Trunk Rotary Power
By Dr. Nick Curry

medball_shot_put- Usually when we are talking about developing power with golfers the first thing that comes to their mind is rotation exercises, or rotary power.  While it is only one of the four primary sources of power it is definitely a major one.  The primary muscle groups we work when training rotary power are the abdominals, primarily the obliques.

To develop rotary power, you must challenge the core.  At its most basic concept, we challenge the core by maintaining a solid, stable trunk while the extremities perform the movement.  This is where you can get creative and turn almost any exercise into a “core” exercise.  Here are some examples of exercises we incorporate:

      Fundamental core strength (ex:planks)

      Push strength

      Pull strength

      Chop-Lift strength

      Squat/Lunge strength (single leg or split stance)

      Med-Ball bounces and passes

      Rotary Jumps

      Baseball bat swings

      Cross Body Punching


standing_1-arm_pullHere are some examples of how we would train for each:

  1. Absolute Strength - 1-Arm Standing Row (picture)
  2. Explosive Speed - Rotary Box Jump (picture)
  3. Speed Strength - MedBall Trunk Throws/Shot-put (picture)
  4. Opposite Side Power - Throwing with non-dominant arm

Pro Tip - Long drive tour players gain 50% more speed from the thorax to the arms than PGA Tour players.  This is the largest increase in speed compared to other areas of the body.  What this means is that you need to take your legs out of the equation when working on rotary power.  Kneeling exercises will isolate the rotary power to the thorax to arms.

How do you know when to move from one training method to the next (absolute strength to explosive speed to speed strength)?  Well, this is going to be different depending on your age, training experience, fitness level, previous injuries, training frequency, goals, etc.  We have different periodization schedules depending on goals, linear and non-linear.  A linear periodization is what most of you may have seen before; 4-8 weeks in each phase and then move to the next.  In non-linear periodization we incorporate some of each method in each phase but have a focus during each phase. 

Training volume is going to vary and we always stress the quality of movement over trying to hit a certain number of sets and reps.  In general you can start with these parameters for power:

      Repetitions - Less than 5 (usually 3-5)

      Sets - 5+

      Rest - 2-6 minutes between sets


Always make sure you are physically capable of performing these exercises before starting a program.  It is best to be screened by a professional so modifications can be made to certain exercises if necessary.  This will not only help prevent injuries but will also allow you to maximize your potential with each exercise.

Dr. Nick Curry is a chiropractor that is also certified through the highly esteemed Titleist Performance Institute as a medical, fitness, and junior golf wellness professional.  He is the owner of Integrative Health and Sports Performance in Bellbrook and serves at the Team Chiropractor to Wright State and Miami Universities.  To Visit their Website or call 937-848-8500
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