IMPROVE BALL STRIKING CONSISTENCY AND INCREASE POTENTIAL DISTANCE WITH UPPER/LOWER BODY DISASSOCIATION

When screening a client using the TPI Screening Assessment tests, two of the most common faults I’ve found is the inability to separate the upper body from the lower body and vice versa. We call this separation disassociation – and being able to perform both effectively are crucial elements of the golf swing. Typically, golfers lack the ability to do this due to poor mobility and stability created through social and lifestyle factors, which affect posture and the function and movement of our joints.

ROTATE THE UPPER BODY INDEPENDENTLY FOR A BETTER TAKE AWAY

Firstly, being able to rotate the upper body independently from the lower body is an important skill for properly sequencing the back swing and generating a good coil. The movement requires good mobility of the upper body (thoracic spine) and simultaneously, stability of the lower body.

Inability to rotate the upper body independently from the lower body correctly could be the cause of swing faults such as:

  • Sway (or sliding);
  • Early extension;
  • Flat shoulder plane; and
  • Loss of posture.

Start by assessing your own ability to separate the upper body from the lower body with TPI’s Torso Rotation Test. 

ISOLATE THE LOWER BODY FOR POWER

Secondly, having the ability to isolate the lower body from the upper body will help create more power and, therefore, more distance off the tee. This also helps you to start the down swing correctly, improving what is known as the kinematic sequence.

Inability to isolate the lower body from the upper body could be the cause of swing faults such as:

  • Over the top;
  • Casting;
  • Scooping;
  • Chicken winging; and
  • Hanging back.

Next, assess your ability to separate the lower body from the upper body with TPI’s Pelvic Rotation Test.

IMPROVE SWING EFFICIENCY AND GENERATE MORE SPEED

What many golfers don’t realise is that in order to improve swing efficiency and generate more speed so you are able to hit the ball consistently straighter and further, you must have a good disassociation.

If you’ve taken the time to asses you own ability and don’t like how you performed, don’t panic – most amateur golfers fail one (if not both) of these tests to the levels required.

Plus, I’m here to help! I’ve put together a selection of some of the best exercises you can do at home a couple of times a week to start improving both areas of separation and, ultimately, your swing. 

1. THE TESTS THEMSELVES

One of the first things you can do to help improve this separation is to keep performing the tests themselves – just make sure you’re strict with the requirements set. As with anything, the more reps you do with controlled form, the more the body will learn what you’re asking from it.

Aim for 10 reps each side, repeating at least 2-3 times, and use a mirror to watch your form.

I also recommend you incorporate this into part of your warm up before playing or practicing on the range.

2. PLANK KNEE TWISTS

A great exercise to help improve your lower body separation, whilst improving your core strength.

Make sure you keep your pelvis set in a neutral position and maintain your upper body posture without allowing it to compensate for extra range.

Set your feet and hands shoulder width apart and aim for 5 reps per side to begin with (alternating sides), doing 2-3 sets per side, and making sure you set down when resting to give the shoulders a breather.

As you progress, you can build up, increasing your reps over time to 10 per side.

3. PUSH UP WITH TORSO ROTATION

Another great exercise that’s easy to perform, with limited equipment needed.

Set yourself up in an elevated push up position using a bench or stable chair, hands and feet set shoulder width apart.

Perform one push up, then extend one arm and turn your shoulder and upper body towards the sky, whilst keeping the hips square to the floor as best possible.  

Repeat another push up and repeat the extension and twist on the other side.

Aim for 5 reps each side to begin with (total of 10 push ups) rest and repeat 2-3 times.

Again, as you improve you can increase the number of reps you do.

4. REVERSE LUNGE INTO KNEE DRIVE WITH TORSO ROTATION

A really good exercise that not only works on separation, but also helps improve lower body strength & power, as well as improving balance and proprioception.

Start with your arms across your chest and step back into a reverse lunge position.

Drop down just short of your back knee touching the floor, and then rotate over the lead leg, whilst keeping your hips facing forwards.

Return your torso to a square position, drive up away from the floor, brining the back knee up in line with the hip, allowing the leg to flex, and then rotate the torso over the outside of this raised leg.

Repeat for 10 reps, rest, change sides, and repeat 2-3 times.

5. ANCHOR UPPER BODY HOLD WITH LOWER BODY SEPARATION

Using a stable point as your anchor, set yourself up into golf posture and extend one arm across the body as shown – holding onto the anchor point and the other arm placed as another resisting anchor point.

Maintaining a neutral pelvis, you’re going to pull with your extended arm whilst pushing with the other arm.

This is your set position and from here you can now begin to rotate the hips as shown.

Initially loading into your trail side before rotating the hips into your lead side, try to separate the lower body as much as possible from the now stable upper body.

At first, this exercise will feel awkward, but the more you do it, the easier it will become and the better transition you’ll have in your downswing – generating more power.

Even though golf is a one side sport, I would still recommend you do both sides.

Aim for 10 reps per side and repeat this for 2-3 sets.

WANT MORE?

If you’ve enjoyed these exercises and would like to learn more about conditioning your body for optimal performance on the golf course, then let me be your guide.

YOU have the ability to improve the way you play golf right now!

YOU have the ability to transform your body, making it leaner, more mobile and stronger for performance both on and off the course.

My online 12 week Golf Fit by Olly program will provide you with all the tools and knowledge you’ll need to transform your body and your game. Find out more about the program, or get in touch to discuss your needs and find out if the Golf Fit by Olly program is a good fit.

Enjoyed this content? Share it: