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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
Elbow-Wrist Release Power  

Wrist_PhotoThe last power source we like to develop is wrist and elbow power.  Wrist release speed has been shown to be very important in adding power to the swing.  The wrist can actually create power in 3 different directions.  It can extend, rotate and hinge.  The most powerful golfers utilize all three planes for speed and power. 

The elbow can also be used as another link in the chain of power, and is commonly used by the long drive tour players.  To incorporate the elbow link, the player will have to bend the elbow at the top of the backswing.  This allows the elbow to flex and then rapidly extend into impact which decreases the moment of inertia for the trunk.  As we discussed in “Upper Body Modifications for Power” the best analogy is a skater or a diver performing a spin.  We all know that as the skater brings their arms in close to their body with their elbows bent they are able to spin faster.  If the arms are extended out wide the rate of rotation will slow down due to the rapid increase in moment of inertia on the trunk.  The biggest problem with this modification is it adds another source of possible inaccuracy. 

Here are some examples of exercises we incorporate to develop elbow-wrist release power: 

     Palm Press warm-up

     Forearm and grip strengthening

     Sword drills

     Impact bag pops

     Racquetball, badminton, squash

     Table tennis

     Med-ball chest passes 

Here are some examples of how we would train for each: 

  1. Absolute Strength - Grip Strength (see grip strength article)
  2. Explosive Speed - Badminton
  3. Speed Strength - Med-ball chest pass
  4. Opposite Side Power - Backhand shot 

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.

Elbow-Wrist Release PowerElbow-Wrist Release Power The last power source we like to develop iswrist and elbow power. Wrist releasespeed has been shown to be very important in adding power to the swing. The wrist can actually create power in 3different directions. It can extend,rotate and hinge. The most powerfulgolfers utilize all three planes for speed and power. The elbow can also be used as another link inthe chain of power, and is commonly used by the long drive tour players. To incorporate the elbow link, the playerwill have to bend the elbow at the top of the backswing. This allows th...
Arm Chopping PowerArm Chopping Power The ability to deliver explosive speed withthe arms is one of the most important aspects for power in the golf swing. We call it the Arm-Chopping motion, becausethe arms need to start up over the trail shoulder and explosively fire downacross the body to over the lead hip. Many players tend to eliminate this power source by trying to keep theirarms pinned to their chest during the downswing. This may help improve accuracy but it willdefinitely limit power development. Here are some examples of exercises weincorporate to develop arm-chopping power: χ...
Truck Rotary PowerTrunk Rotary Power The “trunk” refers to the combination of the pelvis and thorax. By monitoring the rotary speeds a player develops in those two body segments we can get a good indicator of what type of power they can ultimately generate in the club. The best way to measure these speeds is by analyzing a kinematic sequence with a 3D motion capture. Not only does the kinematic sequence give us the speeds being produced but it also tells us the order in which they are being utilized during the swing. If that sequence is out of order a lot of power can be lost in...
Vertical Thrust PowerVertical Thrust Power Have you ever noticed that many kids have a large jump during their downswing? The reason is because the jump (vertical thrust) is one of the first power sources developed in kids. The vertical jump is also a technique used by some of the most powerful golfers in the world. Despite vertical thrust power being arguably the greatest source of power it is one that is often neglected by golfers. We utilize some of the following methods to develop strength, speed, and power for vertical thrust: ● Skipping warm-up ●...
Developing Power in the Golf SwingDeveloping Power in the Golf Swing To develop power we first need to understand where power is needed. With any power source, you need to develop strength and speed in all areas. The four power sources that influence the golf game the most are: Vertical Thrust Power Trunk Rotary Power Arm-Chopping Power Elbow-Wrist Release Power Vertical Thrust Power Have you ever noticed that many kids have a large jump during their downswing? The reason you may see a jump is it is one of the first power sources developed in kids. If the other three power sources have not develope...
Low Back PainLow Back Pain Low back pain is the most common injury we see in golfers. It is estimated that more than half of you reading this article will have experienced low back pain that has affected your performance at some point this season. And at least 50% of you have missed 3-6 weeks of participation because of the pain. That is a big deal! The most common cause for low back pain in Tour Pros is overuse. I doubt too many of you are hitting more balls than Touring Pros. The most common cause of LBP in amateurs is mechanics. So here’s the best part, low back pain is very prev...
Golfer's Elbow vs. Tennis ElbowGolfer's Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow When these elbow injuries were being namedGolfer’s and Tennis Elbow there really wasn’t a whole lot of thought put intoit. Golfers actually get Tennis Elbow5-6x more than Golfer’s Elbow. So what’sthe difference? Tennis Elbow (lateralepicondylitis) involves an injury to the extensor muscles (backside of yourforearm and outside of the elbow) and Golfer’s Elbow involves an injury to theflexor muscles (palm side of your forearm and inside of elbow). For a long time these injuries wereconsidered to be “tendinitis&r...
Opposite Speed TrainingOpposite Speed Training One of the most common mistakes I see golfers make with their fitness programs is trying to be too “golf specific” and replicate the golf swing with their exercises. Most of the exercises to increase power and speed have nothing to do with a swinging motion. In fact, when we do include rotary/swinging movements we actually train in the opposite direction more frequently. This is a theory that was given the name “The Big Break Theory” by TPI Advisory Board member, Dr. Tom House. We have noticed that there seems to be a strong...
Upper Body Modifications for PowerUpper Body Modifications for Power The upper body generates the highestrates of speed in the golf swing. Therefore, any modifications that we canperform here will pay off big time in the long run. However, these modifications to greatlyincrease clubhead speed also come with a greater risk of reducingaccuracy. But right now we are justtrying to increase speed and power. Onceyou do that then you learn how to control it. If you go back and read last week’s article on lower body modificationsand thought those tips were completely different from what most teachingprofessionals...
Lower Body Modifications for PowerLower Body Modifications for Power When it comes to modifying swing mechanics for power, let’s begin by stating the obvious - the fastest way to increase your distance is to make solid center face contact on the club! So most players could easily pick up a few yards with just a standard golf lesson and proper fitting. With that said, we will discuss some of the techniques and swing modifications that have been shown to help generate more power. However, none of these will matter without solid contact on the club face. The lower body has the most modifications for power and can...
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