07/10/2017 by Brett Cohen 1 Comment
More Than 50% of Golfers DON’T Have This Ability! Are You One Of Them? Golf Fitness, NYC
Do you sway or slide in your golf swing?
The swing characteristic know as swaying is defined as any kind of lateral motion away from the target in the backswing.
The swing characteristic know as slide is defined as any kind of excessive motion toward the target in the downswing.
Although some great players sway and slide, it’s not optimal for the average amateur golfer who is trying to keep the club on plane. Swaying makes it very difficutly to keep your head still in the back swing and your eyes on the ball. It also makes it difficult to transfer your weight during the transition from the backswing to the downswing.
It’s typically a sign of a hip mobilty deficit in the trail leg (right leg for a right handed golfer). A slide means its hard for the golfer to rotate the torso around his lower body, the hip, on the lead side (left leg for a right handed golfer). Excessive lower body movement towards the target line in the downswing makes it very difficult to get power during impact as you cannot completely rotate your torso towards the target line.
Question: How We Can Identify If You Are Likely To Sway Or Slide. Answer: With Testing.
The Body/Swing Connection for the Lower Quarter Test:
In this screen we’re checking the body’s ability to rotate the torso around the hips. If you have any mobility issue in the trail leg (right on a right handed golfer) it will be very difficult to keep your right leg stable and rotate the torso around that hip. So what most golfers will do is: sway, stand up, or move the spine towards the target line and away from the right hip.
*Any reduction in internal rotation on the right leg can lead to an inability to rotate without losing posture on the backswing. Golfers that lack internal rotation of the right hip tend to SWAY (their hips move AWAY from the target line during the backswing). Same thing applies to the lead leg.
If you lack good rotation on the lead leg you might not be able to post on that leg in the follow-through and: slide, early extend, hang back and not even shift weight to that left leg.
*Golfers that lack internal rotation of the left hip tend to SLIDE (their hips move TOWARDS the target line during the downswing). Lack of Internal rotation can also lead to "Reverse Spine Angle" and "Hanging Back" swing fault characteristics.
How Can We Fix It?
The first step in improving hip mobility is to do some foam rolling to improve the soft tissue around the joint. For this we are going to use a foam roller like "The Big One" by Tiger’s Tail USA.
The second step to improving hip mobility is to stretch what you just rolled. Here are two of my favorite stretches for the hip external hip rotators.
1) Supine Figure 4 stretch
2) The next stretch is called the Seated 90/90 Stretch
The third step to improving hip internal rotation is to incorportate some standing exercises that force the hip into internal rotation. There are many. Here are two of my favorites.
1) The Split Squat with Shoulder Rotation-this exercise can be done using bodyweight only at first and then progressing to adding load with any of the following: Cable, bands, dumbbells, medicince balls, sandbags, etc. Unlike the image here I want you to turn your shoulder and rib cage around the front leg without moving your head. Teach your brain the pattern of keeping your head still while the shoulders move underneath it.
2) Single Leg Stork Turns
The single leg stork turns requires stabilily, balance and mobility in the down leg. Simple hook one foot behind the opposite knee. Rotate your torso around the fixed leg. Using is mirror is helpful as you want to see the hip move, not just the knee on the opposite side. Try to do this for :30 seconds each side.
3) Pelvic Rotation Test
Lastly, try the Pelvic Rotation Test, which is part of the TPI Level 1 testing. You can start with holding a club or stick in the center of the body to add an element of stability, then try the same movement without it.
This test directly relates to the Kinematic Sequence. The best golfers in the world initiate the downswing with the lower body. Therefore, it’s critically important to disassociate the lower body from the upper body if you want the lower body to lead. If you can’t disassociate, you might see the upper body lead the downswing (that is over the top/casting, scooping, chicken winging).
Instructions: Assume mid iron posture. Arms crossed at the shoulders. Do not move the upper body and try to rotate the lower body from the belt line and below, back and forth.
4) Lateral Med Ball Throw
I like to have my clients finish with the release of an implement. Using a medicine ball is an excellent way to reinforce the new mobility you’ve gained from the above exercises. This can be done with a wall or a partner. Make sure you perform the exericse in both directions. I recommend no more than 5 per side each set, up to 3 sets.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
The above exercises and drills drill will help you rotate your torso around each hip without moving your body laterally! They will also help your brain understand how rotating should feel while increasing your body awareness. This in turn will help you learn the right way to move during the golf swing!
If you have any questions about how to I can help your body move the way it needs to so you can play golf the way you want to… give me a call to set up a FREE strategy session.
To Longer Drives, Lower Scores and Fewer Injuries.. Brett The Golf Guy