I recently read an Instagram post form Alex Ehlert M.S @golf_physiologist regarding utilizing speed sticks in a golfers training program. With golfers trying to maximize swing speed, overspeed training in the form of speed sticks and other programs, has become very popular recently. While this can be an effective tool in your toolbox for doing so, I see a lot of issues in how most golfers are approaching the use of them. The benefits of using speed sticks is that they are highly specific to the golf swing, and therefore work well for carryover of speed generation into the golf swing. However, if that is the only training you are doing then you are setting yourself up for potential failure or even worse pain or injury.
This is why you should incorporate a well-rounded strength and conditioning program focusing on mobility, strength and power development along with any speed stick work. We know that in general stronger golfers are typically able to express more power and therefor become more responsive to golf-specific velocity training and with much less risk of overuse injury from doing so. Building a program around squatting, lunging, deadlifting, pressing, rowing, pullups, jumps and throws will not only carryover into performance on the course but also make you into a more resilient golfer and human being outside of the sport. I recommend 2 to 3 days a week of this type of training for all golfers.
For golfers having enough mobility in the right areas is also a necessary component of any training program. Having the ability and mobility to rotate through to rotational centers (hips, thoracic spine, neck and shoulders), disassociate the upper and lower body and control the movements of the pelvis will not only allow you to more safely tolerate to loads of swinging both a golf club or speed stick but also put you in a better position to have proper sequencing and mechanics to optimize any golf specific speed training. Adding the excess load via speed training on top of a body that isn’t ready for it is a recipe for disaster. Spending 10-15 minutes a day on mobility work can make a world of difference in how you move and feel.
Building strong, resilient and robust athletes is a primary goal of any sport specific strength and power training program. You then take that strength, power and mobility base and can specify it to golf via speed stick and other golf specific speed training programs with a much higher chance of seeing success as well as a decreased chance of having pain or injury form doing so. In the end speed sticks or any other golf specific speed program, can be a nice addition to a well-rounded program, but keep in mind that they’re one piece of the puzzle and the other pieces need to be in place to maximize results and minimize risk of injury. The goal of a well-designed strength and conditioning program is to increase performance via speed generation, be able to tolerate and create the forces and movements necessary for the sport and lastly have the ability to practice and play as much as you want without fatigue or pain well into your years.
If you need help finding the right program for you reach out to us at Guidry Golf and Sport at email@example.com. We help golfers in the Southeast Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast areas via our in-person training programs, as well as golfers all over the world via our online coaching app. Having proper guidance from a knowledgeable coach is the best way to set your self up for success.
Dr. John Paul Guidry DPT CSCS TPI