The Golf ‘Sequence’Jul 27, 2022
The Golf season is heading into the final stretch and as it does, we want to make sure that we are staying in shape and feeling good all the way through. It is easy to let our workouts and training slip as the summer goes on as well as we hit this time when kids are ramping up fall sports and back to school. Are you falling in this trap and neglecting the basics to get your run, bike and/or golf in.
We just want to have time for the activity but we have to remember that without the key tools, these activities would not be much fun. Pain and dysfunction is not enjoyable. As our main focus is Golf through this post, all of these principles hold true to all rotational sports and activities.
The Golf game just like everything else can be broken down into 2 parts; capacity and competency. We will break it down to your basic physical ability and the level that you can understand and perform golf. The focus should always be to lay a strong foundation of movement and mobility and then layer up with performance and skill specific training. Most of the time we have an inverse relationship where we go out to play or perform without properly layering in good mobility and stability.
We will focus on both of these today but before we do, we need to start with a key concept to golf which is the ‘Kinematic Sequence’ of the swing. Not one swing is alike but what we can agree on is that the ‘Kinematic Sequence’ follows a pattern that all great ball strikers have in common.
All ‘good’ golfers follow a pattern to generate speed and energy to the ball that is consistent every time. This outlines the need and importance of mobility, the ability and control of your joints to put them where you need to as well as having a suppleness to express elasticity and generate power. The sequence in order starts with the lower body first, thorax or trunk second, lead arm third and finishing with club shaft last.
The order of the downswing listed above can best be described in the understanding of a whip. To generate power through the whip, the first part (the handle) is accelerated and then quickly decelerated to transfer speed and power to the next segment. This continues until the end of the whip is reached and full power is felt or heard. The hips or glutes are the handle and where all power is generated, “Glutes are King”.
Deceleration and stability is the key to power which is typically overlooked in many golf programs. We see beginners starting with rotational movement as well as quick power exercises instead of building a strong and stable base of support. It is also not the action of performing an exercise but the precision of putting your body in the exact position you want it for the desired reps and sets. This will allow motor control to assist in higher skills and practices.
This is the start of accuracy in your swing. For example, a push-up done properly with the understanding of proper shoulder, elbow and scapula position with core stability and glute recruitment can help build position in your backswing and strength in your downswing at that impact point.
As we analyze the four main components of the body, we want to outline that the shoulder and thoracic spine mobility are key for the backswing while the hip extension and rotation focuses on the downswing. It is important to note that a high percentage of injuries directly related to golf happen at impact as well as they are more prevalent on lead side.
The three most common fault patterns are;
- Excessive lateral bend due to improper T-spine mobility
- Early extension or straightening too early on the downswing from lack of stability
- Too much extension in the set-up of the swing which can lead to poor lower body position and sequencing of the swing
As you may have noticed, there is a direct connection between how we move, perform and play. The sequence of the swing builds consistency and accuracy. Below you will find some key tips to the main segments of the body to work on mobility and position as well as stability.
Hips and Pelvis
1. ½ Kneeling Hip Flexor opener with internal rotation and tension
2. Lunge Saw with Hip extension Isometric
1. Stability Ball Pelvic Tilt with Inner Core Recruitment
2. ½ Kneel Wall Thoracic Rotation
1. Side Sit Lat Stretch
2. Seated Rotator Cuff with Lat Engagement
Golf training does not have to be technical but proper understanding of the biomechanics of movement and sport is the first step. If you would like more information or to see how our team of PTs and coaches can help you break down movements and exercises to better equip you for your golf prehab and training, give us a call at 7603016566 or click here to schedule a complimentary discovery session.
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