It is a good idea to get comfortable with the idea that during the golf swing, each movement of the body has an influence over another part of body. It’s sometimes referred to as the kinematic sequence or kinetic chain of the golf swing it’s like a domino effect. This principle is especially relevant to three key areas as they have a very large influence on the rest of the body and ultimately the club head and your golf ball.
So what are the three important areas of your body for golf?
The Scapula (shoulder blades)/Upper Back
If these three key areas work properly then we have a better chance of making a repeatable and bio-mechanically efficient swing.
Each key area requires a certain amount of both mobility from the joints and stability from the muscles. This means that we can achieve the required range of motion (mobility), but with complete control and awareness of how the key area is moving (stability).
SCAPULA (SHOULDER BLADES)/UPPER BACK
There are two things to cover here, rotational mobility in the upper back and mobility of the shoulder.
It’s no secret that we need to be able to rotate the upper back in order to make a decent shoulder turn. The key range of motion at the shoulder is external rotation, in order to set the club on plane.
The scapula has a huge influence on the movement and function of the shoulder, which affects the elbow, the wrist and ultimately the club. We can have fantastic range of motion in the shoulder. If we are lacking control of the scapula then we have to make an inefficient compensation somewhere else.
The range of motion in the pelvis is mainly relative to pelvic tilt, both forward and back. We want good range in this movement because our pelvis has to go into a degree of forward and backward tilt during the swing. Any restrictions here can lead to a poor spine position in the swing and the associated compensations having to be made by the arms and hands.
Good core stability is crucial to not only efficient movements during the swing, but also to the health of our lower back and spine. Our core muscles are essentially the support system for our spine and we need to get them to a good level of stability, strength and awareness. With great core stability, we can also control the pelvic tilt and maintain a good spinal posture throughout your swing.
We want a nice full range of motion in this movement so we can make a full hip turn both on the way back and on the way through. This hip turn is important because the amount of rotation we get affects the amount of trunk/shoulder turn, which also has domino-like effects further up the chain.
Our hips are stabilized by our glute (backside) muscles. If these muscles work properly, then we can control our hips and get them turning not only to full range of motion, but also in the right direction and prevent non-efficient movements like hip sway and slide. Good quality hip rotation will control where the hips are positioned in the golf swing and therefore where the trunk and shoulders are positioned and so on up the chain.