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Mr3Wiggle

How much knee flex is too much knee flex?

19 posts in this topic

For some reason I hit the ball crisper when I exaggerate my knee flex.  I do it at address and maintain it all the way through.  I only do this when I'm working on a particular drill, but it always amazes me how well the shots come off.  I'm 5'10" and a 2 degree flat lie angle too (long arms).  Any ideas?

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It seems like when I look up something I notice in my swing it's usually an old thread, and in this case a short one. Not sure what to make of that. Haha!

I noticed lately when hitting balls in the yard that my knee flex at address had become less and less. The last couple of days I flexed my knees just a little bit more at address and it seemed to make a huge difference in my ball striking and my head is staying much more still than normal for me.

I'm not even sure if the flex I added is enough for somebody else to notice but I can feel it and to be honest it feels slightly uncomfortable compared to the way I was doing it before, but I'll take uncomfortable if it means better ball striking.

Too early to tell if any of that means anything long term but as soon as these vortexes leave I'm looking forward to finding out.

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More knee flex often leads to a more upright trunk - hence your 2 deg flat clubs.

Anatomically, this puts less load on the mid-back muscles and sets the shoulder blades a bit lower, two things very often dysfunctional in our seated society.  That could well help your feel, awareness and thus tempo.  Hard to say more without seeing actual video.

You'll see a lot of modern Tour pros stand pretty close to the ball, requiring more trunk flexion.  These guys for the most part have the ability to handle that where a lot of regular joe's are not prepared for that load, lose posture, and you can guess what happens from there.

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More knee flex often leads to a more upright trunk - hence your 2 deg flat clubs.

Anatomically, this puts less load on the mid-back muscles and sets the shoulder blades a bit lower, two things very often dysfunctional in our seated society.  That could well help your feel, awareness and thus tempo.  Hard to say more without seeing actual video.

You'll see a lot of modern Tour pros stand pretty close to the ball, requiring more trunk flexion.  These guys for the most part have the ability to handle that where a lot of regular joe's are not prepared for that load, lose posture, and you can guess what happens from there.

Wouldn't call this guy a modern golf swing, but his hands are nearly inside his legs :-P . He has a lot of knee bed, and he isn't that much upright in his back. Just saying, your generalization is pretty much dead wrong.

Probably the most freakish athlete on tour, Dustin Johnson Has his hands hanging just under his neck line, very good position. Lower back is NOT CURVED, but straight, he does not tuck the hips back and up. His upper back is slightly rounded, shoulders ARE NOT drawn back. His head is down so he is looking at the ball centered in his eyes, NOT chin up looking down the bridge of his nose.

Actually most golfers can handle a proper posture. If you are talking about an arched lower back, shoulders drawn back, and head up. That posture has been debunked already here on this forum. Golfers need as I described with Dustin Johnson, relaxed at address is the best way to describe it.

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Actually, you'll see Furyk's posture and spinal rhythm sets him up for his unconventional swing - it's neither modern nor old school - it's just his.  Standing close to the ball with a flexed trunk sets him up to do what he does.  Without objective data on knee bend I'm not sure what you mean by "a lot."  We happen to actually quantify this and correlate with functional and spinal testing, so I've got the data right in my hands.

The question is from an individual trying to figure out if knee flex might help him hit his 2 deg flat clubs better.  The answer depends on what an the individual can handle from a flexion standpoint - increased knee flex regularly correlates to a more upright trunk.  For most people we see, that helps them handle the centrifugal force from the standpoint of scapular rhythm, and thus a key part of posture maintenance.  It's a line of reasoning for this person and also helps others understand why many folks who play for a living might have different club and body set-ups.

You've managed to take 1 picture with a driver and 1 with a short iron of the Tour's most unconventional swing.  Hardly much of an analysis, no offense.  It's really apples to oranges in more ways than 1.

My comments never talk about an arched lower back or pulling the shoulders down.  I hope we both agree deliberate manipulation pre-shot would probably lead to poor results most of the time.

I'm sorry but if you think most golfers can handle proper posture within the dynamics of the golf swing, that's simply incorrect.  Thousands of real people measured in 3-D analysis say otherwise.

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What the heck is spinal rhythm? Honest question here, what is it and how do you measure/quantify it? Are there ideal models? Is it something that can be worked on? Can you dance to it?
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Actually, you'll see Furyk's posture and spinal rhythm sets him up for his unconventional swing - it's neither modern nor old school - it's just his.  Standing close to the ball with a flexed trunk sets him up to do what he does.  Without objective data on knee bend I'm not sure what you mean by "a lot."  We happen to actually quantify this and correlate with functional and spinal testing, so I've got the data right in my hands.

The question is from an individual trying to figure out if knee flex might help him hit his 2 deg flat clubs better.  The answer depends on what an the individual can handle from a flexion standpoint - increased knee flex regularly correlates to a more upright trunk.  For most people we see, that helps them handle the centrifugal force from the standpoint of scapular rhythm, and thus a key part of posture maintenance.  It's a line of reasoning for this person and also helps others understand why many folks who play for a living might have different club and body set-ups.

