This article is part of guest series to the RecruitPKB “Complete Golfer” program by Chris Finn, owner of Par4Success in Cary, North Carolina.
RecruitPKB Perform: Your Strength Window – Don’t Miss It
You will only swing as fast as you can control. That is our mantra with all of our juniors and all golfers. Just as you would not expect the brakes in a 1998 Toyota Corolla to stop a Ferrari Engine pushing a car to 200 mph, you can’t expect untrained hip and core muscles to control a 100+mph swing.
This brings me to our topic of the month, strength and stability training in juniors. There exists a window of opportunity in all developing juniors that occurs between the ages of 1317 that is often called the strength window. This is a time when developmentally the body has an influx in hormones that allow us to attain gains in strength at a much faster rate than at any other time during development. There is a similar time between the ages of 69 for speed development called the speed window.
Our goal is to have juniors already at a point where their bodies are demonstrating a strong and stable foundation that we can build on when this window occurs. It is very difficult and dangerous to attempt to build strength if there is not a good foundation already in place with the junior able to demonstrate the ability to control their body with proper mechanics.
In order to not miss the strength window, it is important that we start preparing to take advantage of this period as early as 10 or 11 years old with simple exercises such as planks, antirotational strengthening and work on squat and hinge patterns.
If this preparatory work has been done, it is amazing what type of improvements we can see in junior golfers. One of our recent juniors who was able to take advantage of this period saw a 40 yard increase in distance off the tee as well as 20 lbs of added lean muscle without effecting swing technique and contributing to a 1.5 drop in scoring differential. There are many examples of juniors who prepare to take advantage of this window and enjoy the benefits. In order to compete at the highest level we need to be aware of this window and take advantage of it, because if we aren’t, someone else in the world is.
Here are links to two exercises that you can start today in order to start building your foundation. Even if you are already in your window, you can still take advantage of it by starting with these!
Single Leg Bridge: