It’s all in the Hips
Modern golfers should be fully aware that their most important piece of golf equipment is their body. A golf-specific and customized fitness-training program to address physical performance factors is really the “missing ingredient” that golfers have been looking for to help safely and efficiently achieve their ideal golf swing and optimal performance goals. The structure of the body governs its function. Therefore, those who want to function as a golfer must be structured as a golfer.
The following exercise is an example of a simple, golf-specific exercise that can be performed at home to improve your physical structure and, therefore, improve your swing potential. Before attempting to perform these or any other exercises, however, please be sure to consult with your physician and golf-specific fitness expert. Also, if you should notice any discomfort during or after performing this exercise, consult your physician immediately before continuing.
Supine Hip Rotation Stretch
The Supine Hip Rotation Stretch is a very safe and effective exercise to help you reduce your hip rotation tightness and, therefore, improve your ability to make a full turn around your hips during the full golf swing.
Perform this flexibility exercise as follows:
- Begin by lying on your back close to a ball and place both feet on the ball so your hips and knees are bent approximately 90 degrees. If you do not have a ball you can use a wall instead.
- Next, cross your right foot over the left knee and rest both hands on the top of your right knee.
- Then, apply gentle pressure with your hands on your right knee in a direction that is down and away from your right shoulder until you feel a light, comfortable stretch in the outer portion of your right hip and/or in the groin.
- Hold this light, comfortable stretch for approximately 3-5 minutes or until you feel a complete softening release of the original stretch feeling in your right hip.
- After the stretch is complete, slowly release the downward pressure from your hand on your right knee and repeat the stretch with your left hip.
- Practice this releasing exercise at least once each day for the next 2-3 weeks until you can stretch equally well in both hips. However, if you have experienced one hip to be tighter than the other during your swing then initially spend more time stretching the tighter hip. Your ultimate goal is balanced rotation for both hips. Only by achieving complete and balanced hip rotation flexibility will you accomplish a full backswing and follow-through with each and every swing.
- Once balanced, you may advance this stretch by simply moving your body closer to the wall during your starting position for this exercise. This will enable your hips and knees to be bent at a starting angle greater than 90 degrees and enable a greater degree of stretch in your hips during the exercise.