This research article examines weight training for golf, and its effectiveness in improving performance compared to golfers who did not participate in a golf strength training program.
The article wants to dispel the belief that a strength training program will adversely affect the golf swing by either reducing range of motion and/or increasing stiffness. It has been proven that professional golfers have a higher level of fitness compared to amateurs and are able to hit the ball further and generate increase club head speed.
The authors explain that since the golf swing can technically be called a plyometic motion, then a proper golf weight training program will need to include plyometric exercises in addition to traditional resistance training. The entire exercise routine was focused on improving total body strength. There was a good balance of upper and lower extremity exercises combined with core strengthening. The plyometric exercises used a medicine ball.
The study consisted of 11 male golfers, with a mean handicap of 5.5. Six golfers were randomly assigned to the weight training group, and five golfers were assigned to the control. The control group continued with their individual routines, consisting primarily of aerobic exercise combined with light resistance training.
The subjects were tested before and after an 8 week training period. The authors analyzed both the golf swing quality and club head speed. Each golfer was allowed 5 swings, using their normal driver. For both pre and post measurements, the same driving range, club, model, and compression of ball were used.
The results of this study indicated a significant increase in both drive distance and club head speed in the weight training group. Club head speed increased by 1.5% and drive distance increased by 4.3%.
This article has shown that a carefully designed golf weight
training program can improve performance over a short time frame. It
should be noted that it typically takes 4-6 weeks to have a noticeable
change in muscle strength after starting a strength training program.
This study occurred over a time frame of 8 weeks. It also shows that
when considering weight training for golf, a well rounded golf training
program is essential for improving golf swing performance.
FLETCHER IM, HARTWELL M. Effect of An 8-Week Combined Weights and Plyometric Training Program On Golf Drive Performance Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2004, 18(1), 59–62
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