Most players I come across haven't heard of the term "Midline Stability" even though it's an incredibly important part of the golf swing.
Midline Stability means prioritizing spinal mechanics first and foremost over everything else.
Here's a great video of MWOD Creator and San Fransico CrossFit Owner, Dr. Kelly Starrett, explaining Midline Stability.
For those of you who want to dive in more, here's links to part 2, part 3, and part 4 of the video.
WHAT DO THE PROS DO?
If you watch accomplished Golfers make an efficient swing, you'll notice how they're able to keep their backs straight and maintain their posture throughout the swing. This is a prime example of midline stability.
If you experience back pain, make sure you follow the bracing sequence below to achieve midline stability.
MIDLINE STABILITY BRACING SEQUENCE
1) Stand Tall and squeeze your butt and core, screw your feet into the ground. (If your hip flexors are tight, this may be difficult to do). Check out some hip flexor stretches here
2) Extend your arms and your club straight in front of you.
3) Keeping your arms extended, let them hang against your body (but not get loose)
4) Let your Club Hang down supported by your arms and hands with very little tension (but not get loose)
5) Keeping your butt and core engaged, push your hips back (and properly load your posterior)
6) Soften your knees until the club just barely touches the ground.
GOOD vs. BAD
If you were to look at the average player who sets up in a bad sequence vs. a player who sets up in the proper sequence you may not notice any difference on the outside but inside, there's a whole world of difference.
GO BACK TO THE BASICS
When we talk about the Fundamentals of Golf and the Stages of the Golf Swing, they are all based around the idea that we need to create midline stability first in order to create consistency.
If you're having trouble topping the ball, chunking the ball, slicing or hooking the ball, or having trouble controlling your distances, the first thing you should check is your setup sequence and make sure you're placing priority on loading the body in a neutral position through the midline stability bracing sequence.
THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT!
Once you've achieved midline stability, there's a chance you may not be able to make a full shoulder turn. You may also find that your lead arm starts to bend. This is perfectly normal since your torso now has greater demands on it's range of motion. You won't be able to steal range of motion from the rest of your body as easily, but at the same time, you'll probably make straighter, more consistent contact despite the shorter backswing since a shorter, more compact, more efficient golf swing will out perform a long, loose, sloppy swing every time.
WHAT DO I DO FIRST?
I tell all players I work with that first they need to achieve a neautral setup and maintain a braced midline. After those have been achieved, we 1) in the short term work within the players limitation to maximize what their body can currently do and 2) in the long term, develop a plan to improve range of motion and stability to maximize efficiency and performance.
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