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increasing swing speed without injury?


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Just attended a local amateur tournament and watched in awe as player after player hit amazingly long drives--and mostly pretty darn straight, too. Yes, these were men and ordinarily in groups I play with I'm about 25 yards behind. But knowing this course pretty well I'd say I would have been about 75 yards behind. Just a different level and I left wide eyed. For sure I know the pursuit of distance has undone many a decent player and while that's for sure an issue I'm much more concerned about injuring myself while trying to work out to gain swing speed. I've tried 2 maybe 3 different online programs and injured myself: 2 oblique strains and 1 psoas muscle strain.

Realize the no pain no gain has some merit in increasing swing speed but anyone out there succeeded in gaining say 5 mph of swing speed without doing too much heavy lifting--literally? Have some bum shoulders so I'm a bit limited in putting pressure on them.

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Sounds like a reasonable approach except for the injury possibilities from swinging out of your shoes. "I would do this while..trying to swing out of your shoes.." Did you mean "wouldn't"?

How far we talkin? And yeah you need to train for like 6 months before you try to add speed. I tweaked my back last year with the speed system without proper warm ups. Etc, etc.

oh and it had worked the year before, added quite a bit of distance. Was feeling overall really healthy that year too, with just light workouts and cardio.

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Echo the previous poster, I've had some contact with these folks and they have a very sensible approach to the whole issue, can recommend their professionalism. They require you to start with a Physical self-assessment test ( free and without committment ) to identify potential weaknesses and improvement areas, which in itself is worth the minimal time and trouble it takes and is very revealing even if you don't subsequently follow one of their programmes. Inspiring to see what can be achieved within realistic goals.

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Whether or not you can add speed without the risk of injury depends 100% on why you currently lack speed. The vast majority of golfers are NOT going to add speed on the golf course without addressing some deficiency first.

In many cases, the deficiency is technical. When you watch pros or top notch amateurs, you are watching golf swings that are technically solid enough to allow the player to swing FAST, instead of hanging on or guiding the club back to the ball. If a golfer has an over the top move, or a reverse pivot, or a host of other possible technical issues that make it difficult, if not impossible to square up the club at max speed, then the technical issues have to be addressed first.

In many other cases, especially as we age, there is a physical limitation, whether it's mobility, flexibility, or strength, that just won't let the club go faster even if the swing is technically good. For instance, I can tell you from personal experience at age 67 that until I addressed mobility issues in my hips that had crept in over the years, I couldn't make a consistently good golf swing anymore, much less a faster one. In fact, when I finally went to a golf fitness guy at the urging of a teaching pro and got assessed, he told me that I was already swinging the club faster than my body really was ready to support, which is why Super Speed workouts had done zero for me after the better part of a year. Now, after 6 months of the workouts they designed for me, especially the hip strength and mobility stuff, I've gotten 15 yards back AND am a lot of consistency has returned.

So the bottom line to all of that is that you have to figure out your specific limitations, and that usually takes some help. Starting with a really good teaching pro isn't a bad idea, and golf specific fitness workouts won't hurt a thing either.

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this is a more than reasonable take but I think it mostly applies to golfers who are already maximizing their physical abilities.

as you stated, technique is probably the biggest impediment to swing speed rather than physical abilities. Therefore, I would use a driver in conjunction with a swing speed radar (SSR) and just experiment with what increased speed. It could be a different release point or feel (L to L) that makes a meaningful difference. You won’t know unless you have a SSR and experiment. I would do this while NOT trying to swing out of your shoes where one can risk injury - it’s more of a way to test what makes the clubhead go faster.

if it turns out that there’s no way to increase speed, that’s when I’d assume it’s another limitation.

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Imo (I'm no pro just can hit the ball pretty long at times) is that the number one problem I've see with people that lack distance isn't their athletic ability or size it's their weight shift actually.

If you can learn to load your right leg early and feel it loading on the backswing then pushing off of it to start the downswing you will pick up many more yards than any exercise routine would do for you - assuming of course you don't have a problem using the right leg in the swing.

In fact when I'm struggling I always think "left hand-right foot". I say foot because I like to start out with a shorter swing to keep my weight on the middle of my foot so I can quickly step on the ball of my right foot to start the swing.

 

Macgregor M38 SK Fiber 85g X, i-Drive 2h Accuflex 82g X, Acer XV Tour/Pro 4i-S, FST 115 SX, TM TPA X

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Swing like Snead, Nicklaus, and Jones.

1. Flare both feet 30 degrees.

2. Set up right leg flexed, left leg straighter. Upper spine should be relaxed and natural, letting the arms relax in a forward position.

3. Use your legs to power the entire swing. Backswing should allow a full and free hip turn, allowing the lead leg to release and the lead heel to rise off the ground. Downswing should be with the lead heel planting and a full release of the clubhead through the ball

You can't beat Jones in a match, so I'd take after him. Snead was freaking long in his day, with the equivalent of a walking stick and a mothball. You already know Jack.

Injury is from swinging wrong. Power isn't strength, it's technique. Ask any martial artist.

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Yes. My bad on the typo.

just use your own driver and experiment with your usual tempo. For me, I had to understand that the optimal release point was way before I thought it was (as I was effectively a handle dragger) and that alone was good for at least 5 mph if not more.

the immediate feedback was very very helpful - by feel alone, I would never have figured it out as the swing didn’t feel different at all.

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Thank you for your post, I totally agree. The issue for me is that I do already have a fundamentally good swing, play off 2.6, and incorporate most of what you've pointed out in the swings of these legends. No, not saying I can't have a better swing or improve, that's really what I'm trying to do, but I think by getting stronger along with overspeed training I can get faster. Technique only takes you so far in the speed department. At some point I believe you will injure yourself if you're trying to get faster without the body parts supporting that increase, no matter how good your swing technique.

