Your hips and your swing
Thu Nov 1, 2012 by Dr. Greg Rose
All golf swings come in many forms but one of the issues that kills speed is the lack of internal hip rotation. Sit on a chair and make two fists. Put the fists between your knees and keep your knees against your fists as you try and move your legs outward. This outward movement is internal hip rotation, your legs are moving out but your hips are turning in. This is the same motion that occurs in the hip joint during a good swing. The golfer rotates around the right hip, shifts their weight then rotates back around the left hip. The average PGA tour player has over 45 degrees of internal hip rotation on both sides. If you suffer from a sway or slide in your golf swing and lack the power you really want the first thing you need to check is your internal hip rotation. You can bet it will be limited if you suffer from the sway and slide swing fault.
Lack of internal hip rotation can also be the cause of tight hamstrings and lower back pain as well as knee and ankle problems. The hip joint needs to be very mobile, having to withstand both direct loading stresses and large rotational forces with weight-bearing activities. As a result it is especially vulnerable to injury in sports that involve pivoting or twisting movements such as golf. In golf the hip is especially exposed to high-velocity internal rotation on the downswing, requiring a great deal of strength in the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, two of the muscles that make up your butt.
Interestingly golfers are suffering from a greater risk of hip injury, arising from the greater rotation favored by the more modern golf swing. This evolved to reduce the risk of back injury caused by the more classic swing of the seventies and eighties. If you are looking for more power and to avoid future injury you need to make sure the muscles around your hips are supporting you.
See the attached exercises and swing drills to help strengthen the muscles around your hips and improve your hip rotation. If you are interested in getting a full golf specific assessment and workout specific to your golf swing, see our find a fitness pro map on the website and contact a TPI certified fitness professional.