Increasing Mobility For Power And Speed
Last month we looked at how the lack of range of motion can cause injuries, this month we will dive into the importance of a certain range of rotation in the upper and lower body – the ability to rotate correctly is key to producing power & speed.
Let’s start with the Upper Body – the ability to rotate, and how does poor mobility affect your swing?
The fitness assessment test I take my clients through is the Torso rotation and Seated trunk rotation test.
To pass the test, turn at least 45 degrees in both directions. There can be a difference between the extent of rotation on either side, which could lead to a loss of posture or an early swing extension.
If the upper back doesn’t have a sufficient range of motion, the shoulder or lower back will compensate. The body will find the easiest way to ‘cheat’ itself into an ideal position. Over time this can lead to nagging injuries.
An exercise to help improve the thoracic range of motion and ensure strength building is the Resistance band lift in a half kneeling position.
Moving onto the real power-house for the golf swing, the lower body. This is where up to 70% of total power is generated – if it is working correctly.
Fitness assessment tests include the Pelvic rotation and Lower quarter rotation test.
The pelvic rotation test demonstrates the ability to independently rotate the hips with little to no movement from the upper body. The inability to do so will lead to the lower body making compensations.
The lower quarter rotation test seeks out any restriction of internal and external rotation in the hip joints. In golfing terms this relates to the ability to turn into your backswing, the uncoil into impact, and the completion of your downswing to impact and the follow through.
Restriction into the downswing and the inability to turn into the lead hip could cause:
- Coming over the top
- Early extension
A great stretch to help improve internal rotation is the Sit back with one leg extended to the side.
This puts a lot of focus on getting a deep stretch on the adductor or inner thigh. To work the hip joint more, try rotating the quadricep externally and internally by rotating the foot outwards and inwards.
These exercises build a more balanced rotation in your golf swing by unlocking new found range of motions.
Remember – being able to rotate correctly is the key to producing power and speed. The correct range of motion is not only crucial to improving your golf game but keeping your joints strong and healthy on a daily basis.
Next month – the best core exercises to help gain power and control.