Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by, today we’re going to review some great drills and exercises to help prevent some of the issues older golfers face as a follow-up to our previous post: Top 5 Issues Killing Golfers Over 50. We will be writing these posts in a series, this post is specific to “hip rotation”. Let’s get to it…
The first issue killing golfers over 50 is the loss of range of motion of the right hip in 2 directions.
1. External rotation of the hip
2. Hip flexion due to tight hamstring muscles
External Rotation of the Hips
External rotation is the ability to have a good turn in your backswing without allowing your right leg to rotate outwards. A good indication of this is if your knee cap rotates to the right in your backswing.
This is key to maximizing your X-factor which is the difference between how much your shoulders turn compared to your lower body. For effortless golf power, you want there to be a big difference.
However, if you have tight hips, you will have to allow your lower body to rotate in sync with your upper body = no X-Factor = no power.
In addition, if your lower body is allowed to rotate too much, it is nearly impossible to not allow your weight to shift too far backwards and roll your weight to the outside of your right foot. If this is happens, you will also have a very difficult time making clean contact with the golf ball.
Take a look at the difference between tight hips and flexible hips in a backswing:
Maximum Right Hip Rotational Stretch
Setup: Take a long step forward with your right leg.
Golf Action: Holding the ends of a golf club with both of your hands and rotate to the right. Now try and rotate your arms even further, pushing back with your left hand a pulling back with your right hand.
Exercise Parameters: Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat with your left leg forward. Repeat 1-3 sets.
If you are having a difficult time keeping your right knee flexed and your right knee from rotating, you can knock them both out with this combo stretch:
Hip flexion due to tight hamstrings
A good indication of this is if your right knee loses its bend in your backswing.
If your knee loses its bend, you have lost the ability to use the powerful muscles of your hips as a strong post in your backswing. Usually this manifests itself as the dreaded “reverse pivot weight shift.”
This fault also results in the loss of the X-factor but also puts you at an extremely high risk of having a life changing back injury.
Take a look at how tight hamstrings affect the golf swing:
Hamstring and hip external rotation stretch
Setup: Take a long step forward with your left foot.
Golf Action: Holding the ends of a golf club rotate your body to the left and hold. Now try to straighten your knees until you feel a stretch behind your knees. Finally, bend forward at the hips until you feel a stretch in your glutes (butt).
Exercise Parameters: Perform 1-3 sets with 30 second holds.
Thanks for reading!
About the Author. Dr. Ryan York is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Golf Performance Specialist. He Co-created Age Defying Golf which serves men and women golfers between the ages of 50-75 years young. Visit us at www.agedefyinggolf.com.
Image source: http://golfillustration.com/
One CommentLeave a Reply
You are absolutely right! As an over 50 golfer, flexibility is definitely a challenge. I believe it is important to maintain a fitness program that involves stretching everyday. Your points about the hamstring are definitely something most older golfers do not realize. There is so much to learn when trying to improve our game. Thanks for the post.