The 16 Motors of the Golf Swing:

Part 8 - Using the lat muscles for clubhead speed

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Here is a tip from a standard golf technique book:

Tip 2

I want to go into more detail here because a lot is not being said about the use of the lat muscle to generate clubhead speed.

What is the latissimus dorsi or lat muscle?

The latissimus dorsi or lat muscle is the wing-like muscle of the upper back under each arm. This is the muscle that offers the opportunity for the "V" shaped contour of the upper body and the upper back. Why train the upper back or lats muscles?

The V shape is often considered very attractive on men and women alike; it is also an important muscle group to bodybuilders. In competitions you will frequently see bodybuilders spread their lat muscles by tensing them as they press their upper arms behind and up against them, raising them up. There are individual points given in bodybuilding for the quality of development of the lats muscle, as with all the other major muscle groups.

If you look at the golfer in the photo from the front, you will see that by "pull the rope" down (or as they used to say in England along time ago, "pull the rope and make the church bell ring!"), the lat muscles, particularly the left lat muscle is being used to PULL STRAIGHT DOWN the club generating tremendous speed.

The Lat muscle also has a very long range and can be stretched very long in the backswing - reach to the sky! - and contracted back into the more normal position with the arm down by the side of the torso. This range of motion allows the lat muscle to very significantly add to your clubhead speed.

How to work the lats.

The easiest exercise for the lats is the lat stretch. This exercise can be done almost anywhere and without special equipment. Grasp the outer edge of a door jam with one hand while pressing against it with the other hand. Literally stretch the lat muscle under the arm that grasps the outer edge of the jam. Repeat this effort 5 times or more. Perform an equal number of stretches for the opposite arm. You can do this 2-3 times a week for about 5-10 minutes each workout or all together.

Then hit a few golf balls being sure to really stretch the lat muscle in the backswing and let it really contract and pull down hard in the downswing. FEEL the rush of POWER you have just created!

Until the next report.

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