IS SWINGING A WEIGHTED GOLF CLUB GOOD FOR YOUR GAME?

Bob Forman, MS - Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, Author, Speaker

I see a lot of golfers out on the driving range and/or on the first tee swinging either a weighted club or a couple of clubs.  Some, I believe, do it to loosen up while others see it as a means of getting more distance.  Probably not a good idea in either case.

If the body hasn’t been sufficiently warmed-up, taking a weighted object and flinging it around the body may increase the risk of injury.  You’d be well advised to take some time and do a few upper and lower body stretches before you engage in this practice.     

If the goal is to make the driver feel lighter, you’ll probably experience some success with that.  This lighter feel, however, does not necessarily transfer over to more distance.  As a matter of fact, research has shown that by swinging a weighted club or multiple clubs, you actually lose distance. 

Let’s get into the physiology.  There are basically two types of muscle fiber in the body, the red and the white (see image right).  The red or Type I slow-twitch muscle fiber is built for prolonged activity like running and swimming.  The red is due to the higher mitochondria (energy producers in our cells) count, which helps the muscle utilize oxygen more efficiently. 

The white or Type II fast-twitch muscle fiber, on the other hand, does not have a high mitochondria count, fatigues more easily than Type I and is constructed for short, explosive movement patterns like the 1.5 seconds it takes to swing a golf club. 

So on one end of the spectrum, the explosive activities enlist more Type II fast-twitch muscle fibers while on the opposite end, the prolonged, rhythmic activities engage more Type I slow-twitch.        

Gaining distance requires a faster swing speed and the recruitment of Type II fast-twitch muscle fibers is vital.  If, in your practice swings, you add weight to the club, you’ll slow the speed of the swing down, moving you away from the Type II end of the spectrum and toward the Type I slow-twitch.  In doing so, you’re basically priming the wrong muscle fiber type.  That, in essence, pre-programs your body incorrectly and detracts from your ability to increase clubhead speed (check out this Sports Science video, the golf swing is just over 4 minutes in, but it’s worth watching the entire segment).


If you want to program your body to swing the club faster, turn your driver upside down, grip the shaft just above the clubhead and go through your swing sequence, exploding in the downswing and through impact.  This will lighten the club and help you swing faster, thereby moving the recruitment back toward those faster twitch muscle fibers. 

While performing this drill, listen for the swoosh later in the swing (closer to the ground) as this will aid in holding the wrist hinge longer.  Holding the wrist hinge longer in the downswing is one of the three power moves in the golf swing and will improve clubhead speed and distance.

If you feel the need for speed, and what golfer doesn’t want to get an extra 5 to 10 yards, then do away with the weighted golf club and/or the habit of warming up with two or more clubs in your hands.  You may hurt yourself if not properly warmed-up and lose a little distance at the same time.                    

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Static Hamstring Stretch

 One of the main factors for low back discomfort is tight hamstrings, which can also affect hip mobility in the golf swing.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- how to identify and correct the common physical deficiencies most golfers have that are impacting their swing and injury potential
- over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills

- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

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or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 

November 11, 2017
The top 10 fitness must haves for better golf.  Click on the pic and then "podcast."  
My segment starts at 1:10:30.

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures 


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury