Improve Your Hips For More Consistency In Your Swing

There’s no better feeling than hitting that sweet spot and watching your ball soar down the middle of the fairway. So many factors go into that great moment and consistent ball striking is often a point of frustration for amateur golfers. If you’re struggling with consistency you must identify where in the golf swing you are going wrong. As golf fitness coach it is my job to identify and correct biomechanical flaws in our golfers’ swings.  The tricky thing about the golf swing is that a biomechanical flaw during the first 10% of the swing can doom every aspect of the swing to follow. I spend a lot of time examining the first 10% of the swing of an individual struggling with consistent ball striking. Of course, the way you address the ball is critical for a mechanically sound swing, but the way you initiate your backswing is of significant importance as well.

The proper backswing sequence should be a take-away of the club head by the hands, followed by rotation of the torso, and lastly rotation of the hips. A common error I see during the takeaway sequence is early movement of the hips. Almost always, erred movement of the lower body during the take-away sequence leads to an unbalanced and flawed swing. There is a great functional movement test called the torso rotation test that you can do on your own that will let you know if you are predisposed to early hip movement in your golf swing. To perform the torso rotation test get into your address posture and cross your arms around your chest. Now try to rotate your torso while keeping your hips still. If possible do this in front of a mirror so you can get proper feedback on your hip movement (or lack thereof).

If you are unable to rotate your torso while keeping your lower body 100% still, then you are likely moving your hips too soon in your golf swing. There are numerous reasons as to why one struggles with the torso rotation test. Two of the most common issues leading to failure of this test are limited range of motion in the spine with rotation and limited hip strength or stability. If you find yourself struggling with the torso rotation test then try out the following two exercises:

  1. Side-lying rotation
  2. Static Glute Squat

The side-lying rotation exercise will help in increasing mobility of your spine during rotation. Increasing range of motion in the spine will make easier to rotate your torso while keeping the hips immobile.  The static glute squat exercise helps strengthen the glute muscles which are the main stabilizers of the lower body in the golf swing. By improving the strength of the glute muscles you will increase the stability of your pelvis which makes it easier to keep the hips still as you initiate your backswing.  

If you have any questions about these exercises or golf fitness in general, please contact me directly at [email protected].

Jason Rivkin, ATC

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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