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How to perform better in golf

Club head speed is a crucial indicator of high-level golfers’ performance. Chances are if a golf player is going low, they create speed while optimizing all aspects of the game.

In the last decade, strength and conditioning have greatly improved golf performance. Previously, the golfer never gave the importance of athleticism enough attention. The more precise you can make a golf swing, the better. We increasingly realize that golf performance is a top priority. Being strong, fast, and power-producing seems to be the most important thing. Reactive strength is one of the most valuable and important things that a golfer can improve their athleticism.

What is Reactive Strength?

Reactive strength refers to an athlete’s ability to maximize the stretch-shortening cycles (SSC). It is simply the body’s ability to produce large amounts of force after a stretch. Think of plyometric exercises like jumping, sprinting, and hopping. Drop jumping is an excellent exercise for demonstrating and practicing this. After the athlete has stepped off a box, or another elevated surface, the body must react to produce force and jump once they have hit the ground.
There are two components to reactive strength. The first is how quickly you can react to the impact and how quickly you can get off the ground. Together, these two parts make up the stretch-shortening cycle, which looks at the body’s ability to jump high and fast after an impact. Each time you run, jump, sprint, or change directions in a sport, it happens after some impact or stretch to the ground. For example, there is a quick stretch every time your foot touches the ground. Your body must be able to react to this impact which is essential for athletes at high levels.

How to Build Reactive Strength for Golf?

How can we do this? First, we need to understand the anatomy of each muscle, their formation, how they work together, and what primary joints are doing. The vertical jump and the golf swing require many of the same muscle groups. The research shows that if we work to improve the vertical jump, it will allow us to increase our vertical peak power and reactive strength. The stretch from the backswing to the downswing is one of the key points in golf swing optimization. Speed is most significant if the transition is smooth and fast. After impact, the vertical jump force and speed are combined. Both require high transition ability and the ability to produce force during “propulsion.”
What are you waiting to do? First, jump in your program, then sprint short distances. Adding these training elements will increase your ability to react quickly and make you a stronger athlete.

Curious to see what an exercise to build reactive strength looks like? Check out our video here.

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Dr. Tyler is a physical therapist and founder Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance in North Scottsdale, Arizona. He see golfers, athletes and active adults. His focus is offering one-on-one sessions for 1 hour focused on developing individualized programs to get you back to your goals.

If you have any questions about online programing or want to stop in for a visit, please reach out by hitting “request appointment” in the top of the page.

– Dr. Tyler PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, TPI-2

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