Is Traditional Strength Training and Stretching Enough In Your Golf Fitness Program?
In a word. NO.
Bear with us the in the beginning here…
While there are more variables impacting your golf swing than anyone wants to admit, it’s fair to say finding drills or exercises to improve power and precision are always the goal. But did you know a major key to having even a chance in achieving both lies in first understanding and then optimizing the kinematic sequence? When it comes to power (clubhead speed) it’s rarely about swinging harder; it’s about sequence, the kinematic sequence. That’s why I thought it was important to have a conversation about how to “train” (fitness + performance) the right way for golf.
What is the Kinematic Sequence?
Imagine a sequence of dominoes, each one placed so the fall of one triggers the next. This is analogy relates to the kinematic sequence in golf swing. It’s the order in which power is transferred from one body segment to the next. Unlike in the dominoes example there is an optimal sequence of movement and countless other non optimal sequences. In the downswing movement should start at the ground and work its way up… proximal to distal, having the peak velocities in the order of hips – torso – arms – club. Most golfers never get close to optimizing this sequence. In fact, only around 70% of professionals have the ideal sequence.
With a consistent kinematic sequence, you will be able to generate similar speed each swing and more consistent ball flight and distance. A huge factor (which can’t be overlooked in your golf fitness training) will be lower body stability and core stability to allow for efficient transfer of energy. With a stable base for the body to coil and uncoil.
Choosing Strength and Stability Exercises with the Kinematic Sequence in Mind
In our golf fitness program, golfers perform strength training exercises that look nothing like a golf swing in every session. They Squat, Deadlift, Lunge, Push, Pull, perform Turkish Get-Ups, and a variety of core stability exercises. There’s nothing wrong with any of these… in fact, omitting traditional strength exercises from a program could be a critical mistake. However, there should also be exercises that utilize the same sequence (kinematic sequence as the swing) so the optimal pattern is reinforced in the gym. There should also be separation exercises (rotating the torso with stable hips and rotating the hip with a stable torso). Improved separation typically helps improve the kinematic sequence. Here a few beginner exercises to address just this.
Now this is a fun one. Here’s an example of a drill we would implement once a golfers separation and stability is strong enough to add power.
In conclusion, you can’t ignore the kinematic sequence is your golf fitness training. By choosing exercises that align with and bolster this sequence, golfers are far more likely to see a transfer of what they do into the gym to the course.
For more information and examples of how we train golfers visit www.align-fitness.com/golf or our social pages.