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Speed from the Arms in the Golf Swing


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In another topic, the idea that the arms contribute (significantly) to clubhead speed was discussed. Some feel the arms are "passive" or exert no "effort" while others feel they are anything but passi

Nice post @iacas. Yes saying the arms don't add much to speed during the swing is completely false. It may be a feel that some need but the arms contribute a lot for speed and obviously controlli

Relaxed arms 😂

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to get back to the original discussion about the impact of the arms on swing speed, I watched a video of Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson going over their swing style when hitting pitch shots from 40 to 90 yards away. Henrik uses both legs and arms in his demonstration but Annika is strictly an arms type. Her legs are very quiet throughout the swing and she absolutely dimed all her shots around the pin. I tried that approach on my pitches and was pleasantly surprised to see a marked improvement in the quality and consistency of shots in that range. I guess the fewer the moving parts the less that can go wrong.

Then I decided to incorporate the arms approach with the irons and woods and I could not believe the improvement in my ball striking. It wasn't perfect of course but the irons just felt more pure off the face and my driving distance just exploded. I'm 65 and I normally hit my drives around 220-225 when playing well but when I focused on quieting the lower body and letting the arms swing more freely I was suddenly hitting over 250 yards. One drive made it to 286, which was absolutely nuts (my partner counted it off and still can't believe it). It's certainly not a cure all since I still hit the wayward shots but it's a good example of how important the arms are to getting increased club head speed and maximizing contact. Now if I can just get those short putts to drop. =:^)   

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  • 3 months later...

Jon Rahm's lead arm angular acceleration seems to be greater than his thorax in the downswing. Look at his kinematic sequence graph below where the blue line (lead arm)  is steeper than the green line (thorax) . Doesn't this demonstrate the possibility that his shoulder girdles are being used more than his upper body pivot to angularly accelerate his arms in the early downswing?

image.png.fe06da53a4f3790cba0382fc35fe5fa8.png

 

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10 minutes ago, Warlock said:

Doesn't this demonstrate the possibility that his shoulder girdles are being used more than his upper body pivot to angularly accelerate his arms in the early downswing?

Has someone said differently?

You don't have to phrase everything as if you're correcting something previously said. Yes, the arms (the traps and other muscles in the shoulder, chest, back, and upper arm) are often helping to move the arms during the early downswing.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Has someone said differently?

You don't have to phrase everything as if you're correcting something previously said. Yes, the arms (the traps and other muscles in the shoulder, chest, back, and upper arm) are often helping to move the arms during the early downswing.

But this is the 1st graph I've seen on you-tube  (of a PGA Pro) that seems to prove it.

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1 minute ago, Warlock said:

But this is the 1st graph I've seen on you-tube  (of a PGA Pro) that seems to prove it.

Right, then say it that way, not as if you're disagreeing with or pointing out a flaw in something previously said.

Also, I recommend adding your handicap index to your profile and sharing your name and a bit about you in your signature and/or another topic in the Welcome forum. We're glad to have you here discussing the golf swing.

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On 1/20/2019 at 12:37 PM, iacas said:

sequence.gif

I'll be honest: I'd typed out a whole long paragraph explaining how this graph demonstrates that the arms are doing a LOT of work against the platform the chest (not only to maintain the chest's acceleration but to further accelerate the arms beyond that, and ultimately the bottom of the double pendulum - the shaft of the club), but I'm not sure you'd get it, and I've already spent way too much time on this.

I've been looking through the whole thread again but I don't understand the underlined part. How would the graph show that arms being used to maintain the chests acceleration?

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You’re misreading it.

The arms are not only accelerating at the same rate as the chest, they’re accelerating even faster than that.

If the arms weren’t doing any work they’d fall behind the chest, not accelerate faster than it.

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  • 6 months later...
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So, I've been thinking about an update to this topic quite a bit this year, particularly as I teach more and more the arms doing "less and less."

And… I think a few things can be true.

First, I think that the arms can, as shown in the video in the first post, generate a bunch of speed, even though they don't do a whole lot of motion on their own.

I do, however, think this topic can imply to some that the arms DO generate all of this speed. In the OP video, I try to keep the arms from going "farther" than they go in my regular swing, but they do a little bit. The left arm gets farther across my chest than they do in a "real" swing, etc.

As I said, the arms do very little motion themselves in the golf swing. For the most part:

  • The rotation is primarily responsible for the depth.
  • The arms are primarily responsible for the height.

Another thing is true, too: most golfers don't associate the shoulders with the arms, and yet… shoulders elevating the upper arms are responsible for a good amount of the height the hands are able to achieve.


Now, that being said… I still stand by what I talked about primarily in this topic. I did a decent job of not over-extending the arms in the sample swings I made, and they show how quickly the arms CAN and DO accelerate. The body is a "platform" against which the arms act - the arms still fire and "do stuff" in the golf swing, and they're responsible for a good chunk of the clubhead speed.

Some of it is more passive than others. Even in the OP video, I wasn't actively "throwing" my wrists or anything, but rather, letting them build and release lag with proper sequencing.

So, while I was a bit worried about what I'd see, I'm somewhat relieved to see it's still something I mostly stand by. Now, we can (and did) get lost in the weeds on some of the terminology, and just because I can swing my arms 102 MPH doesn't mean that's what they actually DO during the golf swing. After all, again, the left shoulder is pulling away and moving, so the actual "actions" aren't quite the same.

But, even though the arms do "very little" in the golf swing, and even though that direction is mostly up and down, they are still responsible for a good chunk of the speed in the golf swing.

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