding mental golf image is 'hit the ball'.

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saevel25    1,073

I look at it this way

Maximizing power already in your muscles = stability and flexibility

Gaining Power = making muscles stronger

Your muscles do the work, they transfer all that to the clubhead, if you loose balance your wasting energy, if you are not flexible, your wasting energy

Golf is a complete game, it needs a complete work out

But if you want to work on the power source of your golf swing, Lower body + Core. If you look at pro's hitting the golf ball, that move Tiger made famous, the squat into the shot and then extending upward. Think of were that power is coming from, Gluts, Hamstrings, Quads. All that power in the legs.

So for me, i prioritize mobility, stability, Gluts, Hamstrings, Quads, Core

But since i like total body, i work out the whole body just for general good fitness

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onephenom    10

Strength is very important I think, so anything that strengthens your core is great. Moving faster with the body is, I believe, a very simple way to increase speed. So get on those bicycles, supermans, crunches, scissors... get those abs and glutes stronger.

But flexibility is probably the easiest way to gain speed.. someone before mentioned maximizing the strength you already have. Flexibility does that by making the backswing longer and allowing the power you have more room to increase clubhead speed. imo

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Shindig    250
What follows is my very anecdotal evidence. I would like to emphasize that it is not intended as medical advice in any way, shape or form. Also, given the time period this spans, my memory might be off on some details. About two years ago, I discovered something that I hated to admit: I was weak. Not just "not strong," but incredibly weak. That (probably coupled with mediocre form) accounted for why all but my best drives didn't break 200 yards without some helpful course conditions. Let me clarify weak: I went to the gym to test on some basic non-golf-related strength exercises. I'm 5'8, was a little under 28 years old, and 165 pounds (my metabolism ceased to be able to cover for me, as it had most of my life until about 27). I couldn't bench much more than the bar (45 pounds) comfortably for a full set. I couldn't press more than 20 pounds five times in a set. I could squat maybe 75 pounds and deadlift maybe 115. My gym time, previously, was primarily based on an intention to be better at golf, and yet I was so afraid of becoming muscle bound that I neglected to have any real strength. Whatever length gains I had in golf I may have attributed to exercise (I did some very very light weights and yoga), but were probably improved form. With the help and advice of a trainer, I began working on these basic strength training exercises. Not for golf, but for me. He assured me that they wouldn't impair my mobility unless I began trying to be a body builder (and even then, I'd have to succeed at that attempt), which I most assuredly was not going to do! Even though my numbers at the gym weren't going up significantly (sadly, I wasn't tracking numbers then, so I can't give what they were -- I got the bench number up to maybe 75 pounds), I found that my drives were getting a [i]little[/i] longer. Every now and then, I'd measure with my GPS on a hole where I didn't feel the course conditions helped me more than average and would see a 210 or 215 pop up. I attribute this to developing some basic strength in my muscles (and perhaps because my form was getting good, too). Then, about a year and a half ago, I took a job in a much colder climate (I had been going to school in Los Angeles). Once winter came around, there wasn't much I could do outdoors, and the gym became a much more regular event for me. By the time I got back to the golf course in May, I found a much larger percentage than normal were "wow, I have to measure this!" drives. This continued to hold when I got back to Southern California (I moved back in July, but have played only a few rounds since then). I'm still a regular at the gym and one of these rounds, I'll measure every drive and see what I get. I'm guessing maybe 220-225; I'll be incredibly happy if that holds up (and I'll be very surprised if I'm past that). Even if it doesn't help my golf (and I believe it does), as long as it doesn't hurt, I'm going to continue doing it. I look better and I feel better. As odd as it feels to say, I think the weight exercises may have helped my flexibility, too. I'm still not at the point that many weight training programs consider to be a 'novice lifter'.

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tuffluck    10
Originally Posted by onephenom

Strength is very important I think, so anything that strengthens your core is great. Moving faster with the body is, I believe, a very simple way to increase speed. So get on those bicycles, supermans, crunches, scissors... get those abs and glutes stronger.

But flexibility is probably the easiest way to gain speed.. someone before mentioned maximizing the strength you already have. Flexibility does that by making the backswing longer and allowing the power you have more room to increase clubhead speed. imo


i have actually shortened my backswing quite a bit to a more normal position as i had control issues.  i can get the club way back there though, so i don't think that should necessarily be your goal by using flexibility exercises.  no?

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tuffluck    10
Originally Posted by Shindig

What follows is my very anecdotal evidence. I would like to emphasize that it is not intended as medical advice in any way, shape or form. Also, given the time period this spans, my memory might be off on some details.

About two years ago, I discovered something that I hated to admit: I was weak. Not just "not strong," but incredibly weak. That (probably coupled with mediocre form) accounted for why all but my best drives didn't break 200 yards without some helpful course conditions.