You've managed to take 1 picture with a driver and 1 with a short iron of the Tour's most unconventional swing.  Hardly much of an analysis, no offense.  It's really apples to oranges in more ways than 1.

My comments never talk about an arched lower back or pulling the shoulders down.  I hope we both agree deliberate manipulation pre-shot would probably lead to poor results most of the time.

I'm sorry but if you think most golfers can handle proper posture within the dynamics of the golf swing, that's simply incorrect.  Thousands of real people measured in 3-D analysis say otherwise.

Umm Furyk is like Dustin Johnson. Flat lower back, arched upper back. He is just leaned over a tad more with his hands closer to his body because of his very upright swing.

Ok how about publishing that data instead of just holding on to it. You can throw around scientific phrases all you want, but we wont buy it unless you can prove it.

Even if he has a more upright spinal trunk he might not need flatter clubs. The knee flex changes greatly through out the swing. At impact it might be totally different than at address. Many golfers who have straighter knees at address will end up with much more knee flex as impact. Look at Tiger, he is like Dustin Johnson, but has tremendous knee flex and squatting down into impact. Nothing like address. So couldn't it be said that any sort of address position doesn't always correlate to impact. Also posture doesn't need to be maintained in the golf swing. Many golfers hunch their upper backs even more in the swing. Look at Rory, he looks like he's doing an abdominal crunch going into impact.

Umm not really, its calling your generalizations BS unless you can prove otherwise, and you haven't.

What the heck is spinal rhythm? Honest question here, what is it and how do you measure/quantify it? Are there ideal models? Is it something that can be worked on? Can you dance to it?

Spinal Rhythm?

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What the heck is spinal rhythm? Honest question here, what is it and how do you measure/quantify it? Are there ideal models? Is it something that can be worked on? Can you dance to it?


spinal rhythm is the ability to move 1 part without disturbing positioning of another.  Easy to dance to - you'll see it in a clean toe-touch or deep squat where the spine gradually rounds or arches.  Many folks with dysfunction will move a whole part of the spine (like 10 vertebrae) all together in one chunk.  That's a good recipe to not be able to handle the centrifugal forces in the swing.

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spinal rhythm is the ability to move 1 part without disturbing positioning of another.  Easy to dance to - you'll see it in a clean toe-touch or deep squat where the spine gradually rounds or arches.  Many folks with dysfunction will move a whole part of the spine (like 10 vertebrae) all together in one chunk.  That's a good recipe to not be able to handle the centrifugal forces in the swing.

So are you talking just about a very small proportion of the golfing population or what. I doubt majority of people are in capable of spinal rhythm. Cause what I then said was true that Majority of golfers can handle a typical golf posture.

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Saevil - not sure why you're interested in acting like this but be my guest.  I fully agree set-up and impact can have very different positions.  Again, it depends on what the individual can handle.  I'm offering a possible line of explanation as to why a person had the results they had.  I never said it was the only way, but I hope we agree little more than generalizations can be done over the internet with no pictures, etc.  All you've done is be negative without being helpful.  That's your right but I just don't see the point.

Depending on the course and definition (TPI, NG 360, etc.) you'll see between 64-90% of amateurs classify as loss of posture.  That's amongst well over 10,000 reports collected by trained personnel.  The PGA Tour does a bit better but the sample size obviously smaller.  So even going with the most conservative estimates, it's a high %.  Sure you can dismiss in whatever way you please, but I've sen it so many times with my own eyes it's a good approximation at worst.

The certification bodies own the data of their practitioners who do the tests.  I've tried time and again to get them to publish in peer-reviewed journals but it's a whole other story.

What you may see as an abdominal crunch with Rory is not.  It's a posterior pelvic tilt.  The difference is one is 99.9% guaranteed to involve the glute max and hip rotators while the other is doubtfully so at best.  That tilt is actually a dead giveaway for maintenance of posture in the presence of massive centrifugal force.

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So are you talking just about a very small proportion of the golfing population or what. I doubt majority of people are in capable of spinal rhythm. Cause what I then said was true that Majority of golfers can handle a typical golf posture.

To be honest it's not relegated to golfers.  We see it actually more prominently with our runners.  Quite a few people have some where a couple blocks move at a time.  It's rarely a case of perfect but what the person can get away with for the given task.  You see a ton of desk jockeys, plumbers, and roofers struggle with this but a lot of other people do just fine with it.

We might be thinking of different things here - many golfers can set up in a golf posture, sure.  But I don't know why anyone would apply that static test to a dynamic activity.  Once angular momentum and centrifugal force mount, the vertebrae need to work at least somewhat independently in order to keep the swing axis intact.  That's obviously a much taller order than simple static set-up.

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To be honest it's not relegated to golfers.  We see it actually more prominently with our runners.  Quite a few people have some where a couple blocks move at a time.  It's rarely a case of perfect but what the person can get away with for the given task.  You see a ton of desk jockeys, plumbers, and roofers struggle with this but a lot of other people do just fine with it.

We might be thinking of different things here - many golfers can set up in a golf posture, sure.  But I don't know why anyone would apply that static test to a dynamic activity.  Once angular momentum and centrifugal force mount, the vertebrae need to work at least somewhat independently in order to keep the swing axis intact.  That's obviously a much taller order than simple static set-up.

Well that is for certain. The golf swing is just a crazy motion that we all enjoy performing for some insane reason :-D

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To be honest it's not relegated to golfers.  We see it actually more prominently with our runners.  Quite a few people have some where a couple blocks move at a time.  It's rarely a case of perfect but what the person can get away with for the given task.  You see a ton of desk jockeys, plumbers, and roofers struggle with this but a lot of other people do just fine with it.

We might be thinking of different things here - many golfers can set up in a golf posture, sure.  But I don't know why anyone would apply that static test to a dynamic activity.  Once angular momentum and centrifugal force mount, the vertebrae need to work at least somewhat independently in order to keep the swing axis intact.  That's obviously a much taller order than simple static set-up.


I don't really understand what either of you are talking about, but that's okay. I do know that my coaches used the words "tuck your tail" so many times I couldn't begin to count them all...In more than one sport.

It's a key to maximum power and I don't see that golf is an exception. The problem in golf is that most of us have a hard time drawing that line between "tucking our tail" and "humping the goat" because we lose too much of our spine angle too soon.

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Some interesting stuff here guys. The only thing in common with DJ and Furyk is a large bank balance AND they both have a very good idea where they're going to hit the ball!

festivus- checked out your website- very impressive.

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Saevil - yes I appreciate your thoughts and believe you've a ton of knowledge.  Apologies if this got off track.  I was offering a possible explanation for why this person was seeing the results they were seeing.  I think without anything more than his post a generalization is the best one could do.

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I don't really understand what either of you are talking about, but that's okay. I do know that my coaches used the words "tuck your tail" so many times I couldn't begin to count them all...In more than one sport.

It's a key to maximum power and I don't see that golf is an exception. The problem in golf is that most of us have a hard time drawing that line between "tucking our tail" and "humping the goat" because we lose too much of our spine angle too soon.


Yes, a terrific point.  The tuck (or tilt) is something reflexive IMHO.  It's a response to the centrifugal force generated in the swing.  It's one of several things that are different between address and impact.  I can't see any way where a conscious effort to try to tuck would be a good thing.  This is where the right advice ends up leading to the opposite result (humping the goat aka early extension).

Here's a quick video from world-famous therapist Gray Cook that might help you get the gist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehu40pr_ITs

The key piece is to realize you can improve your ability to make this happen.  Pick your term: spinal rhythm, core sequence, core stability, etc.  Virtually anyone barring developmental defect had this in order to roll over, crawl, stand up, and walk.  You had it at one point!

There are many methods and systems out there which can help.  I have zero commercial interest but can direct you to a couple simple ideas and exercises if you like.  The ultimate goal is to help that tuck happen on its own, without thinking about it.  10-15 minutes in a day with minimal equipment should make some of those changes well within reach.  Just let me know if it's something you're interested in and I'll try to help.

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Some interesting stuff here guys. The only thing in common with DJ and Furyk is a large bank balance AND they both have a very good idea where they're going to hit the ball!

festivus- checked out your website- very impressive.


Thanks - I think they do actually have things in common from a biomechanical standpoint.  My point to saevil was the comparison is difficult with 2 vastly different lie angles.  Also one exception does not discount a generalization, especially from 2 of the most extreme cases on Tour.

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Yes, a terrific point.  The tuck (or tilt) is something reflexive IMHO.  It's a response to the centrifugal force generated in the swing.  It's one of several things that are different between address and impact.  I can't see any way where a conscious effort to try to tuck would be a good thing.  This is where the right advice ends up leading to the opposite result (humping the goat aka early extension).  Here's a quick video from world-famous therapist Gray Cook that might help you get the gist: [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehu40pr_ITs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehu40pr_ITs[/URL] The key piece is to realize you can improve your ability to make this happen.  Pick your term: spinal rhythm, core sequence, core stability, etc.  Virtually anyone barring developmental defect had this in order to roll over, crawl, stand up, and walk.  You had it at one point!   There are many methods and systems out there which can help.  I have zero commercial interest but can direct you to a couple simple ideas and exercises if you like.  The ultimate goal is to help that tuck happen on its own, without thinking about it.  10-15 minutes in a day with minimal equipment should make some of those changes well within reach.  Just let me know if it's something you're interested in and I'll try to help.

I listened to a couple of the vids and the guy sounds like he knows his stuff.. What kind ion excersise do you recommend to help with better core stability? Your help is appreciated!

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