Fit to a Tee | The Need for Speed

By: Tom Cunneff

ASSUMING YOU’VE BEEN professionally fitted for your clubs, there is really only one other way to get more distance: increase your clubhead speed. And the best way to do that, according to Dr. Greg Rose, cofounder of the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, California, and cohost of the Golf Fitness Academy on Golf Channel, is by strengthening the fast-twitch muscle fibers through “contrast training.” The regimen calls for alternating heavy lifts with un-weighted, explosive exercises using the same movement. “Research suggests that combining strength training with speed training into the same workout will help elicit a bigger response in the fast-twitch muscle fibers—the ones that are responsible for speed,” says Rose. Here are two weight-unload combinations to try.                                                                  

Half-Kneeling Chop
Set the arms of a cable machine to the up position with a cable bar or rope attached and an appropriate weight. Face the machine and kneel with the outside knee down and the inside leg flexed 90 degrees at the hip and knee. Narrow your base to approximately six inches (the width between the knee of one leg and the heel of the other leg should be within six inches). The hips should be directly under the body, the spine should be erect, and the shoulders back. With arms elongated and palms down, pull the cable down and across the body into the open space created by the half-kneeling position while holding the cable close to the body, forcing a bend in the elbows in the middle of the movement when the cable is closest to the body. Finish the movement by relaxing the lower hand and pushing through to extension with the upper arm. All of the motion should be in the arms while the shoulders, trunk, and hips remain stable. Perform 10 reps.

… and Half-Kneeling Chop Slam
You’ll need a partner for this exercise. In the same half-kneeling posture, position a small medicine ball high and to the side of the trailing leg. Perform a chop downwards across the front of the body and throw the ball toward the floor over the forward leg. Try to slam the ball as high and as far as possible. Repeat exercise with opposite leg placement for advanced difficulty. Never perform this drill to the point of pain or discomfort. With your partner tossing the ball back to you, perform 10 reps before returning to the Half-Kneeling Chop (left), alternating with three sets of each.
Jefferson Squats
Place a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell on the ground directly in front of you and take a wide stance with your feet slightly turned out and the weight in the middle of your stance. Squat down keeping a good arch in your lower back and a straight upper back. Grab the weight and return to the standing position. Slowly squat down, lowering the weight to the ground, being sure to maintain good posture throughout the movement. Perform 10 reps.

… and Box Jumps
Stand in front of a box step with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Try to jump up onto the box with a very soft, quiet landing. With time, you can increase the height of the step. Perform 10 reps before doing more Jefferson Squats (above), alternating with three sets of each.


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