Sunday, April 13, 2014

Golf Swing Conditioning and Habit Building - Backswing

Explosive Golf, Using the Science of Kinesiology to Improve Your Swing is a book by Dr. Michael Yessis that demonstrates ways to enhance your physical approach and understanding of swing mechanics though golf focused training movement.  Try incorporating these routines with your functional fitness work as prescribed by ep golf and build your golf foundation for performance improvement.

Changing or creating habits is not simple or easy.  Forget the 21 day myth.  Scientific research indicates an average of closer to 65 days, more or less depending on the person, the activity, and the frequency of engaging in the behavior.  Off course in the morning or evening, is a great opportunity for building or maintaining habits for a strong foundation of golf fundamentals which will lead to lower scores and fewer golf related injuries.

Backswing – an effective backswing plays an important role in delivering explosive power in the downswing.  When a muscle is actively stretched, it will in turn contract with greater force.  In golf, the muscles involved in the downswing are placed in a stretched position during the backswing.  Increasing flexibility and strength of the muscles involved in the backswing will enable greater trunk and arm movement and increase the distance over which you can generate power during the downswing.

Increasing flexibility and strengthening the muscles involved in the backswing will improve your ability to achieve a full wind up of the trunk and full range shoulder turn.  The greater the coil effect of the backswing, the greater distance over which you can generate power during the downswing.  Shoulder rotation, wrist flexion, arm coiling (across chest), and hip turn all contribute to an effective back swing that prepares the golfer to release the energy required for a powerful shot.

Shoulder or trunk rotation to the rear is an important action in the backswing.  The movement involves low back muscles whose strength, along with midsection flexibility, determines the amount of shoulder rotation you can attain.

  • Shoulder Twist (see video below) A simple movement to strengthen the lower back and develop midsection flexibility is the shoulder twist which can be accomplished with a pole or bar across the shoulders or simply with outstretched arms.  Note: using only outstretched arms will not produce the same level of stretch to the midsection.
  • Back Raise with a Twist (see video below) An extremely effective exercise which adds the resistance of gravity.  Use a balance ball to adjust angles for difficulty and add the element of balance and stability to the movement.
  • Wrist Cock (see video below) Increases the rearward distance that the club head travels during the backswing.  Use a weighted handle or simply grip a club for the movement, the closer you grip to the end of the club will increase resistance.
  • Left Shoulder Joint Active Stretch (see video below) The left arm should be close to the chest for maximum coiling and compactness of the backswing.   A tight coiling action prepares the muscles to pull the left arm down and across explosively in the downswing.
  • Static Right Hip Builder (see video below) The right leg must remain stable during the backswing to prevent lateral weight shift to the rear and to ensure tight coiling of the trunk around the right leg.
Make this backswing series one of your weekly routines.  Do multiple sets if you have the time and capacity.  If you have adequate space in your workout area, take some slow backswings with a club after your strengthening drills as you cool down.  Visualize a full turn and tight coil that is preparing you to launch a powerful stroke toward your target.