If you sit you have tight hips, period.
The hips are key in the golf swing for a number of reasons:
1. Having a good hip turn. This stretch works on the hip internal and hip external rotators at the same time. The external of the forward side, and internal on the trailside. Getting those hip external and internal hip rotators working is what allows us to turn properly into the backswing and downswing positions. So when we can get the hips working in conjunction with the trunk our golf swing will improve.
2. Preventing Low Back Pain! So these are startling statistics. 80% of Americans will experience some form of LPB in their lifetime. The number one reason golfers leave the game of golf is LBP. How does this stretch help? In order to help prevent LBP, we need the mobile segments above (Thoracic spine) and below (hips) to be mobile. If they are not your brain will steal it from somewhere else. Yep, you guessed it your low back (which is designed for stability and has very little rotational capabilities).
So spare your spine and stretch your hips.
This stretch has many iterations to it. I first learned it while studying for my golf biomechanics certification in 2001 from the man who claims to have created it, Paul Chek.
How to do it:
Sit on the floor with both your front and back legs bent to 90 degrees. The angle in the groin created by both legs should be 90 degrees as well as the angle of the ankle as it relates to the shin.
Take the hand on the same side as the forward leg and place it on the ground next to your hip, with the inside of your arm facing forward, fingers pointing back. *This position is essential to keeping the spine straight and chest open.
Tip your pelvis forward as though it were a bucket of water and you are trying to spill the water out of the bucket. In other words, you are trying to increase the curve at your lower back, not round your back.
I like to use my opposite hand to gently press the lead knee into the ground. You want to gently press that lead knee down as you INHALE (hold the position for 3 seconds).. then relax, EXHALE and move further into the stretch. The movement is a hip hinge (bending from the hip).
Move to a point where you feel a slightly uncomfortable stretch. Repeat the process 3 – 5 times. Always moving from your newest position.
DO NOT COME BACK UP TO THE VERTICAL POSITION UNTIL YOU FINISH ALL THE FORWARD MOVEMENTS.
*I say slight discomfort because you don’t want PAIN, but effective stretching can be uncomfortable.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
The 90/90 Hip Stretch may be the single most effective stretch a golfer to do if he or she has less than ideal hip rotation during the swing. (this is all of you). Do it daily. Stretch now. Thank me later.
Longer Drives, Lower Scores, Fewer Injuries
NY Golf Fitness Guru