Swing Flaws and Body Limitation Impairments: Over the Top

Over the Top

This swing characteristic is very common in higher handicap golfers. This commonly occurs with overuse of the upper body on the downswing portion of the swing. The player brings their club from outside to in and does not keep in in the slot. The slot is the intended swing path of the club that is ideal to put the club face squarley on the ball. 

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Shot Implications

If you have this swing characteristic it is common for you to pull the shot if your clubface is square and for you to slice the shot if your club face is open at impact. This fault makes it very difficult for you to consistently strike the center of the club face when you make contact with the ball. 

Body Limitations

This swing characteristic can be seen if you have a hard time with disassociation. Disassociation is huge in the golf swing; this is the ability for you to keep one area of your body stable while moving another part of your body. Their is an ideal sequence to moving the parts of your body during the downswing. If for instance you have stiffness in your hips or pelvis and they are not moving effectively, it is not uncommon to see a golfer using more of their upper body to swing the club, this often leads to the over the top swing fault. 

A proper weight shift is also critical to prevent this swing fault. A right handed golfer shifts their weight from the trail leg the lead leg very early in the downswing. If you have poor balance, or decreased core and glute strength it will force you to not shift as effectively and you end up coming over the top. 

Exercises/Corrections

There are drills you can perform to help with disassociation, and mobility of the upper and lower body. 

The Bretzl : http://www.mytpi.com/improve-my-game/swing-characteristics/over-the-top_v2

The stretch above is a great way to work on your mobility and the stretching of key areas in your body that need mobility to make a powerful golf swing. 

If you need any advice, please feel free to reach out to me at Brian@Pinnacledpt.com, by phone or text at 501-529-2010. I offer a FREE phone consultation to see if I can help you with your impairments so that you can return pain free to this things you enjoy.

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

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Swing flaws and body limitations connections: Flat shoulder plane

This swing flaw has to do with the alignment of the plane of the shoulders compared to a line drawn straight up through your spine. 

Angles drawn at address 

Angles drawn at address 

As you come into your backswing you should not see the lead shoulder raise up, thus widening this angle. 

As you can see, now that he is at the top of his backswing this plane has totally changed. 

As you can see, now that he is at the top of his backswing this plane has totally changed. 

Shot Implications 

- This can lead to poor power into the ball

- Club is out of position and a compensation movement has to happen in order to get the club face on the ball. This leads to inconsistent ball striking. 

Body Limitations 

Shortened latissimus dorsi musculature or stiffness in the spine can lead to an inability to turn the upper body independently of the lower body. 

Try this exercise to stretch your lats! 

Make sure that you have tightness in this muscle before you stretch it out. You can perform 3 x and hold each one for 30 seconds. 

Make sure that you have tightness in this muscle before you stretch it out. You can perform 3 x and hold each one for 30 seconds. 

 

Both the hips and shoulders have to demonstrate great flexibility and movement. In order for you not to compensate elsewhere it is critical that the shoulders and hips both have the movement ability to help you get into an aggressive position at the top of your backswing without demonstrating the flat shoulder plane.  

Try this exercise to make sure your hips are rotating effectively. 

Sitting in this position, as one knee goes in toward the floor the other goes out. You can alternate positions performing 30 x alternating holding for around 5 seconds. 

Sitting in this position, as one knee goes in toward the floor the other goes out. You can alternate positions performing 30 x alternating holding for around 5 seconds. 

Remember that none of these exercises are meant to cause pain. You should also seek the advice of your primary care physician before starting any new exercise program. If you are having pain, you can reach out to your local TPI professional for a golf specific assessment. I can be reached at pinnacleDPT.com, over the phone at 501 529-2010, or at brian@pinnacledpt.com. 

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

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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!