You’re probably saying to yourself, "what does that squat have to do with the golf swing".
Why does it matter if I can squat below parallel when in golf I’m standing upright?
Well actually, just about everything!
The Overhead Deep Squat is one of the TPI Level 1 screens performed on golfers to help them understand how their physical abilities and limitations can affect their golf swing. This is known as The Body-Swing Connection.
If you lack the ability to get into this deep squat it tells us that you have physical limitations in either the upper body or lower body or both, that will manifest into swing fault problems or even injury.
It’s really important to understand how the body was designed to function and how that correlate that to a bio-mechanically correct golf swing.
The Overhead Deep Squat is measuring how all of the joints above function. Some are meant to be mobile and others stable and they work like that in an alternating pattern. If they don’t, well- bad things happen. If your joints don’t function properly then I might see a squat pattern look like any of the variations below:
Can you still play golf at a high level if you cannot squat?
Yes, you can…..
"Your physical limitations are not an indication of your golf skill." __says Mark Blackburn (TPI Instructor, Tour Teaching professional and owner of Blackburn Golf Academy.)
Blackburn goes on to say in a recent tweet:
"Failing a bunch of TPI screens won’t preclude your client from playing great golf, but it may preclude your client from copying the swing of a great golfer."
Not being able to emulate the form of your favorite PGA player is one thing. Losing posture, power and increasing your risk of injury is another. And if you cannot squat there’s a high likelihood of all of the above.
Research by the Titleist Performance Institute has found that those who fail the OHDS Test have a 90% chance of early extending their hips. (Early Extension is when a golfer thrusts their lower body towards the golf ball and raises their torso up too early in the downswing sequence).
In other words, maintaining your squat position is essential for maintaining your posture.
Early Extension of the hips in the downswing puts weight onto the toes and pushes the head forward of the ball. Forcing the body out of the correct downswing sequence which is the lower body leading, followed by the torso, lead arm and then the club.
The Body-Swing Connection for The Overhead Deep Squat
If you cannot squat there is a 90% correlation to the following problems most amateur golfers could live without.
- Standing up and early extending in your downswing.
- The upper body leads the downswing and we see things like casting, over-the-top resulting in the block and the hook.
- Path and plane problems leading to inconsistent play and frustration.
- Loss of posture means loss of power. So if you’re not happy with your distance this is the first place to look.
- Injury: Overuse injuries in the lower back and the shoulders and the elbows as their are doing the work that was intending for the lower body.
- Lower Back pain is the #1 reason golfers leave the game!
Brett’s Bottom Line: If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms don’t guess, let’s assess and find out exactly what’s working and what’s not.
"When your body doesn’t work the way it needs to to play golf the way you want to, come see the guru. I can help you Play Golf Better."_Brett Cohen, NY Golf Fitness Guru
To see the Overhead Deep Squat Assessment click the link below: