YOUR GOLF SWING’S NOT WORTH S-Q-U-A-T: THE KEY TO MORE DISTANCE

 

Golf Swing Squat Main Picture

Want More Power In Your Golf Swing, But Can’t Squat?

Good luck!

From young golfers to old, everyone wants a little more power in their golf swing. Being able to drive the ball far puts you in an advantageous position. Even if it isn’t in the middle of the fairway each time. It is nice having wedges into most holes. Spending a little more time on your approach shots may be the better answer, but that ain’t sexy! How are you going to impress the cart girl (or guy) if you can’t go yard each swing!?

Happy Gilmore

BEING ABLE TO SQUAT MATTERS IF YOU WANT TO SWING “WELLER”

*Weller is most definitely a word.

Today I have a fun fact for you that the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) team discusses in their courses. Being able to squat matters if you want to improve consistency in your shots and create some power. It’s not to say that you can’t play well without the squat of a world class sumo wrestler. I know your argument already… Most of us know someone that can barely pull themselves out of a cart. Nonetheless, they shoot scratch golf. That however is the exception. You can’t argue that the mythical man you speak of would undoubtedly be better if he was able to demonstrate a BEAUTIFUL SQUAT. Amen!

According to the TPI team, research they have conducted shows a correlation between the swing and the squat. People who are unable to perform a deep squat reportedly lose posture during the downswing and/or back swing. This can result in a HUGE POWER LOSS during your swing and a lot of inconsistency in your shots. Coming out of posture in the downswing is often the culprit for that nasty slice or push.

Sim
Simeon wanted to fit in the whisky barrel at Sagamore Distillery, but couldn’t squat well. See my point? The squat is vital. Simeon’s heels ain’t touching the ground without a nice pair of stilettos on!

STILL NOT SOLD?

In a research study that used elite soccer players from Norway, those that could squat 2x their body weight showed improved power output. If you think your ability to squat ass to grass is hopeless, breathe a sigh of relief. They only performed a half squat. Regardless, if you can’t squat well, it is REALLY hard to squat 2x your body weight. We see a lot of cool methods for creating power using plyometric exercises (learn more at Mike Reinold’s website), but most people are neglecting the importance of baseline strength.

KISS. KEEP IT SIMPLE.

1. Find the limitations in your squat and work on it.

  1. This typically includes a flexibility limitation at the ankle, knee or hip.
  2. OR you just plane old stink at squatting.
    • Heels should be down.
    • Knees over the feet.
    • No rounding in the back, please.

Experiencing pain you can’t resolve on your own? See a physical therapist to get some assistance!

2. Once you identify your limitations, work on improving them.

  1. If it is a flexibility problem. Work on increasing flexibility in your trouble spots and recheck to see if there is an improvement.
  2. If it is just a squat problem, work on the following drills in this video from Brett Jones and Gray Cook, legendary men! The video above is a spark notes version of the in depth breakout they created to assess someone’s squat (FMS and SMFA).

3. Once you re-groove that squat pattern, start throwing some weight on there. Yehaw!

Get some help from a fitness professional or physical therapist if you aren’t familiar with weighting your squat. To learn more about re-loading your squat check out some of Tony Gentilcore’s content. (Also legendary, and really knows his stuff). If you live near Boston give him a ring!

I am willing to risk my first-born child on the fact that you will gain more power and consistency in your swing purely from improving your ability to squat (sorry Jeanna)!  Being able to squat shows me that you have good flexibility at your ankles, knees and hips. Something your body NEEDS to swing well. It also shows me that your body has the coordination and control necessary to produce good golf shots. Not to say that a good squat means you are going to the PGA! You may actually need to learn to swing a golf club correctly, but it’s a good start.

 

-Dr. Michael Infantino, DPT, TPI, CMTPT

 

References

Wisløff, U., Castagna, C., Helgerud, J., Jones, R., & Hoff, J. (2004). Strong correlation of maximal squat strength with sprint performance and vertical jump height in elite soccer players. British journal of sports medicine, 38(3), 285-288.

Titleist Performance Institute Course Manual

 

 

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