Anyone who's seen the movie Happy Gilmore already knows it's all in the hips. What you may not realize though is how accurate that statement is.
The hips and pelvis (Pelvic Complex) play an incredibly important role in the Golf swing. In order to achieve a neutral spine, bend over, and safely create rotation, the hips and surrounding musculature must have proper range of motion and motor control.
It's very common to see players with Lower Crossed Syndrome which is a combination of short tight muscles, and long weak muscles.
Research by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), shows that most amateurs have limited pelvic function and control:
65% have limited Pelvic Tilt
72% "shake and bake" during their Pelvic Tilt
49% limited Pelvic Rotation
60% have limited Torso Stability
71% have a limited Overhead Deep Squat
43% have limited Toe Touch
38% have Reverse Spine Angle
67% have Weak or Inhibited Glutes
So what does this have to do with the golf swing? The Titleist Performance Institute has defined what they call "The Big 12 Swing Characteristics" which are swing inefficiencies caused by limited range of motion or poor motor control and result in less than optimal performance, pain, or even injury. So what are the Big 12?
THE BIG 12
- S-Posture (25.3% of amateurs)
- C-Posture (33.1% of amateurs)
- Loss of Posture (64.3% of amateurs)
- Flat Shoulder Plane (45.2% of amateurs)
- Early Extension (64.3% of amateurs)
- Over-the-top (43.5% of amateurs)
- Sway (37.2% of amateurs)
- Slide (31.4% of amateurs)
- Reverse Spine Angle (38.5% of amateurs)
- Hanging Back (32.3% of amateurs)
- Casting/Early Release/Scooping (55.9% of amateurs)
- Chicken Winging (35.6% of amateurs)
Now that you know what the Big 12 are, you may be thinking, that's great, but how do I know what's relevant to me and how do I fix it?
First, I encourage you to find a TPI Certified Professional to perform a movement screen and swing analysis so you know exactly which limitations you have and to what degree so you know how to properly attack your imbalances.
If you're in the Portland, Oregon area or want me to come to your facility, you can email me here.
It's important to find a professional who understands the body-swing connection and never asks you to do something you cannot do.
I tell all my students that going through a proper screen allows me to do two things...
1) Help you make the best golf swing possible for where your body is now
2) Develop a long term development plan so you can perform better over time.
Once you've determined your limitations, it's time to perform specific mobilizations and corrective exercises to help fix your imbalances.
Here's a few of my favorites...
Limited Pelvic Tilt usually results in S-Posture, Early Extension, and Reverse Spine Angle.
Golf is a game played bent over. If you're unable to hinge from the hips and touch your toes, you may experience C-Posture, Early Extension, Too Much Knee Flex, and Loss of Posture.
If you're unable to rotate your pelvis without influencing your torso, you may experience coming over-the-top, casting, scooping, chicken winging, sliding, or hanging back.
LOWER QUARTER ROTATION
It's one thing to be able to rotate the pelvis. It's another to be able to rotate each leg within the pelvis. An inability to rotate the legs may result in swaying, sliding, reverse spine angle, hanging back, and early extension.
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