Muscle Groups Getting into the Act
The major muscle groups used in the trunk are the lateral rotators of the spine and hip. Most of these muscles are part of what is commonly referred to as the core group of back and abdominal muscles. These muscles initially rotate the trunk laterally from left to right in the back swing. After which the group on the other side contracts to rotate the trunk from right to left to power the downswing. Hip and thigh muscles help stabilize the spine and assist in the rotatory motion.
Muscles in the chest, back, and upper arms are used in the downswing to generate propulsive force. This power is translated through the speed built up in the golf club. The main movers of the arm are the pectoralis muscles of the chest and the deltoid muscles of the shoulder and teres and latissimus muscles of the back. Finally, the fine tuning of the direction of the swing is controlled by the muscles of the forearm and wrist.
Training Strategies to Improve Power and Speed
The goals of supplemental training are to improve muscle strength and increase response time. Strengthening core muscles is important, so abdominal exercises and balance drills will help stabilize proper form. Weight lifting is optimally concentrated on the muscles of the chest, shoulders and upper back where power is generated. Most people who do not do manual labor tend to have weak forearm and wrist muscles, so these should be targeted as well.
Isometric training is incorporated into supplemental training to improve response times. Golf swing velocity is best transmitted to ball speed by making the contact time as short as possible. This requires fast muscle responses, so drills to improve speed of muscular contraction are necessary. By balancing both strength and speed, golfers will quickly see improvement in their game.