The ability to rotate the upper body from the lower body is something we hear talked about alot in golf coaching, and improving rotation is a common goal for many of our athletes in the gym. One area we can’t overlook, however, is what’s between those two segments; the pelvis. Understanding the role proper pelvic awareness and control play in the transfer of energy between the segments of the upper and lower body is step one.
The pelvis needs the ability to both rotate and tilt throughout the golf swing. If it is unable, or limited, you are leaving energy on the table and your mechanics will need to compensate as a result; most certainly resulting in inefficiencies and possibly leading to injury. The nuances of pelvic rotation around the head of the femur (upper leg) as you turn into your backswing are subtle, yet critical to keeping that energy in your chain to the top of the backswing. This motion of “internal hip rotation” is one of the most restricted we see in the golf athletes we evaluate, and is extremely important to setting yourself up for success in transition.
When assessing an athlete’s ability to internally rotate, we have to consider both mobility and stability restrictions and determine where the problem lies. Do you have the ability to move the joint through a full range of motion when lying down, but once you get into golf posture you feel limited? If so, this presents primarily as a stability problem and the focus should be gaining control of your range of motion in progressively less stable environments. Limitations in hip joint range of motion can be a result of tight or weak muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexor complexes, but we also often find there are inactive muscle groups like the adductors and glute complex contributing to this poor range of motion.
If you are unsure if you struggle with hip internal rotation, try this simple test pictured below. If you struggle to get your shin to 45 degrees in either direction you most certainly have a limitation in your hips. Internal rotation is tested when the foot moves out to the side or away from the midline of the body. If this is difficult you are most likely compensating in your golf swing as a result. Reach out to a Performance Coach here at GPC and we will get a plan in place to help you improve!
See you in the Zone!