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I would agree that strength training can help. I have a problematic back and I do front squats and power cleans once a week, in additon to front lunges. These are great not only for the legs but the lower back and the hips. It is not necessary to use a lot of weight either. The power clean will also help the fast twitch muscles in the legs and the back. Also, as the father of 3 girls, two slightly built, I recommend that they do pushups as well to strengthen the upper body.

 

Macgregor M38 SK Fiber 85g X, i-Drive 2h Accuflex 82g X, Acer XV Tour/Pro 4i-S, FST 115 SX, TM TPA X

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IMO, the biggest key to generating pain/injury free distance is to get in the gym. It doesn't matter if you are 20 or 70 and you already put an efficient move on the ball, if you aren't in shape you aren't going to add distance, let alone pain free distance, without increasing (a) physical strength; and (b) flexibility. I'm a 26 year old, ex-athlete so the gym is no stranger to me. But, the gym was a stranger to my father (66) until a year or so ago. Once I finally convinced him that there is a good reason the "modern" golfer is starting to look more like a football player, we got him in the gym doing things appropriate for his age and fitness level. After about 30 days, his distance increased noticeably (10 yds or so with driver). After about six months, his distance increase was exponential (25 yards with driver, 10 with just about every other club). At this point, he's dialed in a consistent gym routine that works for him. 4 days per week for an hour at a time, power lifting three days and working on flexibility and "golf specific" moves the fourth day has done wonders for both his golf game and his life outside of golf. My recommendations: (1) find a gym you like and that you are comfortable going to; (2) find a trainer who knows what they are doing and have them develop a weekly routine (once you have the routine, no need to keep paying them unless you struggle to get to the gym without them); and (3) be consistent about going and understand that body transformation is a process and not a magical change. I bet you'll like the results. Good luck OP.

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Interesting question. What matters, IMO, is where you are starting from physically. I've always been really active, best shape of my life in my 40s. 53 now and my injuries tend to be of the repetitive type. Latest one being arthritic-like pain in my left (lead) thumb from whacking so many balls. If you've mainly driven a desk for the past 30 years trying to pick up clubhead speed can be a little dicey. Got to lay the foundation. If nothing else, I'd suggest contacting a TPI instructor. They really target where you're weakest links are physically, saving you time. And, many of their clientele based on what I've seen at my guy's gym are the desk drivers. If no TPI readily available: yoga, bike riding, swimming, planks and other core work for starters. At 53 I'm hitting the ball farther than I ever have. But, my swing stunk for a long time, recently going from horrible to somewhat ok... Good luck with it.

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I gained in the neighborhood of 8 mph from last year measured with my 1980's golfsmith swing speed mat. Over the winter my 'training program' consisted of two basic things. I used a momentus swing trainer with easy exaggerated swings to stretch out my flexibility. The weighted momentus I am sure built up a few golf muscles too. I also did an ancient exercise with a 2 lb weight tied to a rope and the other end tied to a handle big enough for both hands to grip with the rope between them. I would hold the handle out in front of me and 'roll' up the rope around the handle keeping my arms straight to strengthen wrists and forearms. I am close to 60 and have balky lower discs and right shoulder & elbow problems from pitching many moons ago. Between a new driver / shaft and the added speed I went from 250 / 260 up to 280 off the tee.

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I know that power clean lifting is often a part of golfing exercise programs I've run across while researching this topic. I think I could do that if I had really light weights. Maybe the bar alone is enough. Thanks for the post, I'm kind of seeking a turnkey approach where someone or some company has solved most of this and offers a solution. Pretty sure I can figure out, in any "solution" what won't work for my body. Had too many experiences where my body was speaking up "don't do it" but my mind was saying "don't worry we're being guided by professionals". Done with that nonsense.

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Thanks so much for your post, such sound advice! This is what I'm looking for and I won't need anyone to prod me into the gym. At home I have a single stack machine with fixed pulley stations--lat pull downs, mid and low rows, arm curls, etc. but no real way to do power cleans and certain important squats. All I would really need I think is a few more pieces of equipment like a bar and some weights--or do you need what I've seen at the gym, a device that guides the power clean-holding the weight in a fixed kind of channel while the lifter just does the exercise? I think I've seen this.

Anyway, you've nailed it for me. Just need to find that person to create a recipe I can follow.

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Sweet! Such simple tools and that kind of gain is very hard to match. The roll up for your forearms is a good idea for me I think, might incorporate that once I settle on a routine/recipe. From what I've read about golf speed a driver like the momentus is problematic, that weighting areas of the actual golf swing is not as efficient an exercise as it would seem and I think you have to be pretty careful how you swing a weighted club to avoid injury. I'm not looking for the easy way out, just trying to not buy in to the "no pain no gain". Looking for gain without real physical pain.

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I'm sorry to hear about your experience. My goal as I have gotten older is to experiment and fine tune my exercise routine to strenghten the weak parts of my body, specifically my back, knees and right shoulder. I also agree that very lightweight front squats with the bar are worth doing. In fact it's what I recommend for my oldest daughter at 21 because she has poor posture and slouches frequently and she only uses a 5' bar which weights 30 lbs. Front squats will remedy neck and back posture as I have seen personally as well as add lower body strength and stability.

 

Macgregor M38 SK Fiber 85g X, i-Drive 2h Accuflex 82g X, Acer XV Tour/Pro 4i-S, FST 115 SX, TM TPA X

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