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March 8 2012

6:03 PM

Fitness: Better mobility, better swing

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness

A basic component of a fundamentally sound golf swing is the ability to maintain a fixed spine angle. The spine angle is basically an imaginary axis dissecting the body by which the body rotates around during the execution of the golf swing.

The maintenance of a fixed spine angle provides the golfer with an opportunity to sequence the phases of the swing correctly, keep the club on plane, and generate speed into the impact position.

On the flip side, a number of swing faults are associated with changes in one’s spine angle. Faults such as a flat shoulder plane, an over the top move, and early extensions can be rooted in the inability to maintain a fixed spine angle. That being said we can see the importance a fixed spine angle has relative to the ability to execute a proficient golf swing.

If you are a golfer who is struggling with maintaining a fixed spine angle the process of correction may consist of three separate yet connected entities. First and foremost instruction and practice on the fundamentals of the golf swing will come into play. Changes in equipment may be required. For example, if your club are to long this may force a posture change to occur in the swing. Finally, addressing potential physical dysfunctions impeding your body from placing itself in the correct postural positions required of the swing may be necessary.

Execution of a proficient golf swing where the postural positions required of swing remain intact requires certain physical parameters to be present within the body. If the body is lacking in the required levels of joint mobility, muscular flexibility, strength, and/or power, the ability to execute an efficient golf swing will most likely be hindered.

That being said, looking at maintaining a fixed spine angle from address to the finish position requires a certain level of hip mobility, segmental stability in the core, and thoracic spine mobility. If the golfer is lacking in any of these aforementioned physical components, maintaining the postural positions of the swing may be quite difficult.

The exercise A basic physical component connected to maintaining a fixed spine angle and the postural positions of the swing is hip flexion and extension. Hip flexion and extension is centered upon hip mobility and activation of the core.

A very simple golf fitness exercise to assist in the development of your hip hinge mechanics which includes hip extension is Hip Hinges. To perform this exercise place a club in the middle of the back with the club head resting on the back of your head and grip on the lower back. Position the feet shoulder width apart.

While maintaining a flat back and the club in contact with both the lower back and head slowly hinge at the hips, bend the knees, and lower your free hand to a position slightly below the knees. Pause for one second, return to the starting position of the exercise and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

To learn more about Sean Cochran and his golf fitness training exercises and golf fitness programs go to http://www.seancochran.com
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