How improving your hip hinge can improve your distance
How can the hip hinge be important as part of the golfers swing?
The hip hinge position is the starting point of the swing and gives the golfer a strong, athletic set-up. The movement involves the major muscle groups of the body and demands flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back, as well as strong glutes and core, to be performed properly.
How does this effect my swing?
Poor set-up posture; A poor hip hinge will mean the golfing athlete will stand taller in their set-up posture. A taller posture will give the golfer a C-posture in set up which means a flexed mid-back and rounded shoulders, this leads to a decrease in rotation in the back swing and impacts on the ability to create club head speed.
Early extension; inability or poor control can lead to a loss of posture during the golf swing, especially on the down swing. The early extension effects the quality and consistency of ball striking. A poor hip hinge will mean the space between the athlete and the ball is reduced at contact, the top ball strikers the PGA tour have the ability to create space or not lose posture to increase the club head speed at contact.
How we look for hip hinge restrictions
Pelvic tilt test: Does the golfing athlete have the ability to arch or flatten the pelvis in a golf set up posture? Tight muscles (mobility) or poor movement control (stability) effect the ability to hip hinge.
Toe touch test: Is the athlete able to touch the ground with their legs straightened? This tells us whether the golfer has tight hamstrings or lower back which both effect how the athlete is able to hip hinge.
Ways to improve your hip hinge
If you’re gym and looking at becoming stronger than an efficient hip hinge is important part of your training routine. Here are a few ways to improve your position
1. Develop mobility and core engagement
Resistance band straight leg raise – pulling the resistance band across chest (as tight as possible). Keeping low back flat to ground, raise one leg at a time keeping the knee straight. Repeat 10 times each leg for 3 sets.
2. Develop mobility into the pattern
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL) - Using a pole for assistance, drive your leg behind you while the pole keeps contact with your foot. Make sure to remain in a neutral-spine position during the movement. Repeat 10 times each leg for 3 sets.
3. Add resistance to the pattern
Resistance band RDL - attaching the band around the waist, walk forward slightly to add tension. Keeping a neutral-spine position, push your hips behind you pivoting at the hip joint. Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.
4. Add weight
- Barbell RDL (5 reps, 5 sets)
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Having a controlled hip hinge in set posture allows for greater generation of club head speed and greater stability during the golf swing.
If you’re still finding that you are not hitting the ball as far or having trouble with the exercises consultation with our practitioners is recommended.
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