I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Hip mobility is crucial to a powerful, fluid golf swing.
Your hips not only help you rotate effectively through your swing, but also help you generate power as you do. Your hips also help you maintain your posture through your swing so you can deliver the clubhead to the golf ball at impact.
As Dr. Greta Anderson explains, topping the ball could actually be a sign your hip mobility is limited. Without proper hip mobility, you can’t remain stable throughout your swing which causes you to pull up as you rotate, leading to weak and topped shots.
Needless to say, hip mobility is IMPORTANT.
But how do you know if your hip mobility, or lack thereof, is causing issues in your golf swing?
Hip Internal Rotation Assessments
To determine the quality of your hip mobility, you can do an at-home hip internal rotation assessment that will help you figure out just how much mobility you have in your hips. To do this you will need a foam roller and a chair.
Sitting on a chair, place a foam roller between your knees. Your femur should be at a 90 degree angle when you do this. Then slowly rotate your knee toward the foam roller as far as you can. Ideally, you should be able to get about 45 degrees of internal rotation. Anything less than that means you probably need to work on your hip mobility to improve your golf game.
Improving your hip mobility and strength
Now that you’ve (probably) realized your hip mobility is worse than you thought it was and that it could be limiting your golf swing, what should you do about it?
Improving mobility and improving strength go in hand in hand. You need the mobility to move through your full range of motion and you need the strength to support your joints as they move through that range of motion. As Dr. Anderson’s trainer Coach Johnny from Atlanta Sports Recovery shows you, you want to actively work on improving the mobility of the hips AND do a few exercises that will strengthen the muscles in the hip area to help stabilize you in the golf swing.
The first exercise he recommends is an internal rotation band distraction. Basically, you place a band around your hip joint and rotate your foot outward. Once you’ve gone as far as you can, you hold this position for two minutes. Then switch sides and repeat.
Next up, Coach Johnny demonstrates a monster walk, which will help strengthen your hip muscles and prevent your knees from collapsing inward as you swing a club. Place a short loop band just above your knees and settle into a quarter-squat position. Start taking lateral steps in one direction and go about 50 feet before coming back in the opposite direction.
The last exercise Dr. Anderson and Coach Johnny demonstrate is kettlebell hip rotation strength exercise that will help you develop stability and core strength. When choosing a weight for this exercise, pick something you can do 10-15 reps with while maintaining good form. Once you’ve picked an appropriate weight, get into a split stance with one foot forward and bring the kettlebell up. With your arms locked out, rotate away from your body. This will translate extremely well to your golf swing.
Doing these exercises three times a week will help you see massive mobility and strength gains come spring.