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The Big 5

January 1, 2018

When it comes to Golf Mobility, focus your attention on The Big 5 for best results.

CORE

(Spine, Neck, Scapula, Back, Core)

 

Your Core sets the foundation for the entire swing. If you are to ever have a powerful, efficient, repeatable swing, the first thing you need to prioritize are core mechanics and core mobility. Midline Stability is dependent on a strong, mobile core.

 

A strong, mobile core allows for efficient power transfer and creates consistency in the swing.

 

If you’re having trouble topping the ball, if you experience back pain, or if you have restrictions in your turn, you’re probably experiencing limited mobility throughout your core.

 

HIPS

(Hips, Hip Flexors, Glutes)

 

Your hips are the powerhouse of your body. Unrestricted hips allow the body to create, store, and transfer explosive power while minimizing the stress on your back.

 

Without strong, mobile hips, range of motion is greatly restricted and stress is put elsewhere in the body such as the lower back. Even if your core mobility has improved, if your hips are still tight, some of the force you create during the swing will be transferred into your back in ways that disagree with your body.

 

If you’re experiencing loss of power, if you cannot clear fully or experience a “butt tuck” through impact, or if your back is sore after the round, you’re experiencing tight hips.

 

SHOULDERS

(Shoulder, Shoulder Girdle, Rotator Cuff, Chest)

 

Think of the shoulders as the hips of your upper body. They transfer power while creating stability and speed. Shoulder Mobility is important because it allows the club to move on plane, create a longer swing arc (thus creating more potential energy), and create stability throughout the swing (allowing improved face control).

 

The greater the shoulder turn in relation to the hip turn, and the longer the swing arc, the more potential energy can be produced. I say potential because it’s not a guarantee. Even if you can create 100 degrees of shoulder turn, if you haven’t properly mobilized your core and your hips, it’ll be very difficult to store and transfer any of that potential energy. Your body will instinctively try to make up for the power it’s dumping by artificially creating speed with your arms and your hands.

 

If you experience neck pain, shoulder pain, incomplete backswing, or poor swing plane, you’re experiencing restricted shoulder mobility.

 

 

ARMS

(Elbows, Triceps, Biceps, Forearms)

 

Most ball striking consistency issues can be resolved through arm mobility. One of the biggest issues I see with nearly every player I work with is that their lead arm breaks down and gets soft at the top of the swing. This means that in order to hit the ball solidly, the player needs to re-extend their arm with perfect timing, or adjust the height of their body to accommodate the new “effective length” of the club with perfect coordination. The easiest way to create consistency in your ball striking is to free up your arms so they can effectively remain the same length every time.

 

As you can probably well imagine, this is difficult to do consistently. Most players do this without knowing it which is why they can hit balls on the range really well but not once they’re on the course. When you’re on the range and you get multiple tries with the same club on a flat surface, you can get into a rhythm and figure out your timing but that’s not a good solution. The better solution is to mobilize the elbow and the rest of the arm to improve how your body is able to move.

 

If you’re topping the ball, chunking the ball, and cannot control your centeredness of contact, you’re experiencing lack of arm mobility.

LEGS

(Upper Leg, Lower Leg, Knees, Feet & Ankles)

 

When it comes to balance, and power creation, it’s all about the legs. As your body winds up during the backswing, your legs create torque with the ground which creates power. That power is then transferred up into the hips where it is stored during the transition of the swing. As you unwind your body, that power is transferred through your core, into our shoulders, then down your arms. During the release, you let the power extend through our arms, through the hands, down the shaft, into the club head which in turn goes into the ball. For a split moment (~0.005 seconds), the ball compresses against and rolls up the club face, and shoots out into the air.

 

This entire chain of events is grounded (pun intended) in your bodies interaction with the ground. Nothing is more vital to this interaction than leg mobility.

 

If you’re coming out of posture, can’t keep your feet planted during shorter shots or lose balance during full swings, if you experience knee pain or feel beat up after walking 18, you have mobility restrictions in your legs.

 

 

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