You have arrived at your ball on the tee or on the grass. Now:
Perfect Posture For Your Golf Swing
How far over do you bend at your hips?
How much do you bend your knees?
Where are your arms supposed to be?
What about your back and head positions?
What did that guy on TV say about parallel lines, anyway? In this article you will learn some information that will improve your golf swing dramatically. Some of my golf students get amazing improvements to their golf swing simply by being in the correct posture before they carry out their swing motions. When you are in your best possible posture you can almost feel a good swing before you actually do your swing. This article is in two parts. It will: 1. Describe a routine that you can do in front of a mirror to train yourself how to be in most of the correct posture angles without using a golf club. Pt. 1 #1 2. Show you how to have perfect body alignments. Pt. 1 #2 3. Show you how to achieve all of the correct posture angles with a golf club. Pt. 2 #3 4. Describe a quick way to ensure you are in the correct body angles during your round of golf or while practicing. Pt. 2 #4 Please note that pictures and video clips are displayed in the copy of this article which I have on my website (given below). 1. The Basic Training Routine Here are the steps to get into a good posture. Do them in front of a mirror so you can get feedback of the movements you make and the positions you achieve. * Stand at attention with your feet about shoulder width apart. * Reach out your arms so that your hands are almost straight out from your shoulders. * Grab your left thumb with your right hand (right thumb with left hand for lefties.) * Firm your whole body to maintain body control for the coming movements. * Lower your arms until you feel the top of your arms touch your ribs just under your armpits. * Snug your arms lightly downwards and inwards to your ribs. Note: I remind golf students of the previous two steps with one word — TOUCH. By maintaining this touch position in the arc of your return swing to the ball you will avoid many of the bad swing results golfers experience. But, the "one wrong thought" I wrote about in a previous article makes most golfers lose the control and precision that this "touch" provides. Maintaining this "touch" is one of the "don't moves" which I teach. It is at this point that I tell golf students that "there is power in no movement". End Note * Tilt your left thumb downwards as far as you can. Note: Lefties are to tilt your right thumb downwards.
Do not twist your hands or your wrists to do this step.
You will feel a noticeable stretch in your left forearm.
This stretch sets you up to swing any club you use so the club does not dig into the ground behind the ball. End Note * Bend forward at your hip joints. Note: Try several bend angles at your hips when you do this step.
Keep your back as straight as it was before you bent forward.
Keep your head from drooping downwards
More on this step Pt. 2 #3 where I describe the same steps using a golf club. End Note * Bend your knees forward until the muscles just above your kneecaps start to firm up to prevent you from falling to your knees. Note: Several of my golf students bring their hips forward with their knees. You must avoid this as it brings your hips under your shoulders causing your balance to move backwards onto your heels. Think of some of these thoughts when bending your knees: 1. Bend your knees forward and reach your hips backwards. 2. Get into the ready position common to most sports. 3. Get into the position you need to push a vehicle out of a snow bank or mud-puddle or to move a sofa/couch to vacuum the floor. 4. If you are familiar with any kind of baseball then you make the bend of the knees the same as the back catcher starting the squat position. 5. If these thoughts don’t help you get the knee bend correct then, picture yourself beginning the first movement of sitting on a toilet seat. (My junior golfers love that tip.) Correctly doing this move will usually place your shoulders slightly forward of the front of your shoes. It will also place your hip joints over or slightly behind your heels. End Note Practice the steps above facing the mirror and standing sideways to the mirror. In fact, do so in both sideways positions. 2. Setting up those perfect parallel body alignments Your foot position is the foundation to being lined up correctly to where you want your golf ball to stop (or, best of all, fall in the hole on the green.) Your feet also act as guides for your turn movements in your swing sequence. (Future articles and my lesson modules will show you how your feet can guide your swing movements.) You have arrived at your ball and you have positioned your feet so they are parallel to the line of flight of the ball. How do you ensure that your knees, hips, and shoulders are also parallel to the flight line? For almost all golfers and "would-be golfers" this can be done by sight and feel. KNEES: When you have taken the posture position described in Part 1 #1 you can look down and see if the SAME length of both of your shoes is visible past your knees. If so, then your knees are aligned parallel to your feet. HIPS: If your knees are parallel to your feet then your hips are already parallel to your feet. This applies to almost everyone. The exception will be anyone who has different lengths in their legs. SHOULDERS: When you stand at attention your shoulders are each above one of your hip joints. You will feel comfortable with no side or back muscles working. When you bend at your hips you must feel this same comfort — no muscles working or straining. Your shoulders will be in line with your hips, but at an angle. Since your hips are parallel with your feet then, so will your shoulders be parallel to your feet. During a round of golf a quick glance out of the bottom of your eyes will confirm your knee and hip alignment. A quick thought about whether your back and sides feel comfortable will help confirm that your shoulders are in line. More instruction on a good setup posture is found in Part 2. As well, I have additional notes about how to avoid improper posture and body alignments at my website. Copyright by Glen Osborne August 2004. All Rights Reserved ABOUT THE AUTHOR Glen teaches his golf program for Ladysmith, BC Parks & Rec. Beginners, struggling golfers, and juniors are his specialty
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