Strength and Conditioning in Golf
Is Justin Thomas the dark horse in the 2018 Masters?
Justin Thomas was the stand-out golfer of the 2017 season: he won 4 tournaments, including his first major with the PGA Championship. He’s carried this form into 2018, winning the Honda Classic in February.
What lays behind this recent success? A complete overhaul of the golf specific strength and conditioning work he was doing.
As Thomas said in a recent interview,
‘I wasn’t always someone who loved working out, but now, it’s a major part of my life. It’s important for my body to feel how it needs to feel to play the best I can. It’s something I take very seriously. I probably put on a good 15-20lbs last year.’
Adding 2 to 3 stone in weight has certainly transferred over to Thomas’ golf game. Despite still weighing only 145lbs (65kg) he is placed 8th in the PGA stats for the 2018 season with a driving distance average of 312.5 yards.
In his own words ‘pound for pound, my swing is the most powerful on Tour’. The confidence this must give him when he stands on the tee of any hole is something that, although tough to quantify, will surely put him at an advantage over his opponents.
How many club golfers weigh considerably more than Thomas yet hit the ball nowhere near as far?
Admittedly, technical proficiency plays a huge role in this.
Yet, Thomas has managed to considerably increase his driving distance at a stage in his career when he is already highly proficient at the technical aspects of the game.
How did he manage this?…
Well, power is the product of force and velocity. Improving either of these aspects (force or velocity) can lead to increased power production and explosiveness of an athlete. By gaining muscle mass, Thomas made it considerably easier for himself to apply more force thus improving this half of the equation.
However, if Thomas only focused on increasing his force production through maximal strength training what may have happened would have been a reduction in the contractile velocity of his muscles. Obviously, in a movement as fast as a golf swing this would be disastrous. It was therefore imperative for him to undertake strength and power training in order to utilise the extra force at his disposal.
With the golfers we work with on the Rigs Performance Athlete Development Programme, we make sure that all strength and conditioning support we give ensures that any extra strength we obtain is translated immediately into the golf swing. Through completing an individualised Corrective Exercise Programme alongside this, we also ensure that the golfers remain flexible enough to hit golf balls day in day out.
As golfers are fast becoming as strong and powerful as they are skilful, it seems fitting to remember a quote from the man who changed the game, Tiger Woods:
‘Golf is a sport, so you have to train like an athlete’
If you are a golfer and interested in training like an athlete, get in touch with Rigs Head of Performance, Josh Bridgeman today. Visit our website here; http://www.rigsfitness.co.uk/rigs-fitness-strength-and-conditioning-birmingham-performance/ or send Josh an email to firstname.lastname@example.org