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The Tour Report

April 5 2012

10:15 AM

Fitness: Improve your range of motion

By Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness

The turning of the hips and shoulders around an imaginary axis often referred to as the one’s spine angle are imperative pieces of an efficient backswing, the creation of an “X” factor, and the transitioning into a powerful downswing.

Looking at the golf swings of PGA TOUR professionals we see a nice coiling action in the backswing and great separation between the hips and shoulders. Unfortunately for many amateur golfers the turning of the hips and shoulders can become a very difficult aspect of the golf swing to achieve on a consistent basis.

The result of these struggles with the hip and shoulder turn not only limits the amateur player from generating speed in the golf swing via an “X” factor, but also typically leads to a number of swing faults in an attempt to create this rotation of the hips and shoulders.

Swing faults such as a slide, sway, reverse “c”, or an over-the-top move can be linked to limited hip and shoulder turns. Improvement of the hip and shoulder turn can be a decisive component in the correction of these aforementioned swing faults as well as in the advancement of one’s golf swing.

The process of improving one’s hip and shoulder turn definitively has an instructional piece where the golfer must learned how to turn the hips, shoulders, and create separation between these two parts of the body.

A second component often neglected in the development of a hip and shoulder turn is on the “physical side” of this equation. Both the hip and shoulder are ball and socket joints. These types of joints have the ability to move and rotate through large ranges of motion.

Regardless of how much a golfer practices if limitations exist in terms of mobility in either the hips or shoulders, the ability to create rotation around a fixed spine angle will most likely be limited. Typically the restrictions in the hips and shoulders are connected to the muscles around these joints being “tight.”

The process of improving the mobility in these joints is through the implementation of exercises to increase these joints ranges of motion. This process includes a variety of both static and dynamic exercises.

The exercise

One such exercise often found within such a program is Medicine Ball Rotations. This is a dynamic range of motion exercise focused on the hips typically slotted into one's program after a series of static stretching exercises.

To perform Medicine Ball Rotations, you will require a 6-12 lb. medicine ball. Grasp the medicine ball in front of your torso with elbows bent. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and eyes looking forward. Rotate the hips, torso, and shoulders to the left. Repeat the rotation to the right. Alternate the rotation left and right for 8-15 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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