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Rory's 2018 main WGC

It’s all in the hips: Maintain posture and generate more power

The role of the hips is important in getting the most out of your swing, as golf fitness pro Rachael Tibbs explains
 

Being able to use the hips appropriately is not only important for maintaining posture but also generating power in your golf swing.Β 

When we set up to the ball, we should be using our hips to drive backwards and create hip flexion. Maintaining this flexion without decreasing or increasing the angle in the backswing is vital to achieving an efficient impact position and producing a consistent ball strike.Β 

Here’s newly crowned FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy demonstrating what to do through the years.

As we come through to impact the idea is to extend and rotate the hips using our strong gluteal muscles, so when a player isn’t able to do this, the lower back starts to do the work instead (you may see an excessive arching or rounding of the lumbar spine).Β 

If you think you are struggling to hinge your hips, an inability to touch your toes is a good indicator.

Here is an exercise you can do with a golf club which is a great place to start and gives you valuable feedback on the position of your spine.Β 

A lack of movement in the hips is often associated with a lack of flexibility or tightness in a specific muscle. Again, I find much of this is due to a lack of strength, with the hip flexor muscles at the front of the hips commonly misunderstood.

If you struggle to maintain a dynamic posture throughout your swing, weak hip flexors may be contributing to this and making it harder for you to stay in that position.

Remember we want our hips to be powerful, they are the driving force in the swing and contribute to developing more clubhead speed and force into the golf ball.

Check out these banded knee tucks which are great for strengthening theΒ front of the hips.Β 

However, not all hip movement can be improved by strengthening these areas; some people do lack the mobility necessary to rotate and hinge efficiently.Β 

One of the biggest restrictions is internal rotation, which makes it very difficult for golfers to load their hips in the backswing and post in the downswing. As a result,Β we may see a lot of lateral movement such as sways and slides, as well as reverse pivots.

These seated hip drops are a great exercise to perform on a morning or before you head to the golf course. They help to mobilise the hip and improve internal rotation. Performing these everyday can really help to increase the movement of your hip joint.Β 

A slightly more challenging set of exercises are the standing hip CARS. If you are able to, these will also help to increase hip mobility and really loosen up the joint prior to a round of golf.Β 

Remember the more movement through the hips, the less pressure is placed on the lower back and the better you can use the lower body in your golf swing.Β 

Give these exercises a try if you are struggling with lower back pain and find what works for you.

Rachael Tibbs is a TPI L2 certified golf fitness professional based in Leeds. She specialises in golf-specific strength and conditioning. You can visit her website or follow her on Twitter.Β 

Β 

Andrew Wright

NCG's instruction editor. Terrible student so trying my hand at passing on some of the best advice I've never listened to. Member of Royal Troon. Favourite golfer is two-time major winner and hall of famer, Retief Goosen.

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