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May 17 2012

2:00 PM

Golf Fitness: All the right moves

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness The over-the-top swing fault is perhaps the most common swing fault among amateur players. According to studies from the Titleist Performance Institute, 43.5 percent of players possess this swing fault. The over-top-move typically results in a loss of speed, difficulties in controlling ball flight, the creation of too much spin, and problems with the clubface angle at impact. The over-top-move is typically the result of overuse or upper body dominance by the golfer during the downswing. The result of this compensation is the club moving outside the intended swing plane and approaching the ball in an “out-to-in motion.” The over-the-top swing fault can be caused by a number of issues related to equipment, swing mechanics and the body. On the mechanical side of this swing fault, a weak grip at address, an open clubface in the backswing, poor posture at address, or a reverse spine angle action can result in an over-the-top move in the downswing. Physically, if the player is unable to create separation between the lower and upper body, initiate the downswing with the lower body, maintain the proper postural positions during the swing, or institute a proper weight shift the development of an over-the-top move can occur. As we become aware of the causes of the over-the-top swing fault we recognize there is a physical and mechanical component required to fix this swing fault. On the mechanical side, it is imperative that a golfer develop an efficient kinematic sequence where the downswing is initiated by the lower body and the club moves on an in-to-out swing plane. Physically, the golfer must have the ability to create separation between the upper and lower body. This separation allows the golfer to begin the downswing with the lower body and create an X-factor. The creation of this separation requires good hip mobility, core stability, and thoracic spine mobility. The exercise A very good golf fitness exercise to assist in the development of this separation required in the correction of the over-top-move is the medicine ball rotational squat. This exercise assists in the development of segmental stability in the lower body and core in addition to the requirement of good hip mobility to execute. To perform the medicine ball rotational squat, grasp a medicine ball with both hands. Place your feet shoulder width apart, body upright, and hands in front of chest. Slowly lower the hips to floor by bending at the knees. Continue to squat downward until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause for 1 second and slowly extend the legs. Simultaneously rotate the hips, torso, and shoulders to your right. Continue to rotate and extend the legs until standing upright. Pivot on the ball of your left foot during the rotation. Return to the starting position of the exercise, and repeat rotating towards the left. Perform 6 to 15 repetitions of the exercise. 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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