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Functional Strength

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Everybody wants to be strong, but the question is:  What does “being strong” really mean?   Without question, nearly everybody would agree that weightlifters are strong because they can lift a lot of weight. 

Everybody wants to be strong, but the question is:  What does “being strong” really mean?   Without question, nearly everybody would agree that weightlifters are strong because they can lift a lot of weight.  But the truth is; that the majority of weightlifters that I’ve seen and taught golf to, can’t hit the ball very far at all, let alone be consistent.  In fact, I have seen very few body builders who are good golfers in the first place!  On the other hand, over a lifetime of golf, I’ve seen legions of “little guys” and even skinny guys, who can hit the ball a mile because of the terrific club head speed they generate.

 

The question remains, why can’t “most” body builders and weight lifters hit the ball out of their shadow?  The answer is that it’s because they can’t and don’t develop enough speed.

To me, I believe that there are two ways to look at strength. The first perspective is the body builder who can bench a lot of weight, and the second is the person who has a lot of range of motion in their muscles – coupled with ample strength to reciprocate with the muscle. This is Functional Strength.

 

What happens when a muscle gets overworked and exercised a lot (the body builders), it will begin to shorten, and therefore, not be able to contract and expand very much.  On the other hand, a muscle that is lengthened, creates a lot of range of motion.  Think of the rubber band you want to shoot across the room.  The one that expands the most from your forefinger will go the furthest.  The rubber band that doesn’t expand very much at all will go nowhere. To me, a muscle that can’t move, is a weak muscle, and a muscle that can move freely is a strong one.  Having said that, I certainly don’t want to stand across the line from some of the behemoth linemen that are playing football today, but on the other hand, I would be willing to challenge most of them in a Long Drive Contest.

 

The bottom line is; that if you really want to improve your game and especially get some more power in your swing, you must have a balance of flexibility- and then strength throughout your body.  Moving flexibility first, and then strength, is a STRONG combination.