Moving Well vs. Moving Weights

Photo Credit:    Mollie Durbin

Photo Credit: Mollie Durbin

It’s that time of the year where we are 12 weeks out from the golf season! Are you ready to move better and play more golf this season?

 As we transition through off-season and back into the game this year, there is definitely one important thing to do before you start…


SELF ASSESSMENT

Working out with weights has been popular among golfers recently and it definitely has benefits to producing higher club head speed and longer distances. However, do you know what’s more important than lifting weights? The ability to move well. It is always important to check how well your joints are moving, even throughout the season, to make sure you’re not compensating for your golf swing.

Today, we are going to talk about how moving better is the key to a better golf swing and how you can do a quick self assessment before you start!

With the golf swing being a very complex motion, it is difficult to create the speed and power without being able to control the body well. When you look at all the different factors to perform in your golf game, the body will always come first. Your body is your biggest asset in the game, so you need make sure you’re not using faulty movements that will create pain in the long run.

First, let’s look at the base: Your Hips.

Photo Credit: Akhil Patel

Photo Credit: Akhil Patel

A good foundation is required for good movement, just like a golf ball sitting on the tee. If your hips are not moving well, it is difficult to create any rotation on top of it efficiently nor will you be able to store any energy. In a golf swing, you require a minimum of 30 degrees of internal hip rotation and 45 degrees of external hip rotation to be able to rotate both hips.

Trunk rotation - Most rotation of your upper body should come from your Thoracic Spine. At minimum,  you should be able to rotate 45 degrees each side to avoid compensating the movement by additional rotation in your Lumbar Spine.

Hip Hinge Mechanics - Tight hip flexors and lower back para-spinals can affect how hinge at your hips and - lower cross syndrome


Trunk Rotation

Picture1.png

Most rotation of your upper body should come from your Thoracic spine. At minimum,  you should be able to rotate 45 degrees each side to avoid compensating the movement by additional rotation in your lumbar spine.



Hip Hinge Mechanics

Picture1.png

Tight hip flexors and lower back para-spinals can affect how your can hinge at your hips and create Lower Cross Syndrome.

Motor Control

Now that you have learned the correct movement, whats next? Let’s look at the control of the movements so that you are able to stabilize your body and move without compromising due to weakness in muscle control.

 

Here are a few tips you can try out to control your rotation:

Clam Shells

Photo Credit: Viva City

Photo Credit: Viva City

These will help you engage your glute muscles and control the rotation in your hips. Try to rotate out to external rotation then rotate your knee down to internally rotate the hips.



Half Kneeling Rotation

Photo Credit: Stack.com

Photo Credit: Stack.com

Rotate your torso past the knee on both sides to check if you are able to rotate without tilting your lower back while managing your balance.





Bird Dog & Gluteus Maximums Activation

Photo Credit: The Proactive Athlete; Peter Kissel

Photo Credit: The Proactive Athlete; Peter Kissel

This movement will help engage and stabilize your core while firing your Glute Maximus to go into hip extension, which is one of the most important muscles for your golf swing to generate power.





Once you go through the Self Assessment Screen and identify how you are moving, the next step is to get a program designed uniquely for you to address the weaknesses and restore the mobility before you start loading them with weights!

Michele Liew, MS, CAT(C), ATC

Athletic Therapist & Professional Swing Instructor