Swing flaws and body limitation connections: The dreaded sway

My job as a level II TPI medical provider is to determine what limitations a golfer has in their body that may lead to injury, or a faulty swing pattern. I don't understand how to teach you to swing the club, that is why I work with your swing coach! My job is to prepare your body through gaining flexibility, strength, power, stability, and mobility where you need it so your swing coach can then teach you to maximize your swing. 

The Sway

This swing fault is where the lower body moves laterally (sideways) away from the target. This swing fault can lead to decreased power, reduced lower body speed and decreased trunk stability. Th results in decreased distance with your clubs. 

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Body Connections

So what limitations in the body lead to this swing flaw? 

The Ankle

If the ankle has a limited ability to move it can effect your body's ability to keep the weight on the inside part of your arch during the backswing. This can contribute to the body moving away from the ball (sway). Try this exercise to prevent this from happening. 

Start with the foot flat, without lifting the whole foot, try and lift the inside arch of the foot and curl your big toe under. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and perform 15 x on both feet. 2-3 x a week is adequate to build strength in your arch and help with mobility. 

Start with the foot flat, without lifting the whole foot, try and lift the inside arch of the foot and curl your big toe under. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and perform 15 x on both feet. 2-3 x a week is adequate to build strength in your arch and help with mobility. 

The Hip Muscles

Ensuring that two of the butt muscles the gluteus medius and maximus are activated will help prevent the sway from occurring. Try these two exercises to ensure these muscle are strong. 

The object with this exercise is to tighten your buttocks without feeling any tightness develop in your hamstring or back  muscles. The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds and perform 20  repetitions. 

The object with this exercise is to tighten your buttocks without feeling any tightness develop in your hamstring or back  muscles. The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds and perform 20  repetitions. 

This exercise targets the gluteus medius muscle, a key muscle in keeping your pelvis stable. Can perform by walking sideways both directions, make sure not to sway your upper body and stay in a slightly squatted position. 

This exercise targets the gluteus medius muscle, a key muscle in keeping your pelvis stable. Can perform by walking sideways both directions, make sure not to sway your upper body and stay in a slightly squatted position. 

Hip Range of Movement

The hip has to be able to rotate, if there is stiffness in the hip joint a sway will happen to allow you to get to the top of your backswing. Try this exercise to ensure appropriate hip range of movements. 

You can alternate sides bringing one knee toward the ground as the other knee goes out. Alternate 30 x. 

You can alternate sides bringing one knee toward the ground as the other knee goes out. Alternate 30 x. 

Thoracic Spine (Upper Back)

Movement in the upper back is critical to provide an efficient turn during the backswing. If this area is stiff  the body will sway to compensate for the lack of movement above. 

From left to right is the sequence. You want to make sure you don't allow the knees to separate during this drill. You can move 10 x to the right and then repeat to the left. 

From left to right is the sequence. You want to make sure you don't allow the knees to separate during this drill. You can move 10 x to the right and then repeat to the left. 

Try these exercise to prevent the dreaded sway and if you need any assistance or any of these exercises cause pain, please feel free to reach out to me at 501 529-2010 or brian@pinnacleDPT.com. 

 

Thanks and here's to helping you reach your PINNACLE!