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Winter Training Series Article
Many golfers tend to “hibernate” and snooze on their golf swing during the winter months, but you could be missing some of the most effective and important practice time of the year. As we have been preaching for years at RotarySwing.com , you don’t need to hit a bucket of golf balls to get meaningful results in your golf game. In fact, massive improvement can be had by watching and practicing alongside our new WINTER GOLF TRAINING series.
It’s important to know that every Golf Training Drill we are going to cover in this video can be done indoors with little more than the help of a mirror so you can watch yourself execute the proper movements and positions.
If you follow along with our six week master course, we promise to have your golf swing revamped by the time you tee it up in the Spring. All you need to is focus in on these core building block components and commit to using our program.
Proper Golf Swing Set Up … In order to get started on the right “foot” you might need to brush up on the setup fundamentals of RST by visiting some of the core videos on stance, width and setup. Building off of these elements, and focusing on proper axis tilt will set your swing up for a truly fantastic swing.
Move Analysis: The goal of our first golf move is to virtually walk yourself into the proper golf setup by repeating your proper golf setup position at least 25 times. This creates the necessary golf muscle memory that will make your swing effortless and repeatable.
Lift your right heel and smash it down so you can feel the assertive move that is necessary to load up your hip. While it might seem strange, but the key component of the drill is to understand the need for hip turn that compliments the turn of your torso.
To reinforce the movement, we recommend a medicine ball that will help with muscle memory.
From a down the line view, you should notice that you should be lifting your left heal and performing a direct lateral slide. Again, the feeling and goal is to load up the hip and activate your hips a core.
Keep in mind: the weight transfer we’re after with our “foot stomp” move is only an exaggeration that will teach your body which muscles need to be engaged in order to reach a proper and powerful golf takeaway.
Setup… Lift… Stomp… Rotate… These are the key terms and steps that you need to focus on while practicing this video at home.
The Golf Exercise DRILL: One Legged Lunge
As I mentioned in the introduction video, set up is where everything starts, and typically gets thrown off track. I'm not gonna go in depth on all of the fundamentals of set up, we've covered it in many many other videos, so if you're not familiar with all the set up fundamentals of RST, go back and watch those set up videos before embarking on this program. Because I'm going to skip along and move through some things very quickly. The goal here is for you to be able to follow along and get yourself into a perfect set up, and then weight shift every single time from here on out for the rest of your golfing life.
So let's start out with how to do that. Again, not gonna go over the fundamentals of stance width, and weight shift, or balance, and all those things. You should already be familiar with those. So we're going to get in our proper set up, proper stance width. The main thing I want to focus on in getting you into a perfect set up every single time, is axis tilt. It is the foundation of a good set up. And it's so often overlooked and so often botched by so many golfers, that it causes so many problems ... There's no reason to not get it right.
So what I want you to do, from your set up stance width, is every single time I want you to work on getting your hips to shift just a little bit to the left. As you watch here, it's about an inch and a half, two inch movement. As I do that, my upper body falls back. So what I want you to work on is starting from a perfectly upright spine, slide your hips to the left and let your right hand work under your left. Notice that as I do this, my hands are in the center of my chest and they move forward, cause they're not changing in relationship to my chest. So your goal with this move, is just walk yourself into a set up position, to where you are now set up behind the ball.
Also note, that as I do this, my head, my eye line, tilts. Your whole body should fall back as your hips move forward. They're moving as a reaction to your hips. You're not trying to tilt your upper body. Just slide your hips forward. And keep working on getting this feeling of your weight settling into the left side, but also being counter balanced back to the right. So you're just going to try and do this about 25 times, and hold that position that you feel every single time. And feel how your right leg's kind of canted, left leg's a little more upright, and your upper body falls back.
Now, as you're doing this, the goal is, what is the next move from this set up position. So we've done this 25 times, we're going to do this every single day so that this now becomes normal. But how do we get that first move going back, that's what we want to combine. Cause this is a pretty simple move, it's a static motion. You're just kind of getting set into this position to get everything set up, ready for take off here.
The first thing I want you to add into this, is taking your right heel and lifting it up in the air, and smashing it down. And you'll notice as I do that, I'm letting my weight move to the right. I'm exaggerating this a little bit, my hips don't need to move that far. But what I'm trying to feel is an assertive move into the right hip so that I can start loading up on that hip as my first move. Which is what we're going to start working on with the weight shift. So we're going to combine getting set up, lifting the heel, stomping. And you'll also notice that as I'm stomping, I'm starting to let my body rotate. My belt buckle's turning and my buttons on my shirt are turning cause we're trying to get the feeling of loading up on this hip.
