1) The importance of stable hips in the golf swing
I talk a lot on this site about the importance of adequate hip mobility to properly execute the golf swing, however it is also important not to neglect hip stability. In the trail leg, the position your leg is in at address, is the position it should remain as you rotate in the backswing.
In short, loading into the trail side leg, without over rotating the pelvis, requires stability in that trail side hip. If you have good hip mobility and stability it will allow you to turn without any sway. You will also be able to keep your centre of pressure within the inside of the trail side heel, this is important as it enables efficient use of ground reaction forces. Vital as, in the golf swing, we use the ground to create a coil so we can unwind the club with maximum force into the golf ball.
If the trail hip is unstable it may cause you to sway, which can lead to poor shots and a major loss in power.
Additionally, recent force plate analysis research, suggests centre of pressure moves hard to target side in transition. This makes me feel that a stable lead hip is necessary to provide a solid platform for that centre of pressure change.
By the way, the most efficient way to develop hip stability? single leg movements such as lunges, step-ups, single leg squats, and lateral lunges
2) Check out the Association of Golf Strength & Conditioning (AGSC)
This one is pretty short and sweet. This facebook page is a great resource and community for trainers and coaches to discuss, learn and develop ideas on training golfers.
3) In order to accelerate you must be able to decelerate.
As strength and conditioning coaches we spend an awful lot of our time teaching athletes how to generate more force, hoe to sprint faster and jump higher. With good reason, these are the things that make athletes perform better, along with the fact that 40 inch verticals are pretty damn cool!
However, I can’t help but feel this is missing the boat somewhat. After all your body will only allow you to accelerate as fast as you can decelerate. In the golf swing you work on being able to develop as much clubhead speed in the downswing as you like, but if you don’t have the control and stability required to decelerate the clubhead in the follow through your body is just not going to allow you to use all that acceleration. One of my favourite quotes on this subject comes from Mike Robertson of IFAST gym:
“Build a better set of brakes, before you tweak out the engine of your car”
Basically, your body is cleverer than you and it’s trying to stop you getting injured!
Deceleration in the golf swing requires appropriate mobility (think of the opposite to what is required in the backswing), stability (particularly in the core and hip musculature) and strength (particularly eccentric strength) has a vital part to play in being able to control and absorb force.
From a programming stand point change of direction drills, lateral and linear sprint ladders are an effective tool. Jumps, such as box jumps, broad jumps, and lateral jumps, are also great tools providing we insist on good landing mechanics not just jumping jumping further or higher. Additionally as we progress these exercise here at stronger golf we will often things such as band resistance to increase the force development demands and reduce landing stress. It is vital not all training be done like this and that bodyweight variations also continue to be used in order for athlete’s ability to decelerate force to keep pace with his ability to develop force.
4) You’re carrying your postural deficiencies off the course too.
I’m not telling you anything new by saying that correct golf posture is vital to playing good golf. Efficient transfer of energy throughout the swing, good swing mechanics, injury prevention and consistent ball striking, all to varying degrees striking degrees depend on good posture. The problem is many golfers don’t realise how on-course golf posture is affected by what you do off the course. You see posture does not just apply to golf, but to every single move you make in your life. The posture you exhibit everyday sitting, standing, etc adds up to many more hours than you spend in golf posture and therefore will have a profound effect. Pay attention to your posture throughout the day and make a conscious effort to improve it.