Golf Chicago!
Power Posture for Golf

By Chris Kendall, MPT and Betsy Voyles, MSPT

Course conditioning Archives

Let’s Get Hip with the Golf Swing

Hip rotation stretch

Question: Why is it important to have strong and flexible hips to perform a good golf swing?

Answer: Golfers don’t have to run a 4.4 forty-yard dash during a round of golf, but golfers still need strong and flexible hips. They need them to help generate powerful and consistent shots while decreasing the stress put on the lower back during the swing.

In a good backswing, the golfer must have proper rotation within the right hip so that the body does not either sway excessively to the right or perform a reverse pivot. Both of these moves are almost always related to weakness and/or tightness within the right hip joint (for the right-handed golfer).

In the impact and follow-through phases of the swing, the right-handed golfer must have a lot of flexibility and strength in the left hip. This will help to achieve hip rotational power, speed, and weight transfer through impact. This motion is required to maximize clubhead speed and allow the golfer to protect the lower back during the swing. When the left hip is weak, the golfer can have a very difficult time transferring the weight to the left side to achieve a balanced and stable finish position.

Have you and your teaching professional worked hard on trying to reduce your tendency to sway, slide, or reverse pivot your body during the backswing or follow-through phases of your swing? If so, you may have some underlying physical restrictions in strength and/or flexibility in your hips.

We are going to show you just a couple of exercises that focus primarily on improving your hip stability, strength, and flexibility. These exercises should help you to achieve improved weight shift throughout the golf swing. Stable, powerful hips can definitely help you hit the ball farther. They should be performed slowly and if you feel discomfort with any exercise you should stop until you consult with your golf health and fitness professional or physical therapist.

Lateral lunge Lateral lunge with rotation

Hip Rotation Stretch
Lie on your back and cross one knee over the other as shown. Slowly bring both knees up toward your chest and hold on to both knees. Relax into the stretch and hold until you feel a stretch, then a release, in the center of the buttocks in the leg that is crossed. Repeat with the other leg.

Lateral Lunge
Stand with a golf club held along your spine in your golf posture with your feet wider than your normal golf stance. Slowly transfer your weight over the right leg keeping your shoulders level to the ground until your right shoulder, hip, knee and foot create a vertical line. Keep your kneecap pointed straight ahead throughout the movement. Hold this position 3–5 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat 1–2 sets of 10–15 repetitions on each leg.

You can advance this exercise with a trunk rotation to the right, always keeping the kneecap straight ahead as shown.

If you have any questions about these exercises or if you want to find the Body Balance for

Performance golf
specific fitness center nearest you, please call 312-455-9691. Get those hips in shape for longer and straighter drives!

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Last Updated: 7/11/02