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Myth of Maintaining Your Address Flex in the Rear Knee - Page 11

post #181 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

Detail question. What do you mean @iacas by any extension of the left knee? If you let the right knee extend doesn't that make the left knee bend more? Oh wait, by keeping the rear knee locked via stick it can make the left knee do some not so good things?

 

When did I say extending the left knee (except when talking about lefties)?

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post #182 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

When did I say extending the left knee (except when talking about lefties)?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

...

 

- "Maintain your right knee flex" is ambiguous. Maintain the same? Some of it?  What?

- "Straightening" your right knee technically means "to make straight." Does he mean "extending"? If so, why not say that? Too wordy? Not really. He then says "a locked right knee" implying he means to truly "straighten."

 

- The drill with the stick implies that he means ANY extension of the left knee.

 

- You lose your spine angle? Huh? Flat out wrong. Heck, his spine angle looks the same in his NO and YES pictures (it's within a few degrees - he's a bit steeper (IMO in a good way) on the left).

- Extending your trail knee does not limit how far you can rotate back. Flat out wrong. WTH? Goodbye power? Please.

 

The third point:

 

- The drill with the stick implies that he means ANY extension of the left knee.

post #183 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

 

The third point:

 

- The drill with the stick implies that he means ANY extension of the left knee.

 

That's the right knee for most golfers.

post #184 of 228
So if I understand it right, the flexed right knee straightens a certain amount during the backswing, but doesn't straighten completely. Now, are the knees at address flexed loose, or with a certain amount of tension, that you feel throughout the backswing?

My problem is at the moment that I completely straighten my right leg (and the whole body) throughout the backswing. On some days I hit really good shots, some days I start shanking the ball. A South African Pro told me last year my shanks were caused by straightening my right leg (too much), I remembered his advice today and flexed my knees with more tension in the backswing with the results of hitting decent shots again. Can somebody confirm or explain why a straightened right leg can cause shanks?
post #185 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reval14 View Post

So if I understand it right, the flexed right knee straightens a certain amount during the backswing, but doesn't straighten completely. Now, are the knees at address flexed loose, or with a certain amount of tension, that you feel throughout the backswing?

 

It can completely straighten - some players do that - it shouldn't hyper-extend, though, and most players don't have to go all the way to "straight" either.

 

As for the other question, I suppose that's dependent on the individual. I don't know what others feel. Just me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reval14 View Post

My problem is at the moment that I completely straighten my right leg (and the whole body) throughout the backswing. On some days I hit really good shots, some days I start shanking the ball. A South African Pro told me last year my shanks were caused by straightening my right leg (too much), I remembered his advice today and flexed my knees with more tension in the backswing with the results of hitting decent shots again. Can somebody confirm or explain why a straightened right leg can cause shanks?

 

I don't mean this to sound like it could, but some pros just almost literally make stuff up.

 

I haven't seen your swing, so I can't say. It could have been the perfect thing, or it could have been complete B.S.

post #186 of 228
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reval14 View Post

So if I understand it right, the flexed right knee straightens a certain amount during the backswing, but doesn't straighten completely. Now, are the knees at address flexed loose, or with a certain amount of tension, that you feel throughout the backswing?

 

I would generally say that the knee decreasing in flex isn't something you have to think about or feel. Having the rear foot turned out, knee rotated out, usually takes care of it. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reval14 View Post

My problem is at the moment that I completely straighten my right leg (and the whole body) throughout the backswing. On some days I hit really good shots, some days I start shanking the ball. A South African Pro told me last year my shanks were caused by straightening my right leg (too much), I remembered his advice today and flexed my knees with more tension in the backswing with the results of hitting decent shots again. Can somebody confirm or explain why a straightened right leg can cause shanks?
 

Yeah as Erik said we can't say because we haven't seen your swing. If you feel like you straightens it too much, focus more on something like this video and/or the location of the pressure in the foot. Might feel like the foot stays more "planted" rather than the toes being unweighted with all the weight in the heel.

 

post #187 of 228
Thread Starter 

Billy Horschel

 

 

With these next couple pics, you'll notice the knee linkage, evident by the space between the knees at A4. Lead knee gains flex, rear knee decreases.