One thing you may be asking yourself right now is, "Well I thought I wasn't supposed to move my hips at all during the take away, just my upper body." We teach people that, because most people do this immediately during takeaway. The reality is, your hips are moving during the take away. But because so many golfers just turn their hips and they don't get the separation from the upper and lower half, they don't focus on that a lot. So in this drill, again this is expecting that you already understand the fundamentals of RST, we're going to start to blend things together. So yes, my upper body is turning, it's turning more than my lower body, but my lower body's also turning during this initial weight shift. So as I lift and stomp, I'm not loaded up on my right hip and it's ready to go.
Come down the line, and see the same thing. So I'm going to get into my set up. Notice that I've slid my hips to the left, and as I've done this, I haven't turned my shoulders, and I haven't cocked my hips this way, which we see all the time. It's just a direct lateral slide. I'm lifting my right heel, planting and turning. You'll notice as I do this, I'm just kind of going back to take away position, where my hands are about pocket height. As I'm doing this you'll also see that my hips are beginning to rotate. You can start to see my belt buckle here and my left knee coming out, indicating that my hips have begun to turn. The feeling, the goal here, is loading up on this right hip. Or if you're a lefty, your left hip. You want to start feeling that this leg is really loaded and driving into the ground so that you're starting to be able to activate these muscles in your hip. So that as you get loaded to the top, they're going to be able to fire on the way down.
So if you want to take this another step further, you can work on it with a medicine ball. You're going to get into your set up position. Now I've slid my hips forward a little bit, lifting my right heel, stomping and turning. Now as I'm doing this, I'm starting to feel my weight shift. And you'll also notice that I'm letting my left heel come up a little bit. This is obviously an exaggeration of the drills, we're not wanting to necessarily lift our feet up in the swing all the time, but it is a great drill to help you force yourself transferring weight from one side to the other. So that's really what we're looking for here. So lift my heel, from set up position, lift, stomp. I want to stomp it in the ground so that I feel those muscles in my legs and hips activate and get myself half way back into take away.
Down the line, I'm going to lift my heel, turn. Lift my heel, turn. So I'm just handing the medicine ball to you. And now I'm really feeling loaded in this hip, and starting to store up energy in my core. As I turn the medicine ball adds a little of resistance to it. Of course, we can do the same thing with a golf club. Get in our set up position, I'm going to slide my hips to the left. You'll notice that my right shoulder's lower than my left now. Gonna lift my heel, stomp, and turn. I'm doing this, club's just going half way back. I'm not doing anything with my hands or arms, I'm just turning, getting myself into a really good, wide, powerful, loaded up take away right from the first move.
So your goal is to try and do these exercises, just this movement, for 15 to 20 minutes a day, nothing else. And don't just rifle through them, that's not going to do you any good. You need to be really focusing on what it is you're feeling as you do this movement. And what we're trying to feel, our primary motion, is weight shift, and drive, and activation in that right hip with some rotation from a good set up position. So set up, lift, stomp. As you start getting good at this, you can start making at stomp smaller and smaller. So that instead of it being this big lift where you really have to lift it a lot to really feel it. As you get more skilled, what you're going to notice is that you can just kind of lift your foot up in your shoe, you don't have to lift your heel way up in the air. And then eventually it just becomes more of a natural movement where you don't have to lift your feet up at all.
But, for a while, it's a good exercise. Cause it kind of gets you from being stuck and frozen over the ball. Kind of let your weight move back and forth from one heel to the other. Keep doing that, and as you get better, it just becomes more of a natural little ... Kind of a swing start guide to help you load the right muscles during the take away.
Now if you really struggle with feeling this right hip, what I want you to do, is I want you to do a one legged lunge. And you can use your golf club to help you kind of stay balanced here. So I'm going to show you what I want you to feel here. So I want you to try and get your leg in a vertical position directly over your ankle. And what I want you to do, is without moving your knee back and forth, keep it right where it is, try and lunge up from this position. So notice that my leg is gonna stay in the same spot. I'm not doing this, I'm not getting way out over my toes, I'm just lunging up and down from this spot. And you won't be able to go full range, but you'll get close. And I'm just doing this on my right leg right now cause what I'm trying to feel is the activation in my right hip. Those muscles that you feel doing the lunge are the exact same ones you want to feel half way back during your back swing.
So you can add those lunges, try to do both sides to balance it out. Add those little lunges to help you feel activation in your right hip if you struggle with that. Again, 15 to 20 minutes of set up. We're going to get into our set up position, lift the right heel, stomp, rotate half way back.
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-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK