Jumping for More Distance

JumpingEver dream about hitting a 300 yard drive or a 230 yard 4 iron? While it may not be possible for everyone, for most people there are areas that can be improved in order increase the distance of your shots.  One such area is jumping ability…Really? But jumping has nothing to do with the golf swing!…Wrong!

Luckily enough I can hit the ball pretty far for a 5 foot 8 inch 160 lb person.  Long enough that on a warm summer day I can push it out there in the 300’s with a solid strike, and there are a few reasons for this, one of which being that I can jump.  Funny enough, most people that can hit the ball a long way can jump.  Why you ask, well here are 2 good reasons:

 Why Does Jumping = More Distance

1.) Ground Reaction force:

Here is a good article to explain why ground reaction forces and jumping will allow you to hit a farther ball.  The gist of this is that in order to create speed in a swing, the golfer must impart force into the ground otherwise the speed of the golf swing will simple be twisting, and our core is not the strongest and most powerful part of our body.  What then is the strongest and most powerful part of our body…Our Legs, and this is where we generate power and speed in our swings.  Also, if you watch the swings of some of the longest hitters in the game like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods (before injury), you will note that there is a partial squat in their downswing and then an extension of the legs through impact (the motion of a jump).  This move is a power move and you will see it in many long hitting pro golfers.  Why does this add speed to your swing? It’s all about ground reactive forces.

2.) Muscle Fibre Type:

For those of you that are not aware, there are 2 basic type of muscle fibres, Type I and Type II.  There are actually a few more, plus some sub-types, but I want to keep this pretty simple for explanation purposes.  Type I fibres are called slow twitch and type II fibres are called fast twitch.  Based on the names, you should get the point.  Type I fibres are slow endurance movers, good for long slow activities like marathons, and type II fibres are fast, powerful, and strong movers, good for short fast movements like sprinting and jumping.

Now, another thing you may not know is that based on genetics and the type of activity/training one does, the fibre type composition of everyone’s muscles is different.  At a basic level, the more type II fibres you have, the faster and strong you tend to be, and the more type I fibres you have, the better you are at longer duration activities.  Therefore, those of us that are good jumpers will have more type II fibres than those that are not good jumpers.

How does that translate into the golf swing; well, aside from more ground reactive forces because we can jump, we can generally just move faster than those with less type II fibres.

Train for Jumping

So, the good news is that you can train your jumping ability.  That’s right, it’s not all up to genetics, although everyone will have a genetic maximum potential.  That being said, to focus on training your Type II fibres the preference is heavier weight lifting with lower reps, and fast movements like…you guessed it…jumping 🙂 Sprinting, throwing, and moving weight fast (ie. Olympic lifting) also work well.

If you reference the workouts on my Training Page, you will note that they are focused on Type II style training while ensuring we have sufficient endurance to comfortably walk a round of golf (best way to do this is walk!).

So, if you want to hit the ball farther, learn and train to jump.  Plus, jumping is just plain fun.

Sincerely,

The Barefoot Golfer

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