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Unlocking Your Best Golf Swing

Updated: Jun 11

Do you feel like something is off with your golf swing? Struggling to hit the ball far and straight consistently? The problem might be rooted in your body's ability to move around the golf club.

Golfer getting assessed

I know you've already tried it all: Fitted clubs, swing lessons, hours of practice on the range... but maybe the problem isn't the extrinsic factors. Maybe your body isn't living up to your golf standards.


Mobility and Stability restrictions can alter your swing mechanics, impacting both distance and accuracy. Optimal mobility and stability are essential for proper sequencing, which is necessary to generate power and achieve consistent ball striking.


 

Mobility: The Foundation of a Great Swing


What is mobility and how does it relate to the Golf Swing?

Mobility is the ability to move freely without restriction, depending on muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. The body alternates between needing stability and mobility from the feet to the neck.


Why is Mobility Important for Golfers?

If a joint lacks mobility, the body compensates by seeking movement from a stable segment, disrupting the swing mechanics. Critical mobile joints for golfers include the shoulders, thoracic spine, hips, and ankles. Adequate mobility in these areas allows for optimal power generation while maintaining stability.


Most Common Mobility Impairment in Male Golfers:


  • Decreased hip and thoracic mobility: Highly prevalent among male golfers. These areas surround the lumbar spine, a stable joint. If the lumbar spine compensates for mobility deficits, it can lead to pain, injury, and swing issues such as early extension, loss of posture, and reverse spine angle.  

    • These two body segments surround a stable joint the lumbar spine. If the lumbar spine tries to become mobile due to deficits above and below it it is not functioning properly.


Stability: The Key to Consistency


What is Stability and why do Elite Golfers focus so much on it?

Stability is the support a joint provides to surrounding segments against external forces. It relies on strength, balance, and muscular endurance. Stability allows golfers to maintain posture throughout their swing, crucial for consistent ball contact. Without stability, generating adequate speed and maintaining a reliable swing becomes difficult.


Biggest Problem most golfers overlook with stability:

Weakness in the glutes (maximus, medius, and minimus) is a common issue, often resulting from lower crossed syndrome. This syndrome involves tight hip flexors and lumbar extensors, combined with weak glutes and core muscles. Strengthening these areas is essential for lower body stability, which in turn allows the body to generate power.


One of the main reasons for glute weakness is deactivation of this muscle group from lower crossed syndrome which is manifested with decreased flexibility of hip flexors (iliopsoas) and lumbar extensors (Erector Spinae- Spinalis muscles, Longissimus muscles, Iliocostalis muscles) in conjunction with decreased strength of glutes (maximus, medius, minimus) and core (abdominal muscles-transversus abdominus and internal obliques). Meanwhile the core is also instrumental in spinal stabilization.


One of the easiest ways you can add 10 Yards to your swing is by using exercises that target and build glute musculature. Having a clear understanding between the relationship of the glutes, stability, and the golf swing is how you can go from a average golfer to an elite player.


Sequencing: The Path to Consistent Ball Striking

Proper sequencing involves generating speed from the lower body, transferring it through the torso, into the arms, and finally to the club. This sequence ensures efficient energy transfer during both the backswing and downswing.


As you probably know, trying to generate power with your arms and creating stiffness leads to extremely poor ball contact and distance. We have to focus on generating speed from ground reaction forces.


Correct sequencing allows for consistent swings by maintaining the body's alternating pattern of mobility and stability. A stable lower body is essential for accelerating the upper body during the downswing.


Ground Reaction Forces (GRF) For Golfers:

When you stand or move on the ground, your body exerts a force downwards due to gravity.


The ground pushes back with an equal and opposite force—this is the ground reaction force. In golf, these forces are critical during your swing.


As you swing, you push against the ground with your feet. The ground reacts by pushing back, allowing you to use that force to generate power. This is especially important during the downswing when you transfer energy from your body to the club.


Think of it like jumping. To jump high, you push hard against the ground. Similarly, a strong push against the ground during your swing helps you hit the ball farther. Proper use of GRFs helps maintain stability and balance throughout your swing. By effectively managing these forces, you can keep your posture and avoid swaying or losing balance, leading to more consistent and accurate shots.


Having mobility or stability deficits leads to energy leakage, resulting in a loss of power, acceleration, speed leading to compensation patterns causing swing deficiencies.


Main Sequencing Problem:


  • Difficulty in dissociating the upper and lower body hinders providing a stable base, maintaining posture, and generating speed. Key areas include hip rotation, pelvic rotation, hamstring flexibility, thoracic range of motion, torso rotation, and cervical rotation.


Power: Maximizing Your Golf Performance

Power is the ability to produce force quickly through energy transfer. Effective power generation requires a foundation of mobility, stability, and proper sequencing. Power is crucial for long drives and maximizing distance with each iron, ultimately improving your score. As we know though, its not only about driving green, its about being able to control the club and ball placement which can only be done with body control.


Key to Power Transfer:


The pelvis's ability to tilt forward and backward with stability is vital for transferring power from the lower to the upper body. Most tour players have a forward pelvic tilt at setup and either horizontal or backward tilt at impact, optimizing power transfer.


The angle that the pelvis can move with stability forward and backwards is how power is properly transferred from the lower body to the upper body. Most tour players average 20-25 degrees of forward pelvic tilt at setup with the driver then are either horizontal or tilted backward at impact. This is the most effective way to transfer power from lower body to upper body. 


The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Physical Assessment


At AVION Sports Rehab, we utilize the TPI physical assessment screen, a comprehensive evaluation designed to ensure golfers have the necessary mobility and stability for an efficient swing.


This assessment includes 14 test points, examining core control, upper and lower body dissociation, posture maintenance, and the ability to set and release the golf club. By evaluating these areas, we can identify how mobility and stability issues might be affecting your swing sequence and power generation.


Our TPI-certified physical therapist will assess:


  • Setup posture

  • Single leg balance

  • Hamstring flexibility

  • Hip hinge

  • Hip internal and external rotation range of motion

  • Glute dominance

  • Squat depth and angles

  • Pelvic rotation and tilt

  • Thoracic rotation range of motion

  • Torso rotation

  • Latissimus dorsi length

  • Shoulder mobility and stability

  • Wrist range of motion

  • Neck range of motion


Conclusion

If you suspect that you lack mobility or stability, leading to improper sequencing and poor power production, or if you experience pain during your swing, it's time to get assessed. At AVION Sports Rehab, our TPI physical screen can help you achieve your most efficient swing, allowing you to play your best golf pain-free. Schedule your assessment today and unlock your full potential on the course.


Click here to schedule your TPI Assessment



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