At the 2016 World Golf Fitness Summit I attended a lecture presented by Liam Mucklow, founder of The Golf Lab and former Teach of the Year.The topic of his lecture was improving the kinematic sequence of the golf swing. The kinematic sequence describes the way great ball strikers generate club head speed. Regardless of swing style, research has proved that great ball strikers generate speed the same way. The kinematic sequence describes this method. In order to create the most speed possible, transition into the downswing must start with lateral weight transfer to the lead leg, followed by rotation of the lower body, then the upper body, arms, and the club last.
Proper Kinematic Sequence/Order of the Downswing:
1. Weight transfer to lead leg
2. Lower body rotation
3. Upper body rotation
At FitGolf Performance Centers we use technology called K-Vest to see if our clients have a proper kinematic sequence. Almost all golfers I evaluate that desire a more powerful swing display a poor kinematic sequence. There’s not a simple solution for fixing a bad downswing. Not one body is the same and there are a number of body issues that act as road blocks to a good swing. If you feel like your body acts against you in the golf swing, you should seek the help of a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Professional.
Liam provided some really interesting interventions to improving the kinematic sequence. One of the interventions that really stuck with me utilized a baseball swing. To understand the glaring similarities between a powerful baseball swing and golf swing, let’s take a look at two examples of power at its finest. Let’s start with hall of famer Ken Griffey Jr.
In my opinion, that is the most beautiful swing in the history of baseball. Take note at the sequencing of movements when he goes to hit the ball. First, he plants hard into his lead leg. Second, he creates lower body rotation. Third, his upper body rotates. Fourth, he swings his arms. Lastly, he releases the bat and made the night for one lucky fan sitting deep in the outfield.
Now lets look at a golf example. Let’s go with Bubba Watson, a Masters Champion with an unconventional yet undeniably powerful swing…
Take a look at his downswing. The sequencing of movement is exactly like Griffey’s, isn’t it?
So what is the take-away of all of this? We know that powerful ball strikers sequence the downswing the same regardless of swing style. We also know that sequencing of a powerful baseball swing is exactly the same as the golf swing. Hence, you should practice the baseball swing to become a more powerful golfer!
Before your next practice session, take 10-20 baseball swings with your golf club. Place emphasis on practicing correct sequencing. Once you completed your baseball swings, hit a few golf shots without putting any thought into sequencing mechanics. You should notice a difference in body movement and ball flight. If you practice baseball swings regularly over time, your body will develop a new motor pattern, or muscle memory. Once this happens, the kinematic sequence will begin to feel more natural.
If you have any questions about golf fitness please contact Jason directly at [email protected].
If you try these exercises and you find them to be too challenging or uncomfortable, do not continue, until you have consulted with your physician. All exercises for golf should be customized to your needs after a proper evaluation.
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