Research Review #1: Medicine Ball Throw Training For Club Head Speed & Distance In Amateur Golfers
- Experimental Group (EG) increased 7 iron club head speed by an average of 13mph
- EG increased 7 iron distance by an average of 10 yards
- EG increased amount of pressure on lead foot at impact by 11%
For further breakdown and details of the study, and how it can help you, read on!
Study Title: Effect of Weight Ball Throw Training on Weight Shifting of Lower Body,
Head Speed of Club, and Driving Distance of Amateur Golfers.
The study lasted for 8 weeks.
Authors: Woo-Jin Choi et al (2017). Hanseo University, South Korea.
Subjects: 18 male golfers, with a handicap of 15 or more. Subjects were split into two groups of 9. An experimental group, which would throw medicine/weighted balls, and a control group, which would just continue with their regular training.
Measurements: Golfers were measured for 7 iron club head speed, 7 iron shot distance, rotational back extension torque strength, and weight shifting in the lower body.
An X Balance system was used to measure club head speed, distance, and % weight shift. Weight shift was calculated as the difference in % of bodyweight on the left foot at the top of the backswing versus moment of impact.
Training Protocol: 9 of the golfers performed weighted ball throws for 20 minutes before the beginning of golf practice sessions. 4-5 throws per minute were completed. This would suggest 80-100 throws per session. (Which is a lot in my opinion)
The progression of ball throws went as follows:
Week 1 & 2: 3 kg ball. 1/2 back swings were made, and then the ball was propelled forward. A half back swing was defined as the ball reaching waist height.
Week 3 & 4: 3 kg ball. 3/4 back swings were made, and then the ball was propelled forward. A 3/4 back swing was defined as the ball reaching shoulder height.
Week 5 & 6: 5 kg ball. 1/2 back swings were made, and then the ball was propelled forward. A half back swing was defined as the ball reaching waist height.
Week 7 & 8: 3 kg ball. 3/4 back swings were made, and then the ball was propelled forward. A 3/4 back swing was defined as the ball reaching shoulder height.
It was noted that subjects were instructed to shift their weight onto their right foot in the backswing and then onto their left foot as they threw.
- EG CHS 84mph up to 97 mph
- Distance 127m upto 136 meters
What is a medicine/weighted ball throw?
Below is a video of a rotational medicine ball throw. I have included many variations and progressions as part of my: Fit For Golf 12 Week Training Program.
Study limitations and questions:
- No mention of how many times per week throws were carried out.
- Small sample size, only 9 subjects per group.
- Pressure shift, rather than weight shift is the appropriate term for what they measured in this regard.
- For such big increases in club head speeds, a bigger increase in shot distance would be expected. There was no mention of mis hits, and ONLY 5 shots were used as trials, with the highest and lowest removed.
I have been using medicine ball throws in my own training, and with the vast majority of clients for over 10 years. I think they are an excellent tool for power development and strongly encourage you to experiment with them. To see how they are included in a comprehensive program check out the Fit For Golf 12 Week Online Training Program.
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