Upper body strength for power

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When Smashing Nine’s Guelph was happening, we had the great fortune of hooking up with Orange Theory Fitness and they gave us a great pre-game warmup routine and some strategies for getting loose. Well they are back, and Jet and Ryan have put together this 2 part series on things you can do all winter to build strength. This week is on lower body and the next blog will be on upper body. Please connect with them if you have any questions.

Part 2- Upper body strength for power

Like the lower body, with a stronger upper body comes more power and distance with each and every shot. Three main areas we are going to be looking at are the triceps, the core muscles and shoulder stabilizers. The combination of the torso and arms, working and firing in sync, is vital when looking to increase your long ball.

First off, the core is used throughout the golf swing and it is important that it is strong enough to allow for proper rotation and good posture throughout the swings entirety. Seated weighted torso rotations are an excellent way to hit all 4 core muscles. These are done by taking a weight, sitting down with your knees slightly bent, feet on the floor and upper body at a 45-degree angle. From there, you will hold the weight out from your body and rotate your upper body from side to side. Keep in mind that your back is straight and your chest is up while doing the rotations. To increase the intensity, try to keep your feet off the ground while rotating your upper body and still keeping good posture. This will help build your core muscles to increase fluidity of your swing and more torque when coming through on the ball.

Next, your arms. Your arms and wrists must maintain their angles to increase potential power when coming through on the downswing. This will ultimately transform it into club head speed through impact, thus, more yardage.  To do this, these angles must be released in a precisely timed sequence to transfer the energy from your torso, through your arms, and then to the golf club head. Improving the strength of these two groups of muscles will allow you to transfer the energy created in your legs and core, into club head speed, and therefore into more powerful swings.

To ensure fluidity and strength from your arms, the areas where improvements are key are the triceps and the shoulder muscles. An exercise to improve the triceps is the triceps extension. This is done by laying on your back, with your arms straight out in front of you, and weight in hand. From there you will bend at your elbow, allowing the weight to come down towards your forehead, and then extending your elbow back to the original position once it hits about 90-degrees. An exercise to help with shoulder stability is external rotations. This is done by using an anchored resistance band. While holding on to the band and keeping your elbow at 90-degrees close to your side, rotate your hand from the midline of your body away. This will help with stabilizing your shoulders and therefore, creating a smoother swing.

With both the lower and upper body working in unison to create your swing, it is imperative to work on both halves this winter. These tips and exercises, will add more yardage on to your swings next spring, with less effort!

Jet Cruz, B.Sc. Kinesiology and Health Science

HFFC – Certified Exercise Physiologist

Orange Theory Fitness, 226.780.0822
Studio #049 – 84 Clair Rd. E
Guelph, ON N1L 0G6

Ryan Brethour BSc Honours Human Kinetics
Cell: 705 928 5454 e-mail: rbrethou@uoguelph.ca