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Golf Swing Balance
One of the most confusing aspects of understanding golf instruction is getting conflicting tips from different instructors. One of the most confusing things that's out there is where your weight distribution should be from heel to toe at address. Most golf instructors and most books that are written will tell you that you should set up with your weight on the balls of your feet because that's a more athletic position to be in, and that's true. If you were a baseball player and you were a shortstop and you needed to move in any direction or a basketball player or a linebacker and you don't know which direction you're trying to go and you need to be able to move at a moment's notice, setting up on the balls of your feet is great.
The problem with that for golf is, we're not trying to go anywhere. In fact, we're trying to do the exact opposite. We are trying to stay centered. If you're trying to stay centered and not move in any direction, you need to be anchored to the earth. In doing that, you need to find what true balance is, and that's what we're going to talk about in this video. True balance is very easy for you to find. I don't want you to just take my word for it.
I want you to stand up, and I want you to go through this simple little exercise with me. All we're going to do is, we're going to get standing vertically, just feet nice and natural posture, feet just natural with the just underneath your hips. All I want you to do is, with your eyes open at first, I want you to gently rock forward onto your toes. I don't want you bending forward. I want you just to keep your body nice and straight, then rock forward to your toes, then rock back to your heel. Just do this five times with your eyes open.
I want you to become aware of the pressures that you feel in your feet. You'll feel your feet tense up as you move toward your toes. As you move too far back on your heels, you'll feel your toes kind of lift off the ground, like you're going to lose your balance, so just gently rock forward and back. Now what I want you to do is, I want you to close your eyes and do this same drill. Just rock forward and back and, what I want you to do is, you tell me where you feel balanced. Do you feel balanced with weight out on your toes or do you feel balanced on your heels, or is it somewhere in the middle?
The truth of the matter is that true balance is designed for your weight to go right through the center of your ankle. That's the way your body's designed. All of your joints, when you're in neutral joint alignment or just good golf posture, there's a straight line going through the middle of these joints and back of your knee, and that's where your body's structure is designed to bear your weight. If that's where your body's engineered to be balanced is through the center of your ankles, that's where your body's the most structurally sound, and that's how you need to set up for the golf swing.
All you're going to do is gently rock forward onto your goes, rock back with your eyes closed, and find where you settle in right about the center of your ankles, and you'll feel your feet relax. You'll feel your toes won't be curling up in your shoes, and you won't feel them lifting off the ground. You'll feel nice and balanced. That is how you're going to find where true balance is. It's important to understand that your body's designed to be this way.
As we get into the followthrough and the golf downswing and all these things, being over the center of your ankle's going to be imperative to protect your back, your knee, your hip, and all these things from injury, so it's very important that you take the time to understand where true balance is. Like I said, you can do it with your eyes closed. Just go through the drill yourself, find where you're balanced and then, as we go through later on getting into posture and you get over the center of your ankles, you're going to feel very balanced and athletic. You won't feel off balance like you're falling off forward onto your toes.
If you struggled in your golf swing with this whole followthrough, which we see all the time on the range, you're going to start to understand part of where that's coming from, is that you're probably set up way out on your toes. You've got all this force in the golf swing going out away from you, so why would you set up in a direction that's going to allow you to easily be pulled off balance in that direction? In fact, you need to be back so you can fight the forces going away from you and, as you're rotating, that will help counterbalance that force even more, but you have to be over your ankle.
True balance is going to be, as you're in your posture right over the center of your ankle, as you flex your knees and hinge from the hip a little bit, it'll move slightly forward just in front of your ankles. There's a range that you could look at from the center of your ankle to maybe an inch and a half or so in front of that. That's where you're going to be balanced and athletic and able to move.
The more you're out on the toes, the more you're going to struggle with activating the big muscles in your backside on the backswing and the more difficulty you're going to have getting back to the left side, getting over your ankle, and being able to rotate properly and, more importantly, safely. Sway forward, sway back. Just rock forward on your heels and toes until you find your balance, and you will start to be in a much better position at golf setup.
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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