Let me clarify weak: I went to the gym to test on some basic non-golf-related strength exercises. I'm 5'8, was a little under 28 years old, and 165 pounds (my metabolism ceased to be able to cover for me, as it had most of my life until about 27). I couldn't bench much more than the bar (45 pounds) comfortably for a full set. I couldn't press more than 20 pounds five times in a set. I could squat maybe 75 pounds and deadlift maybe 115. My gym time, previously, was primarily based on an intention to be better at golf, and yet I was so afraid of becoming muscle bound that I neglected to have any real strength. Whatever length gains I had in golf I may have attributed to exercise (I did some very very light weights and yoga), but were probably improved form.

With the help and advice of a trainer, I began working on these basic strength training exercises. Not for golf, but for me. He assured me that they wouldn't impair my mobility unless I began trying to be a body builder (and even then, I'd have to succeed at that attempt), which I most assuredly was not going to do!

Even though my numbers at the gym weren't going up significantly (sadly, I wasn't tracking numbers then, so I can't give what they were -- I got the bench number up to maybe 75 pounds), I found that my drives were getting a little longer. Every now and then, I'd measure with my GPS on a hole where I didn't feel the course conditions helped me more than average and would see a 210 or 215 pop up. I attribute this to developing some basic strength in my muscles (and perhaps because my form was getting good, too).

Then, about a year and a half ago, I took a job in a much colder climate (I had been going to school in Los Angeles). Once winter came around, there wasn't much I could do outdoors, and the gym became a much more regular event for me. By the time I got back to the golf course in May, I found a much larger percentage than normal were "wow, I have to measure this!" drives. This continued to hold when I got back to Southern California (I moved back in July, but have played only a few rounds since then). I'm still a regular at the gym and one of these rounds, I'll measure every drive and see what I get. I'm guessing maybe 220-225; I'll be incredibly happy if that holds up (and I'll be very surprised if I'm past that).

Even if it doesn't help my golf (and I believe it does), as long as it doesn't hurt, I'm going to continue doing it. I look better and I feel better. As odd as it feels to say, I think the weight exercises may have helped my flexibility, too. I'm still not at the point that many weight training programs consider to be a 'novice lifter'.

i think your story is valid.  after all two of the longest hitters on tour (tiger and rory) believe vigorous work out sessions attribute to hitting the ball longer.  but i think a lot of people will never be rigorous at training to this extent you mention.  at least i am too lazy to do this :)  but it's good feedback nonetheless.  if i have to work out 5 times a week and ingest 6,000 calories a day to put on a little muscle, and i only gain 10y after 2 years of doing this, i think i would just stick with my current distance.  though my body is kind of the exact opposite of you: i'm 6'6" 200lbs, and i rely on my lanky frame to be limber enough to get the wide arc i need to push a ball out there.  i think adding more muscle would be less helpful for someone with my build.

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onephenom    10
Originally Posted by tuffluck

i have actually shortened my backswing quite a bit to a more normal position as i had control issues.  i can get the club way back there though, so i don't think that should necessarily be your goal by using flexibility exercises.  no?

That's why flexibility is good... most players can get the club all the way around to past parallel, trying to create power, but if you aren't flexible enough you lose control of the club. Flexibility allows you to comfortably/effectively take the club further back while retaining control.

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joekelly    55

I do think it is true that a long backswing, ala John Daly, has the potential for a higher clubhead speed very few of us can effectively mobilize the body to stay in balance, maintain tempo, apply the vigorous motion, etc to contact the ball squarely often enough to make a difference in our game. Once you meet the guy with the tiny, incredibly tiny, backswing and then see him swivel his hips like crazy to achieve the 112 mph clubhead speed you will learn that accepted theory is 'out the window' with some swings.

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onephenom    10
Originally Posted by joekelly

I do think it is true that a long backswing, ala John Daly, has the potential for a higher clubhead speed very few of us can effectively mobilize the body to stay in balance, maintain tempo, apply the vigorous motion, etc to contact the ball squarely often enough to make a difference in our game. Once you meet the guy with the tiny, incredibly tiny, backswing and then see him swivel his hips like crazy to achieve the 112 mph clubhead speed you will learn that accepted theory is 'out the window' with some swings.

Swiveling the hips like that (for most people) results in inconsistency.. no one's said that longer backswing is the only way to increase speed. but it is very simple and for most people it helps with keeping consistency while adding distance

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Brakkus    10
These videos show how an exercise program can help anyone. I can see some are just blessed with natural quickness and others have to develop it more. You have to train your body whatever standard you are. I started mine after being on and off with my training in the last 10 years. It's been a slow atrophy of my strength. The difference is huge in terms of my dynamic posture through the swing. I make less errors average distance has gone up so far,with small improvement to maximum distance.

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