Titleist Performance Institutes swing philosophy is “We don’t believe there is one way to swing a club; we believe there is an infinite number of ways to swing a club. But we do believe that there is one efficient way for everyone to swing a club and it is based on what they can physically do.”
The principle of being in balance is one of the most important aspects of life. Whether it be between your work and home life, homeostasis in the body, or in regards to a good balance in your diet. This principle of being in balance is just as important in your golf swing. There is a strong relationship that exists between mobility and stability and the need for one another to produce an efficient, effective, and consistent golf swing. For instance, someone with sufficient mobility may not have the appropriate control to utilize their range of motion to their optimal benefit. Inversely, someone with appropriate stability may not have enough movement to properly set their joints and pre-load their body in an efficient manner during a golf swing.
“We don’t believe there is one way to swing a club; we believe there is an infinite number of ways to swing a club. But we do believe that there is one efficient way for everyone to swing a club and it is based on what they can physically do.”
An individual’s physical capacity differs from one to another and that is where an assessment is needed to find the individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. In the physical therapy world, we tend to address mobility before stability. With regards to a golf swing, mobility allows our body to be placed in the correct position to maximize power and stability allows us to utilize and control our joints movement in an effective manner.
Unfortunately, most of the recreational golf population has only a small portion of the mobility and stability that PGA Tour players such as Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy possess. Having a lack of one or the other, or oftentimes both can lead to inefficiencies in your golf swing or the possibility of injury. Here are five exercises for increased mobility and stability in your golf swing.
1. SNAG for Mobility
Begin by placing the towel around the upper portion of your neck (remember we want to use the edge of the towel). First, cross your arms in front of you and grasp each end of the towel. The bottom hand will be pulling down, stabilizing the towel, and the top arm pulls across to the opposite eye while turning your head in the same direction. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat 5 times on each side.
2. Open Books for Mobility
Begin by laying on your side with your both legs bent to around 90 degrees at the hips. Slowly rotate your top arm over to the opposite side of your body rotating your torso to increase the stretch in your thoracic spine. It is important to maintain a stable position with your pelvis. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times on each side.
3. Standing Pelvic Tilt for Mobility & Stability
Begin with your feet about shoulder-width apart and hips slightly bent. Place both hands in front of you on a golf club or chair for stability. From that position, you will begin to slowly tilt your pelvic forward (increasing the arch in your back), and then slowly tilt your pelvis backward (increasing the slouch in your back). Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
4. Stork for Mobility & Stability
Begin by holding a golf club or chair in front of you with both hands for stability. While standing on one leg hook the opposite foot behind the leg you are standing on. While keeping the upper body stable rotate your lower body side to side. Repeat 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side.
5. Single-Leg Bridge for Stability
Begin by laying on of your back with your knees bend with both feet flat on the floor. Straighten one leg keeping it in line with your other leg. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your hips off the ground into a bridge position. Repeat 10-15 times 3 sets.
The focus of this blog is to provide a few mobility and stability exercises you can easily perform at home. Please remember this is only a piece of the puzzle in producing a consistent and efficient golf swing as there are multiple factors that contribute. For this reason, a team approach is required to effectively change your movement pattern on and off the golf course. It would be a good idea to start working with a PGA Professional for education and instruction on the golf swing, a medical practitioner such as a physical therapist to assess and identify an individual’s physical constraints causing pain, and a strength and conditioning coach to assess limitations in your golf swing.
If you find yourself in pain or discomfort after your round of golf it would be beneficial to reach out to a physical therapist to find your physical constraints and areas for improvement. For more information, call one of our convenient locations. Visit our contact page for the phone numbers and locations.