Fitness – Dissociation and the Golf Swing
The golf swing requires many movements that come from varying areas of the body. Specifically, the golf swing requires movements to follow a pattern referred to as a kinematic sequence.
Hips → Trunk → Arms → Club
To successfully achieve the kinematic sequence, our bodies must have the ability to separate movements of the joints involved. This is referred to as disassociation.
The nature of our shoulder and hip allows the joints to be multi-directional. So, not only are they naturally mobile, but we only must control one joint to create movement. Alternatively, our spine and pelvis are core complex: consisting of many joints creating mobility.
Creating movement in these areas while disassociating from other joints is an easy way to see improvements in your swing. However, if untrained, control of these areas can be quite challenging.
Here Are a Few Ways to Evaluate
Your Ability to Disassociate
1. Pelvic Tilt: starting in the neutral position of your golf stance, cross your arms. Without moving your shoulders or knees, arch your back to create an “s” shape. From here, transition your hips and pelvis forward to create a “c” shape. You’re looking for an ability to go in and out of these movements without movement of your shoulders and lower body, as well as smooth motion without any shaking.
2. Thoracic Rotation: staring in the neutral position of your golf stance, cross your arms. Without moving your hips or neck, rotate your mid back as far as you can to the left, and repeat back with rotation to your right. You’re looking for a smooth movement through the range, and ability to get to almost 90-degrees rotation without lower body assistance.
How to Train
These movements as an evaluation are great, because they can quickly be turned into exercises that can aid the golf swing. Getting into your golf stance and consistently practicing these movements, specifically with feedback from a mirror, can produce quick improvements in your body’s motor control. When the exercises become easy, progress to a more challenging environment/position, such as standing on a balance pad, or even perform the exercises in the plank position.
A few minutes a day can be enough to transform your golf swing.
Amanda Kayser is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Titleist Performance Institute certified practitioner. Dr. Kayser works with clients privately and at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Las Colinas. You can contact Dr. Kayser at www.Kayserfitness.com.