Mini Rant and Story on Golf Hip Rotation: Isolation and Integration!
Had a client come in the other day, and he said his golf coach told him to do this certain exercise, as it would be good for helping his hip rotation in the golf swing.
[For those that can’t see the video link, it’s standing, holding a medicine ball in hand at hip height and rotating from side to side, keeping both feet on the floor]
Firstly, I have nothing against this exercise, a few things that I might change if I was performing it or prescribing it compared the the guy in the video. My problem is this… Isolation then Integration.
My client has tight hips, poor internal (inwards) and external (outwards) hip rotation (I know this from assessing him). In a movement like the golf swing he compensates because of this, resulting in a less than efficient movement pattern. This is something that he and his coach are trying to overcome.
If you give him another rotational, integrated, dynamic exercise, such as this one above, he is going to compensate similarly to the golf swing! In fact, an exercise like this could further condition someone like my client, to use a compensatory movement pattern, making it harder to ‘reprogram’ them to use hip rotation properly during the golf swing once they improve their hip mobility.
Before we use these dynamic, integrated exercises, we need to improve the hip internal and external rotation through isolation exercises. Once the hip mobility has been improved, then you can use it in a dynamic, integrated exercise.
How is he going to perform the above exercise correctly when he doesn’t have the hip rotation/mobility in the first place?
And won’t isolated hip mobility exercises, followed by integrated movements (not neglecting activation in all of this either) elicit greater improvements in the long run?
Here’s an exercise to try to improve your hip mobility… Hip Internal Rotation Exercise.
And HERE is a 10 minute home programme to improve mobility, stability and flexibility for golf.