Hip mobility is an incredibly effective way to create power and is the key to distance when used properly. In fact, increasing hip mobility has been shown to decrease back pain and improve overall performance during the golf swing. The increased ability to rotate the hips during the downswing helps position them in a better line with the intended direction of the ball flight at impact; however, as much as increased hip mobility can help, limitations with hip rotation can be detrimental. Weakness in flexibility can cause over rotation throughout the spine when completing a swing. Not being able to rotate through the ball increases the twisting of the spine, causing the lower back pain that is all too common to many golfers.
In this video, Scott Roggenbuck at the Sanford Power Center demonstrates four exercises that help increase hip mobility and spine rotation. First, the hip crossover exercise starts by lying on your back with arms stretched out to each side. Bring your knees up and bend at a 90 degree angle. While keeping your back and shoulders as flat on the ground as possible, rotate your hips side to side at a controlled pace. Do not just let them fall as this exercise is not about speed, but precision.
The next exercise is called an iron cross. Again, start on your back with your arms out to the sides and your legs flat on the ground. While keeping your legs as straight as possible, kick the right over the left and attempt to touch your right toes to your left fingers. Come back to neutral and do the same thing on the other side.
The third exercise is to help with spine rotation and flexibility. Lie on either side with your top leg crossed over and bent at a 90 degree angle. Feel a stretch into your glute muscles. Start with both of your arms straight out to the same side as your bent leg. From there, simply take your top arm and reach to the other side of your body while maintaining the same lower body position. This helps rotation in your t-spine area. The more you do it, the more flexibility and mobility you will gain.
The scorpion is the last exercise. Start on your stomach and move one leg across the other. Try and keep your shoulders on the ground and touch your toes to your hand as best as possible. Only a few fortunate ones can reach all the way to their hands; the rest of us just have to do the best we can.
These exercises are designed to help gain more motion in your spine, which will help your position in the backswing as well as the recoil action at the finish.
For another great tip on how to improve balance and core stability, click here.