Golf is a rotational sport; therefore, rotational movements are needed within your programming to optimize your rotational efficiency. Rotational efficiency can be measured by what we call your kinematic sequence or the sequential body segment movements that occur from the top of the back swing through the downswing. Knowing that rotation is important in the sport of golf does not mean that every movement needs to emulate the golf swing and or rotation. There is a time and a place for rotational movements in your programming. This article will help you better visualize the ideal kinematic sequence and how adding the right movements at the right time in your programming can help you get the most out of your swing.
Picture a quarterback throwing a hail marry or a batter hitting a home run. Both movements have a lot of similarities to the golf swing and both athletes would be considered rotational athletes. The similarities include weight transfer to initiate the throw or swing as well as the sequence of rotation in the hips, torso, arms and hands. These exact same movements and sequences take place in the golf swing; therefore, we can learn a lot from these athletes and the correlations to swing faster and throw farther.
To throw the a football deep downfield or hit a 300 yard drive requires optimal mobility and stability to execute a proper kinematic sequence without injury. For example, in the downswing the hips should rotate first, then the torso, then the arms and finally the hands. This sequence creates momentum and the momentum creates lag assuming there is no manipulation. As the hips open up, they begin to stabilize so the rest of the segments can speed up. Next the torso stabilizes so the arms catch up and finally the hands. This sequencing creates speed, lag and a swing that will repeat on plane with less manipulation. This is why hitting the ball far can feel effortless at times. When everything is sequencing well, you will tend to play your best golf and hit it your farthest.
Knowing a proper kinematic sequence is one thing and allowing your body to work in your favor to do so is another. Establishing all the foundations is a must. This requires mobility work and stability training. Once you have your foundations set, adding rotational movement patterns to your programming can be a great way to teach the pattern on the training floor to elicit a better brain-muscle connection so the next time you go to tee it up your body will already know what to do. The best way to describe this sensation is through the saying, ‘freedom of motion is freedom of mind.’ You will play your best golf when you think the least about your swing mechanics.