Learn to increase rotational force—safely. Rotational training for golf is one of the most important things you can do to increase clubhead speed and reduce the risk of injuries.
Golf is a game of skill. But it's also a game that requires the body to produce a significant amount of twisting (also known as rotational) force.
From the ankles and knees through the back, hips, and shoulders, rotational force transfers from the ground up and culminates in the club producing fast speeds that enable the ball to be hit high, straight, and far. From this perspective, it's easy to understand why PGA Tour pros and many avid golfers should not only work on their swing but also take time to perform exercises that build upon rotational strength and power.
The challenge is finding the most applicable rotation exercises to the golf swing that also help to reduce the risk of injury. Here, we present the start of a well-rounded rotational exercise program.
BEGIN WITH SIMPLE MOBILITY EXERCISES
Before you build strength, it's vital to increase rotational mobility. Attempting to perform rotational exercises with any degree of speed or force without first addressing mobility is a recipe for disaster. Your body must be able move freely to reap the benefits of rotational training as well as reduce the margin for injuries.
For further context, take a look back at previous mobility-related exercises we've shared within the Morning Read Fitness & Wellness page. But to get you started, here are a couple of our favorites:
THEN MOVE ON TO ROTATIONAL TRAINING
Once you've improved rotational mobility, it's effective to begin rotational strength training routines that create twisting forces which can increase swing speed and control.
If the body accelerates, it needs to have the ability to decelerate or damage will occur. It's no coincidence that golfers often suffer from injuries, because they don't have the ability to absorb the forces they create during their swing.
In the GOLFFOREVER program, we break up rotational strength exercises into two categories:
- Exercises that control rotational force
- Exercises that produce rotational force
Here are examples of each:
STANDING ANTI-ROTATION EXERCISE
- Stand sideways to a cable or tubing anchored at about chest height and pull your arms to your chest, taking up the slack of the tube to build tension
- Reach your arms out in front of your body to create the rotational force
- Remember, this is a control exercise, there is no body turn—simply fight the tension
Over time, the body adapts and develops strong core muscles that can withstand the rotational force this exercise creates. It is a critical element to build twisting control deceleration ability, as well as a key fundamental to building rotational power.
WHOLE-BODY ROTATION EXERCISE
This setup is similar to the one above, but with a major difference: the body turns as one cylinder unit.
- Stand sideways to the anchored tubing holding the grips in front of your body
- Turn your body toward the anchor point so the tubing has slack
- With a full body turn, rotate your body away from the anchor point so the tubing builds up tension
- It's critical to rotate your body as one unit from the hips—think of your navel as the center point that first turns toward the anchor point and then away from it
- Attempt to master this rotational pattern first with slow, controlled speed
- Over time, you can pick up speed as well as use tubes that offer more resistance
Practicing this exercise will fine-tune a safe and efficient rotational pattern, as well as increase your body's ability to rotate with greater speed and power.
PRACTICE GOLF-FOCUSED FITNESS FOR A BETTER GAME
Although there are many areas of fitness you should focus on to improve your overall health and ability to perform as a golfer, rotational training is one of the most important things you can do to increase clubhead speed and reduce the risk of injuries. It takes time and consistency, but remember: change only comes with commitment.
- Rotational training is one of the most important things you can do to increase clubhead speed and reduce the risk of injuries
- Improved rotational power helps generate more clubhead speed
- Improved rotational control helps prevent injuries in the spine and other joints
Want to learn more? Visit GOLFFOREVER.COM to build flexibility, mobility, strength and more confidence in your game than ever before.
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All GOLFFOREVER content and exercises are presented with the expressed understanding that you should visit a doctor to determine the cause of any pain you may be feeling and in some rare cases that can include cancer, fractures, infection and more. It should also be understood that you are strongly advised to first receive clearance from a physician before following any exercises or advice presented on this site, and that Morning Read and its partner, GOLFFOREVER, are not liable for any injuries that may occur.