This Golf Fitness Exercise Will Build More Power In Your Swing

The off-season (here in Chicago) is great time of year to really focus on developing strength and power in the golf swing. It is also important to focus on physical limitations that you have.

Today I have posted a video of an exercise I like to use with golfers to help develop more power & speed in the hips. A word of caution though…if you have a history of low back pain you need to use this exercise under the supervision of trained eyes.

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 19, 2012

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Dead Lift For Power In The Golf Swing

I really like the dead lift exercise for developing hip strength and power. But the really cool thing is it mimics the hip hinge in the golf set up. I recommend that every golfer implement some version of the dead lift in their exercise program especially women. Check out the video below for a demonstration of the kettlebell dead lift pattern. Other versions are on the way including the single leg dead lift which is one of my favorites. Enjoy and good luck with your exercise program.

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on October 4, 2012

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Golf Fitness Core Exercise

This is the plank, a good golf fitness exercise for developing the core control and strength needed in the golf swing.

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 24, 2010

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Improve Leg Power For A More Powerful Golf Swing

I want to show a short video of the jump squat exercise. When looking to improve power in your golf swing you need to do some power type exercises. The legs are one area that is easy to train and the jump squat is a favorite of mine. I like doing jump squats as part of a circuit of several exercises. In other words pick 2 other exercises such as the push-up and do 20 reps, then do 30 seconds of the plank, followed by 10 jump squats. You can do something similar and vary the repetitions to match your level of expertise. Here’s the jump squat. Have fun!

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on August 24, 2010

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Add Power And Super Stability To Your Golf Swing

The side plank is an excellent exercise that helps build trunk stability and core strength. Recently I have been utilizing a new technique that comes from the research of Stuart McGill and is also utilized by the Kettlebell expert Pavel Tsatsouline.
I also actually used the technique back in my martial arts days through the practice of breath control and the use of Chi.

Stuart McGill calls it “super stiffness” and Pavel describes it in his book The Naked Warrior (which I highly recommend) as “Zipping Up”. Essentially you develop the ability of isometrically tensing all your muscles while in a certain posture or during a certain exercise. McGill explains that this actually happens unconsciously at impact in the golf swing. Please don’t try to consciously do it, or you may have bad results. However I believe you can train this concept as you perform certain exercises such as the side plank.

As you watch the video below and then perform the exercise, I want you to try tensing your entire body when in the side plank position. From your fist, elbow, shoulder, trunk, hips and legs as you hold the position. This may take some practice, but it will give you great results. To start off, only hold the side plank for 10 seconds, and then switch to the other side. You can start with a few reps and progress up to 8-10 reps of 10 second hods.

Have fun adding super stability to your side plank!

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on July 12, 2010

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Hip Strength & Stability For A Power Golf Swing!

The hip hinge is a basic movement that I teach to my clients for several reason. The first one being, it is the natural set up position in the golf swing. Additionally, it helps engage the gluteal muscles which help maintain stability and provide power in the golf swing. It also is essential from a biomechanical standpoint, because it helps take the stress off the low back and ensure the correct muscle (gluteals) are functioning properly. You can view my original hip hinge post here.

Now here is a more advanced exercise that builds upon the hip hinge and dead lift pattern. so make sure you are performing the hip hinge properly as well as a good dead lift. This single leg dead lift helps focus on stability, balance and strength through the hip region. Watch this video several times and practice in the mirror to make sure your technique is correct.

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on June 1, 2010

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Develop The Engine For Power In The Golf Swing

I can’t remember where I first heard the explanation concerning the engine and transmission of the human body as it relates to human movement, but I want to talk about it today. What I am referring to, is the way in which the body uses it’s muscles to accomplish powerful movements. It doesn’t matter whether it is a daily functional movement such as lifting a suitcase, or a complex sports skill such as hitting a golf ball, this principle applies.

I have often talked about and described the importance of the butt muscles, or gluteals in powering human movement. Therefore the gluteals are considered the engine and are often times under utilized or lack horsepower. They are under utilized because they become weak or are shut down due to other changes in the body. They may not function optimally because of muscle tightness in the front of the hip or neurologically impaired. The bottom line is, they need to function correctly to avoid over compensation from other muscles, and have the power necessary for daily activities and sports skills.

Now, the second part of my description involves the core musculature of our body. I think many people train the core improperly because of their belief that the core needs to be strong. Yes, the core needs appropriate strength, however its function is more like the transmission of the car where by it controls and transmits forces throughout the body. It takes that power generated by the gluteals and distributes it in a controlled manner to the appropriate location. Depending on the demand, the core muscles along with the nervous system can accelerate or decelerate the power moving through the body.

The concept of stability is often times used with this transmission of forces and is an appropriate way to describe it. In the golf swing for example, body segments gain speed as the generated energy moves through the swing, but at the same time stability and control is needed to slow down the segment as the energy moves to the next segment. This is seen in the swing, as the hips move faster than the legs but then the shoulder release is faster than the hips and the arms are faster than the shoulders. Then energy passes through each segment all the way to the club face which should have the greatest speed at impact.

My point here is that you need to make sure to train the engine so it has the horsepower needed for powerful movements (and proper function) and the core should be trained in a way that it can control the forces being transmitted out.

I’ve attached an exercise here that helps you gain a basic understanding of gluteal control and function. You need to be able to perform this before moving on to more advanced exercises. Also for those of you with a history of back pain this is essential. More on that later. So try this exercise first.

Lie down on the floor with your knees bent as shown. Stay relaxed throughout your body and focus in on your butt muscles. Contract both sides at the same time. Make sure the pelvis doesn’t move much. If you are able to do this then try one at a time. Perform 30 quality reps on each side. If you can do this then you can move on to a standing position. Good Luck

Hooklying glute sets

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 2, 2009

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Developing Power In Your Golf Swing

We know that golfers are always looking for ways to increase power in their golf swing, and therefore wanting to hit the ball farther. A powerful swing or good club head speed has been mechanically described as the process of cracking a whip. As you know, the force and speed generated at the end of the whip is very powerful. That speed is the result of the acceleration and then the quick deceleration of the arm & the whip.

3-D motion analysis, as used at the Titleist Performance Institute, shows a similar pattern in the golf swing, and is described as a kinematic sequence. This kinematic sequence of the golf swing is the process of creating a force, and controlling it during the downswing by a sequence of acceleration & deceleration of body parts. The result is maximum speed of the club head at impact. The golfer’s job is to generate this speed, and transfer it throughout the body out to the club head at the right time. If the swing is performed in the correct sequence it is then efficient and powerful.

The correct body sequence as shown on video is: lower body first, followed by the trunk, then the arms and the club. What actually happens is each segment of the chain slows down as the next segment begins to accelerate faster than the previous segment, so timing of acceleration & deceleration is the key factor in having an efficient and powerful swing.

All good ball strikers possess this efficient sequence and it is shown to be independent of the style of their swing. So a good ball striker may not have a smooth good looking swing like Ernie Els, but he will surely have a similar kinematic sequence.

From a physical fitness standpoint you can then understand how control & stability (deceleration) is of paramount importance during the swing. For example if you are unable to decelerate the trunk at the right time, then that speed & energy can’t be transferred to the arms so they can then accelerate when they need to. The result is loss of power in your swing.

Understanding this concept of transferring speed & energy is important when developing a golf fitness program and selecting exercises. You must have both flexibility & stability in the right places to ensure a good sequence in your golf swing. The only way to know that is to undergo a golf specific assessment. So make sure before you select golf fitness exercises that you have completed a thorough assessment with a golf fitness professional.

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This post was written by Mark Tolle on November 20, 2008

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