Many golf experts feel that most of the power in a golf swing comes from the club head speed generated from the hands, wrists and forearms during the late downswing, impact and release phases of the swing. Proper releasing of the club with the hands (un-cocking of the wrists) through the hitting zone is critical for maximum power to be achieved. However, without adequate muscular resistance built into the back hip (right hip for a right-handed golfer) during the back swing it is very performance challenging and physically stressful to rely totally on the hands to generate a powerful release of the club. The “slingshot” effect of a tightly coiled back hip at the top of the back swing that then releases by driving the hips and legs forward toward the hitting position during downswing is critical in the process of enabling the hands to do their work at impact in a consistent and safe manner. Therefore, strengthening the muscles around the hips is very helpful toward creating a more powerful golf swing that will generate more distance and added control with less stress on the body.
One of the best exercises for golfers to strengthen their hips is a lateral lunge. To perform this exercise, simply stand with a golf club held along your spine in your golf posture with your feet comfortably spread 2-3 feet wider than your normal golf stance. Slowly transfer your weight over the right leg keeping your shoulders level to the ground until your right shoulder, hip, knee and foot create a vertical plumbline (see picture #1). Hold this end position for one breath (3-5 seconds) and return to the neutral starting position. Repeat 1-2 sets of ten repetitions of the lateral lunge motion first to the right and then to the left. If you experience any discomfort during or after performing this exercise, discontinue the exercise and contact your physician immediately.
To find out more about Body Balance for Performance and/or to locate a Body Balance for Performance center near you please visit www.fitgolf.com or call 1-888-FIT-GOLF (348-4653).