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Weight on the Balls of the Feet

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There are numerous problems with this old swing myth that you should setup on the balls of the feet. We address some of the potential dangers and pitfalls in this video.

Video Practice Points
  • Stand up straight and put your weight over your ankles
  • Keep your weight there as you bend over into posture
  • Only a slight knee bend is required at setup
  • Feel the glutes engaged at setup, not the quads

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Protect Your Knee by Ignoring Traditional Instructors

Now we'll talk about one of the most important fundamentals of set-up and it's one of the most misconstrued pieces of advice that causes more injuries in the golf swing than probably any other piece of advice. And that's where should your weight be at setup? That is a critical piece that RST kind of argues with where people think it should be, because the most common taught way for your weight set where your weight distribution is at address is to be on the balls of your feet. Nothing could be further from the truth. That's the last place you want to set up is to be way forward on your toes. Why is that?

Well, when you do that, as you go back,

The tendency is going to be for you to move your weight further on your toes. And then your primary balancing joint becomes your knee instead of your hip socket, where you can load your glutes and your hamstrings properly. Now you're going to feel it all in your quads. You can get away with that. That's not the worst thing in the world. It's not ideal, but it's not the worst thing in the world, but where stuff really starts becoming a problem is in the downswing. When you keep your weight on the ball of your foot, I want you to do this. Now, if you're watching this video, stand up, put all of the weight on the ball of your foot and now try and rotate your hip. Like you

Would in the golf swing. You're going to feel really

Quickly with the weight on the ball of your foot and trying to rotate on this leg, that your knee, all of a sudden has a very uncomfortable feeling in it. And if you've got knee problems is going to hurt. And this is how a lot of golfers get injured is that they have the weight on the ball of their foot at impact. And they're trying to rotate on their knee. Instead, we want to move your weight back to your ankle and rotate now, and now your primary balancing joint is your hip socket. And you can do this all day long. Pain-Free as long as you're in neutral joint alignment. So at set up, if you're setting up away on the balls of your feet, it takes a lot more work to then move your weight back to your ankle and back to your ankle in the downswing.

So we start you out there. You're going to start, we kind of use a range here of between your ankle in the middle of your foot is about where your weight needs to be at set up. We don't ever want it up here. And then as you go back, your weight's going to move back to the ankle a little bit further, and then the down swing, it's going to move kind of the middle of your foot, and then back over the ankle again, so that you can protect your knee and your hip and rotate properly. So it's set up, you want to be kind of in the middle range there. You never want to be on the balls of your feet unless you want to blow out your knee, or you're really good at moving your weight efficiently and can move your weight all the way back to your ankle.

That's what you see. A lot of tour pros do is they will set up on the balls of their feet, but they won't be there at impact, or if they are, they won't be there very long because they're going to injure their knee. So make sure that as you set up correctly, you feel like your weight is stacked, just like you would in neutral joint alignment, standing up talking to somebody your way, you don't stand to talk to somebody on the balls of your feet, that's off balance. So, and again, remember that you've got all of the force of this club moving out this way and the downswing and driver swung by, you know, somebody with some reasonable club, head speed effectively weighs about a hundred pounds, their impact. So you've got, imagine a hundred pounds of force pulling you this way. Well, if you're on the balls of your feet, what are you going to do?

You're going to have a tendency to fall forward, right? We've all seen that movement at the driving range, right? It's one of my favorite ones to watch. So you're trying to actually move back this way to fight all of the force of the club, moving that way. And as you're doing that, you're moving further back onto your ankle in the downswing at set up. We want to start there. Okay. So we're going to be nice and neutral. You can draw a straight line from the center of my ear center, my shoulder, back on my elbow center of my hip socket back of my knee center of my ankle. That's neutral. And as I set up, I want to make sure that I maintain that. So as you've been for years, and if we wait a second, I'm going to, I'm moving onto the balls of my feet as I move forward, because I've got all this mass bending this way.

Well, in order to counterbalance

Your upper body hindering forward, to get down to the ball on the ground, your hips have to then go back. So as I do this, they work together. I'm hindering forward. My hips, go back, relax my knees. I'm in a nice, powerful, balanced, anchored setup position. I don't, I don't feel like I'm going to fall over. I don't feel like you could come and knock me over this way. Either. I'm balanced. That's critical at setup.

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