21st century golf training is no longer just hitting the range or putting green. It has evolved into human movement training with mobility, control, and strength at it’s centerpiece. Professional golfers are acknowledging the benefits of this type of training, and you can find them training at Premier Fitness Systems located in Scottsdale AZ. The crew at PFS are leading the way in this shifted mindset, designing programs that are driven by owning and controlling human movement.
Golf training programs are now being developed in the eye’s of movement practitioners. Golf is a three-dimensional activity, similar to human movement. Today’s golf swing demands effective loading and force production throughout the kinetic chain. Golf is a sport that demands loading from the bottom up, meaning energy is generated by the lower body, specifically during the backswing. The downswing is the unloading of this energy, and again this is initiated with the lower body, specifically the hips! This energy is transferred from the hips to the pelvis, trunk, arms, club, and finally the golf ball. This is referred to as kinematic sequencing, which in golf is greatly influenced by control of the hips. The following videos are movements designed to increase control of the hips, and improve overall movement and control of your golf swing.
@Ando_PFS is here working with @bsletmoen at PFS who recently just got his pro card. Brandon is going through mobility drills to start his session. Golf demands every motion at the hip. The first drill is an excellent hip opener for a tight groin and hip flexors, but more importantly I love the follow-up move. Golfers must own the hip hinge – learning to find and hold a good address position in a deep squat will promote this. The second clip is an excellent loaded mobility drill. In golf, the downswing should be initiated by the hips. The hips should move into abduction and external rotation (ER) to initiate trunk movement towards the target. Adding an external load, such as a band, can improve tissue length via an eccentric contraction. Thus the last two clips work on adductor and hamstring mobility via movement drills!
Controlled Hip Mobility
Now that we have gained mobility, we want to promote moving through these new ranges with control to promote neuromuscular adaptations. The guys at PFS utilize a lot of FRC principles designed by @drandreospina. The first clip demonstrates a closed-chain Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) designed to gain usable range of motion under active neuromuscular control. The second clip includes passive end-range lift offs targeting hip internal rotation, followed with controlled ascent and descent from a 90-90 tall kneeling position. These movements are designed to improve strength and control in the hip ranges gained from the mobility work performed earlier in the session.
According to an article by Vad et al. 2004, a high predictor of low back pain in golfers is reduced internal rotation of the lead hip. In golf, as one hip moves into internal rotation (IR), the other hip moves into external rotation (ER). IR facilitates loading during the backswing on the trail hip, and balance during the follow through on the lead hip. Whereas ER on the lead hip facilitates the backswing position, and ER on the trail hip helps to initiate the downswing and generate power. Training movement in the 90-90 hip position is excellent for golfers because it put’s one hip in ER, and the other in IR, just like golf!
Loaded Hip CARs
Building off the mobility and control we’ve gained in the past videos, now it’s time to progress to a standing loaded position. Demonstrated here is a modification of a standing hip CAR using a kettle bell to help create more tension throughout the body to improve neuromuscular control. Today’s golf swing focuses on a weight shift from the trail leg to the lead leg to generate power. Weight shifting requires single-leg stability, the backswing primarily loads the trail leg, whereas the follow through primarily loads the lead leg. This drill is excellent because it demands single leg stability, and the ability to focus and dissociate movement throughout the rest of the body. Golf is a mental sport, it taxes the central nervous system. FRC movement training is designed to tax the neuromuscular system. Building a resilient nervous system during your golf training is key to success on the course!
Yoga – Targeting The Hips Before And After Golf
Golf is a challenging sport, both physically and mentally. One of the greats said it best.
Jack Nicklaus – “You can win tournaments when you’re mechanical, but golf is a game of emotion and adjustment. If you’re not aware of what’s happening to your mind and your body when you’re playing, you’ll never be able to be the very best you can be.”
I was fortunate to meet Mark Williamson, @thegolfyogi, and this quote reminds me of his approach to golf training. Here are two clips to help with your golf mechanics before and after a round, with adjustments to compliment either scenario. Mark played professionally on tour for seven years and understands what it takes to prepare and recover from a round of golf. Be sure to check out this video for the benefits of dynamic versus static stretching of the hips related to golfing. When it comes to golf training, it’s all about the hips!
Be sure to stay tuned for Golf Training Part 2: Control Dissociation in the future featuring Dr. Mike Kay, Greg McLean, and Brandon Harris!
Vad et al. 2004 “Low Back Pain in Professional Golfers The Role of Associated Hip and Low Back Range-of-Motion Deficits”