Ever wondered how the pro’s are able to bomb 350 yard drives so effortlessly and consistently? The answer is rotational power. Most exercise is done in the sagittal plane, which means the body is moving in a forward and backward direction. More time in our programs should be devoted to the frontal plane, which means movement in a side to side fashion. In order to produce the torque required to execute a powerful golf swing, more time also needs to be spent in the transverse plane where rotational movements are made.
Increasing rotational power in your swing requires the use of correct training exercise and optimising the kinematic sequencing of movement patterns, which result in maximal power output with minimal power leaks due to inefficiencies.
The secret to maximal rotational power generation is to activate the muscles in the sequence of largest to smallest or proximal to distal (proximal refers to being close to the midline of the body, while distal refers to being further away from the middle of the body. It is important to note that a fully lengthened muscle has the greatest potential to generate force. A lengthened muscle is only achieved when it’s relaxed, this is why the pro’s make everything look so effortless and easy, its because they are relaxed! Each muscle group must be relaxed and lengthened to allow the energy to be transferred through and then it can contract to add an additional boost.
In the golf swing, the downswing is initiated, biomechanically speaking, by activating the glutes. Which rotate the hips towards the target, this hip rotation generates a huge amount of power that is transferred to the (lengthened) obliques, which in turn contract adding additional force that is transferred to the the (lengthened) pectoral group, that then contracts passing more power down the line until the summation of forces reaches the hands holding the club which finally contacts the ball. The hands and wrist can only generate minimal forces by themselves but with proper sequencing, they can transfer enormous forces.
The rotational exercises in the videos below, and the literally countless variations of exercises such as these, can be used to strength the muscle in the transverse plane and also increase rate of force development and power in rotational movement patterns. Their value in any holistic training program for golf is very high and beneficial for maximising power output.
Whilst performing these exercises focus on maintaining proper posture and apply the proper proximal to distal kinematic sequencing discussed above. Never sacrifice proper from for the sake of speed of movement, and never sacrifice speed of of the movement for weight (in other words use light weight and do the movements quickly and well)! Finally, a word of caution, you should possess sufficient strength before implementing rotational exercises. You cannot shot a cannon out of a canoe, get down the basics before moving to advanced rotational techniques.