Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Golf Swing Conditioning and Habit Building – Downswing (Part 2 of 2)

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.

Downswing – the downswing is the most important element of the golf swing.  It’s the element where we generate the power and explosiveness and transmit energy to the ball.  We must generate the maximum amount of controlled force with the downswing to create maximum club head speed at impact of the ball.  We must integrate strength, flexibility, power, and speed in order to produce the best possible explosive swing.

Part 1 of the downswing focused on the primary large muscle groups which generate the primary power for an explosive downswing.  Part 2 highlights the smaller but still important muscles of the wrist, arms, and fingers which enable us to strike the ball solidly at contact.

Wrist Roll – after the trailing arm straightens, the arms are held essentially straight and the hands turn as a result of the arm rotation that occurs at the shoulders.  For golfers that maintain slightly bent arms prior to and during contact, the hands turn strongly and quickly.

  • Wrist Supination (palm up) and pronation (palm down) - click on the link below to view the video. Kneel in front of the long side of an exercise bench or sit with thighs parallel to ground.  Place the forearm flat on the bench or thigh so that wrist and hand are clear of the surface.  Hold a strength bar or golf club with an neutral grip and the heavier end facing the sky or ceiling.  Turn hand palm down until the bar is parallel to the ground or slightly beyond.  Maintain the forearm and elbow in contact with the bench or thigh and then rotate the forearm and hand in the opposite direction (palm up) until the shaft is parallel or slightly below.  perform 10-15 repetitions and then repeat with the other arm.
Wrist Break – The wrists are cocked in the backswing and remain so during the initial movement of the downswing.  A forceful wrist break which contributes to power and accuracy, begins when the hands are approximately hip height and ends just prior to impact. 

  • Wrist Flex - click on the link below to view the video. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold a strength bar or club beside the body with the weighted end pointed to the rear and down so that the wrist is maximally cocked.  Keep the arm straight and raise the weighted end of the bar or club as high as possible.  Relax the muscles slightly and return to the original position while keeping the weight under control.  Pause and then repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Repeat with the other arm.
Arm Rotation – Proper amount and timing of arm rotation creates accuracy and consistency of shots.  The amount of rotation that occurs in the backswing is unwound as the club returns to the initial position for impact.  If we do not fully rotate back, the club remains open and the result is a slice.  Too much rotation may close the club head resulting in a hook.

  • Medial and Lateral Rotation - click on the link below to view the video. Assume your golf stance with the intended arm raise forward.  Hold the bar or club with the weighted end up at an angle away from the body.  Rotate the bar inward so that the weighted end is lowered toward the midline of the body.  From this position, rotate the bar back to the vertical position and then continue in that direction through the full range of motion.  Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and repeat with the other arm.
Finger Grip – The grip consists primarily of the index and middle fingers of the right (trailing) hand and the pinkie, ring, and middle fingers of the left (lead) hand that make full contact on the club.  The initial grip is relaxed to provide feel and club position.  During ball contact, a strong grip and firm wrists help to transfer the power of the downswing to the ball at impact.

  • Finger Flexion - click on the link below to view the video. To develop the fingers to improve the grip, use exer rings, grip developers, old tennis balls, or other flexible balls that can be squeezed.  Squeeze using all fingers with the greatest comfortable force then relax and repeat.  Repeat using only the thumb, index, and middle fingers.  Repeat using only the thumb, ring, and pinkie fingers
Strengthening the muscles required to perform strong, repeatable wrist roll, wrist break, arm rotation, and grip will enable us to transfer the power generated from the hips, core, and shoulders to the ball accurately and consistently.  Adding power, accuracy, and consistency to the swing will result in lower scores and increased enjoyment of the game.

1 comment:

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