Functional Squat / One Legged Exercise

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Learning the Rotary Swing doesn't require a club in your hand, you can learn the correct fundamental movements through exercise and even getting out of bed in the morning! Learning how to move correctly requires time to retrain the brain, and using these two exercises, the Fundamental Squat and the One Legged Balance exercises are core to developing a proper setup and strengthening and training the right muscles.

Video Practice Points
  • Functional Squat Drill: Sit in a chair in good posture, hinge forward at the hips until your weight shifts over your ankles, then drive your ankles down & stand up
  • To sit back down, hinge at the hips until your weight shifts back, then sit down
  • Maintain good posture and don't let your weight shift forward onto your toes
  • One Legged Drill: Get into address posture and raise one leg until it is 90° from the ground
  • Keeping your weight over the center of your ankle, hold the position for up to one minute
  • Repeat with the other leg

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Functional Squat and One Legged Balance Exercises

                The first exercise we're going to show you is the fundamental movement of a squat. Now, some of you have lower back pain. You might have a little bit of fear. You've been told before not to do a squat. This is more along the lines of a functional squat versus a bodybuilder squat that you would actually see in a gym. As long as your alignment's safe, you keep your weight centered over the ankle, right over driven through the ankle and the heel, you're going to be okay. This is actually a movement that you create all day long when you get in and out of your car and in and out of a chair. This is very fundamental, but it is going to get your brain used to the concept of that bending from the hip, letting your hip hinge back.

                At the same time, it's strengthening your legs and your butt and your glute muscles which are really important in golf. The first thing you're going to do is sit up as straight as you can and make sure you lift your rib cage. You're going to hinge from the hip. That was one of the fundamentals. You're going to lean inside both ankles. You're going to press straight through the ankle and the heel and stand up until your straight again. You're going to bend from the hip again. As soon as all of the weight is swayed back, if you bend from the hip and it goes forward, make sure you sway it back. Then you're going to sit back down and sit up straight again. Again, it's a bend from the hip. Lean inside both ankles, push vertically straight through the ground.

                That's a real key when it comes to your golf swing is that vertical force. Bend from the hip and sit back down. That vertical force, when I talk about that is going to go straight from the center of the knee this direction. Your force of movement is not moving out here. It is moving straight down vertically into the ground.

                This next exercise is both for balance and for strength, and it strengthens the outside of the hip muscle. You're actually going to be doing the exercise in your golf set up position on one leg. Then first thing you're going to do is setup. Stand up really straight, chest and rib cage is lifted. You're going to bend from the hip. You're letting the hip hinge back. Spread your legs apart. Relax both knees and then let your arms hang just like you would in a golf set up. Then you're going to take one leg, and you're going to bend it 90 degrees. Now, a lot of golfers at this point would stand back up out of it and sway forward into the ball of their foot. You're going to really want to guard against that so you actually stay and you maintain spine angle.

                You maintain that same degree of bend from the hip, and then you're consistently keeping your weight centered over the ankle and the heel. You can get a ledge. I have a ledge here, or you can put a chair next to you. What you want to make sure is when you hold this exercise, you're supposed to hold it for one full minute, that all of your weight once again is driven vertically through the back of the knee, straight down to the ankle leaning inside that heel with the ankle. The driving force is vertical so this becomes the primary balancing joint in this exercise. If your spine comes back up wide and you get too much knee bend, your weight's going to move forward to the balls of the feet.

                That's one of the things we're trying to reprogram in the brain that you absolutely sit your weight back here, and then this becomes center. You would stand there. If you can let go, let your arms hang. You can put it similar to holding a golf club. You can even put a golf club in your hand. Vertically drive your weight through the heel, and then just put your mind right there. This is the muscle you should be feeling at that point for one straight minute. Then you would switch legs.

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