The associations between clubhead velocity and kinetic variables during vertical jumps and an isometric mid-thigh pull in golfers
AuthorsWells, Jack E.T.
strength and conditioning
Subject Categories::C600 Sports Science
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AbstractA greater number of golfers are devoting time engaging in strength and conditioning due to the associated competitive advantages through increased clubhead velocity. Strength and conditioning coaches are able to support golfers through physical profiling in order to highlight areas of improvement. Based on the results from physical profiling, strength and conditioning coaches can implement interventions targeted at increasing clubhead velocity. However, there is currently a paucity of research that has sought to assess the relationship between clubhead velocity and kinetic mechanisms in commonly used strength and conditioning tests such as vertical jumps and isometric mid-thigh pulls. This thesis had two aims which were to 1) investigate the relationships between clubhead velocity and kinetic mechanisms in vertically oriented tasks and 2) identify optimal training modalities that enhance clubhead velocity along with the kinetic mechanisms associated with these changes. The findings within Chapter three highlighted that the TrackMan and Bel SwingMate had high inter-session reliability when measuring clubhead velocity in an applied range setting. The smallest detectable change indicated that practitioners can be 95% confident an increase in clubhead velocity of 0.76 m.s-1 (TrackMan) and 1.42 m.s-1 (Bel SwingMate) represents a ‘real’ change. The TrackMan had the highest reliability and the smallest detectable change; therefore, this launch monitor was utilised to assess clubhead velocity within this thesis. It was observed in Chapter four that positive impulse during a countermovement jump, squat jump and drop jump, along with peak force during an isometric mid-thigh pull significantly related to highly skilled golfers’ (n = 27) clubhead velocity. Furthermore, results highlighted that activities less constrained by time held the strongest relationships. These findings were further supported by Chapter five when assessing elite golfers. Specifically, European Challenge Tour golfers’ (n = 31) countermovement jump positive impulse significantly predicted 37.9% of the variance in clubhead velocity. Further analysis highlighted that if a European Challenge Tour golfer were to increase their countermovement jump positive impulse by 46.85 N.s, this should elicit an increase in clubhead velocity of 1.69 m.s-1. The golf swing is considered to be an asymmetrical action due to the vertical ground reaction forces and the nature of the swing. Chapter six therefore assessed the relationships between highly skilled golfers’ clubhead velocity and inter-limb asymmetries during bilateral countermovement jumps, squat jumps, drop jumps and isometric mid-thigh pulls. Inter-limb difference for the entire cohort (n = 50) and golfers with ‘real’ asymmetries had no significant relationship with clubhead velocity. There was also limited agreement between limbs for different tests. For instance, if an asymmetry favoured the trail leg for a countermovement jump, this limb was unlikely to present the same dominance within other tests. Therefore, it is the magnitude rather than the inter-limb differences that relate to clubhead velocity in highly skilled golfers. Chapter seven assessed the effects two different 8-week interventions (back squat vs. vertical jump) had on vertical ground reaction force variables and clubhead velocity when compared to a control group. Findings indicated that both the back squat group (n = 9) and vertical jump group (n = 9) significantly increased clubhead velocity, with no observed change in the control group (n = 8). Isometric mid-thigh pull peak force significantly increased in the back squat and jump groups and was the mechanism associated with these changes in clubhead velocity. For golfers who are seeking to increase their clubhead velocity, resistance training should form an integral part of their annual programme.
CitationWells, J.E.T. (2020) 'The Associations between Clubhead Velocity and Kinetic Variables during Vertical Jumps and an Isometric Mid-thigh Pull in Golfers'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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