Golf is no longer just hitting the course and expecting to have success. Not only has technology of balls, clubs and equipment changed how the game is played, so has how we train/prepare for the day on the links. We have evolved into functional movement training with not only strength and speed as a centerpiece but also mobility and movement patterns. Everyone can benefit from this type of training regardless of if you are an amateur or a professional. We are going to hit on three different areas involved in your golf swing, your hips, thoracic spine, and your core!
The first area we are going to focus on could be the most important for you swing, your hips. Our hips are designed for big ranges of motion, not sitting behind a desk or on the couch. We start to lose our hips ability to rotate effectively. Limited hip mobility can really hinder our ability to turn in both the backswing and downswing, which makes it difficult to generate speed and power. It can increase stress on the lower back and common swing dysfunctions such as early extension or general loss of posture, which can drastically affect both power and consistency. In the following exercises, we will address and improve both hip mobility and stability.
Exercise 1: 90/90 Stretch with Trunk Rotation
Both the front and back legs will be at 90 degree angles with your shin and thigh. We want to hinge over that front hip until you feel the stretch. Slowly rotate and reach back as far as you can. While keeping both shins and ankles on the ground. The key to this exercise is to stay upright and keep a tight core. This will open up both hips as well as work on our mobility of our spine. Both of which we use on every swing. Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.
Exercise 2: Step Overs
Standing upright with a club or some form of support to maintain your balance, raise your leg as if you are stepping over a hurdle. Do 2 sets of 15-20 reps on each leg. Again this exercise requires you to stay upright and have your core engaged throughout. This too will focus on that hip mobility and both stretch and strengthen it.
Exercise 3: Quadruped Hip Circles
In the quadruped position (on all fours), lift your leg back and rotate it back around to the front or starting position. This is like the standing step over just on all fours. Keep your body and spine aligned in one position. Squeeze your core throughout the exercise. Do 2 sets of 15-20 reps on each leg.
Exercise 4: RDL Hand Offs
Standing upright with a weight or kettlebell in your hand, hinge at your hip and lower the weight to your knee/shin. Slowly transfer the weight from one arm to the other while maintaining balance, then stand up. Make sure the main thing moving is your hip and your arms. Stay upright with a strong core. Do 2 sets of 20 reps . Slower is always better on these exercises.
We recommend you do these exercises 2-3x a week. We also recommend doing them before a round of golf.
Movement is key, get out and move today!