Have you ever noticed that many kids have a large jump during their downswing? The reason is because the jump (vertical thrust) is one of the first power sources developed in kids. The vertical jump is also a technique used by some of the most powerful golfers in the world. This has become very apparent in recent years as you see so many golfers leaving the ground during their downswing. Despite vertical thrust power being arguably the greatest source of power it is one that is often neglected by golfers. Learning how to use the ground and adding more vertical thrust can add tremendous power to your golf swing.
We utilize some of the following methods to develop strength, speed, and power for vertical thrust:
- Skipping warm-up
- Fundamental core strength
- Hip hinge strength
- Squat strength
- Ankle jumps
- Box jumps
- Hopping and Bounding
- Olympic lifting (Clean, Jerk, and Snatch)
There are 4 methods for power development. Here are some examples of how we would train for each:
- Absolute Strength - Squat (picture)
- Explosive Speed - Box Jump (picture)
- Speed Strength - Clean Jump (picture)
- Opposite Side Power - Backward Sprinting
How do you know when to move from one training method to the next (absolute strength to explosive speed to speed strength)? Well, this is going to be different depending on your age, training experience, fitness level, previous injuries, training frequency, goals, etc. We also have different periodization schedules depending on goals, linear and non-linear. A linear periodization is what most of you may have seen before; 4-8 weeks in each phase and then move to the next.
In non-linear periodization we incorporate some of each method in each phase but have a focus during each phase. This is our preferred method of training because we can see greater gains compared to linear training. Training volume is going to vary and we always stress the quality of movement over trying to hit a certain number of sets and reps.
In general you can start with these parameters for power:
- Repetitions - Less than 5 (usually 3-5)
- Sets - 5+
- Rest - 2-6 minutes between sets
- Tempo - AS FAST AS POSSIBLE
Always make sure you are physically capable of performing these exercises before starting a program. It is best to be screened by a professional so modifications can be made to certain exercises if necessary. This will not only help prevent injuries but will also allow you to maximize your potential with each exercise.
Nick Curry, DC, CCSP, MS, ATC