How does your body effect your golf swing?
Like with any sport, there are always going to be certain movements that the average Joe will struggle with that the pros can do. Perhaps, due to physiological limitations. For instance, without the proper training or mobility I will never be able to perform a backwards arch or a perfect split, quite like a seasoned gymnast can. This doesn’t mean I could never do so. It would take a lot of time and effort, along with the right advice and help, in developing the necessary pathway towards achieving those goals.
When it comes to golf we often only hear about ‘what the pros do,’ whether it be on TV, online, or in our monthly subscription to a golf magazine. A lot of the times all the insight and tips are great, but they often don’t hold any context towards YOUR personal needs or physical abilities leading to further frustrations.
Sure the odd tip could benefit your game, but what if you can’t move the same way as say a Dustin Johnson or a Rory McIlroy? That’s the same as going out and trying to do the splits and wondering why you can’t get into the same position as the person you just watched in the Olympics! If your body doesn’t allow that movement or if you have physical limitations, then you will always struggle to achieve that ‘move’ or ‘position.’
This is one of many reasons why young athletes should be exposed to multiple sports in their adolescence. The more sports and activities you participate in, the more physical competencies you have to develop for that sporting requirement. A baseball player and a swimmer move quite differently. Both sports benefit you as a golfer in your ability to separate lower and upper extremities, generate high pelvis velocities, as well as gain mobility and strength.
It is however an unfortunate truth that as we age, our bodies do so as well. So how can an adult make improvements in their mobility to help them achieve the swing they desire? There are many answers to this but the key is going to lie in a comment mentioned above. “It would take a lot of time and effort, along with the right advice and help, in developing the necessary pathway towards achieving those goals.” You need to find an instructor that can help you along this journey.
If you’re a golfer that struggles with being able to open their body or rotate through impact and you always find yourself early extending or standing up at impact, it may be as simple as turning the lead foot towards the target. This allows yourself some more room and time before hitting your internal rotation limitation. You might be trying to change a motor pattern when you don’t have the mobility to achieve that position in the first place.
The guys on TV said “do this to hit like Justin Thomas” but the video you just took of your swing with your iPhone doesn’t look any different. Before the onslaught of frustration gets any worse, ask yourself this, “can I even perform this movement?” After all, what your body can do, is what your swing can do.