Golf is one of those great sports that can be played by people of all ages. Many of our members here at Active Seniors Health Centre regularly enjoy getting out on the golf course for some exercise and social interaction. With so many of our members huge golf fans, I often hear members discussing how they would love to be able to improve their golf swing in order to hit the ball further.
There are many aspects that combine to make a “good golf swing”. Some of these aspects include balance, grip, stance, correct choice of club, strength and the ability to rotate. It is this ability to rotate that many of our members start to struggle with as the years go by.
Today we will discuss what rotation is, why rotation is important in golf and how can we improve our rotation.
What do we mean by rotation when it comes to the golf swing?
The movement of the shoulders, mid back (thoracic spine) and hips from initial set up into the backswing and then through to the downswing.
Why is rotation important for your golf swing?
The ability to rotate throughout the golf swing is extremely important if you are looking to maximise the power of your shots. While you could use your putter to tee off, continue to use it for the entire game and take the “slow and steady wins the race” approach, that is definitely not ideal. Therefore, the ability to hit those long drives is extremely reliant on one’s ability to rotate effectively throughout their swing.
What are some exercises to help improve your rotation for your golf swing?
Book openers – this exercise is great for improving mobility through the thoracic spine.
- Start by laying on your side with your knees up level with your hips
- Start with both arms extended out in front of you and then up towards the ceiling before continuing through to the other side
- Your head will follow the line of your top arm so that you will end up looking at the other side from where you started
- Hips shoulder stay still and in the same position as they started
- Aim to do 2 x 10 each side
Hip rotations – great exercise for learning how to separate the lower body from the upper body. Golfers with decreased hip rotation will often suffer more from lower back pain so practicing how to rotate the hips is super important.
- Hold the head of your golf club, keeping the club upright in front of you with one end of the club supported on the floor
- Practice shifting your hips left and right while keeping your upper body as still as possible
- Aim to do 3 x 10 alternating left and right
Split stance T-spine rotation – another great thoracic spine mobility exercise to help with our ability to rotate
- Get yourself into split stance position (one large stride out in front)
- From this split stance position you want to keep your hips as still as possible while your rotate your upper body left to right
- Aim to do 2 x 10 each side
Cat-cow – excellent stretch to help mobilise the back and hips
- Start by kneeling on all fours on the ground with your hands directly below your shoulders
- Start by slowly looking up and arching your back, with your belly button heading towards the floor
- Then slowly start to arch your back, drawing your belly button towards your spine while your head looks back down and towards your thighs
- Aim to do 3 x 10
NOTE – you can also do this one with your hands on a chair, bench/table or wall, if you are unable to get down on the floor!
Side stretch – since the golf swing involves twisting and rotating it is important to stretch out the muscles on our sides as well
- Start by standing up tall, feet shoulder width apart, with your right arm up above your head
- Slowly start to bend your left side running your left hand down your left leg. Your right hand will also be bending towards the left side
- Aim to hold the stretch for 20 seconds before swapping to the other side
- Aim for 3 x 20 seconds each side