 

Robert Rock

Zach Johnson

post #188 of 228

That's is right ... especially for golfers who have been physically evaluated to have poor mid-thoracic (mid-spine) rotation and/or hip rotation functional mobility restrictions.  You would never want to limit what the right (back) knee is doing 'if' a golfer had restrictions in rotation potential as this would prevent a full backswing rotation and the likelihood of over-swinging with the arms and 'disconnection' of the arms/club past the front of the body at the top of the backswing.  However, if we can work with a golfer to physically improve their mid-thoracic and hip functional mobility so that they can still accomplish a full turn while also maintaining at least some stability in their back knee during the backswing then their potential to achieve optimal loading from the largest, most powerful muscles and joints in the body can also be accomplished.  

post #189 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by golffitnessguru View Post
 

That's is right ... especially for golfers who have been physically evaluated to have poor mid-thoracic (mid-spine) rotation and/or hip rotation functional mobility restrictions.  You would never want to limit what the right (back) knee is doing 'if' a golfer had restrictions in rotation potential as this would prevent a full backswing rotation and the likelihood of over-swinging with the arms and 'disconnection' of the arms/club past the front of the body at the top of the backswing.  However, if we can work with a golfer to physically improve their mid-thoracic and hip functional mobility so that they can still accomplish a full turn while also maintaining at least some stability in their back knee during the backswing then their potential to achieve optimal loading from the largest, most powerful muscles and joints in the body can also be accomplished.  


I disagree. Again, the vast majority of players on the PGA Tour (past and present) extend or decrease the flex (using as synonyms here, not saying fully straighten or lock out) their trail knee on the backswing.

 

Furthermore, please do not equate extension of that knee with "lack of stability."

post #190 of 228

I am sorry. I am not quite sure what you are "disagreeing" about with my previous comments as I was agreeing with your previous points about back knee/hip extension.  I am fully aware that many tour players extend and even externally rotate their back knee during the full backswing.  And, I agree that it is not always due to physical issues with the back hip, knee or even the ankle - only sometimes is this the case as found through 1000's of evaluation I have personally performed on PGA Tour players as well as many other golfers at all levels. In fact, more often then not, the physical restriction is found in the thoracic spine preventing optimal thoracic rotation thus contributing to the compensation of the back knee excessively straightening and rotating outward to help facilitate the full turn. Regardless, the main point I was attempting to clarify originally was whether you combined golf-specific swing re-education moves along with your squats and/or any other exercises you are doing?  You are certainly entitled to and I fully respect your opinion about the function of the back knee in the golf swing.  I have simply found that 'if' a golfer can properly condition their thoracic spine to fully rotate, then the involvement of the back knee can become less, the swing becomes more compact and more powerful with reduced timing issues for proper contact through the hitting zone.  Thanks so much for your input!

post #191 of 228
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by golffitnessguru View Post
 

I am sorry. I am not quite sure what you are "disagreeing" about with my previous comments as I was agreeing with your previous points about back knee/hip extension.  

 

I think we would disagree with the premise that the knee linkage, decreasing flex/gaining flex, is a movement done to "compensate" for a lack of mobility or something. 

 

It almost seems like you would prefer the golfer work on their fitness to a point of not losing flex in the knee. Like that is a goal that should be achieved. I could be wrong in what you're trying to say but I got that vibe from your post.

 

Decreasing flex in the trail knee/gaining flex in the lead knee is just how the best players make a "full" turn on a tilted angle.

post #192 of 228

While I was typing up my response, Mike said it better than I did, so I'm just throwing up my support for his post and hiding mine in a spoiler.

 

My Rough Draft Post (Click to show)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by golffitnessguru View Post
 

I am sorry. I am not quite sure what you are "disagreeing" about with my previous comments as I was agreeing with your previous points about back knee/hip extension.

 

You posed it as if extending (decreasing flex) in the trail knee was necessary if players were otherwise not flexible. You also posed extension as losing stability. Either virtually nobody (including 99% of the PGA Tour) is not "flexible" enough or extending that trail knee is not simply a matter of attaining more flexibility but also because it's part of good mechanics.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by golffitnessguru View Post
 

In fact, more often then not, the physical restriction is found in the thoracic spine preventing optimal thoracic rotation thus contributing to the compensation of the back knee excessively straightening and rotating outward to help facilitate the full turn.

 

We are, of course, not suggesting the trail knee "excessively straighten." (Pedantic aside: "straight" is a binary form, which is why I use "extend" or "decrease flex".)

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by golffitnessguru View Post
 

Regardless, the main point I was attempting to clarify originally was whether you combined golf-specific swing re-education moves along with your squats and/or any other exercises you are doing?

 

I think you might have confused the threads here. This isn't the "your workout today" thread.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by golffitnessguru View Post
 

You are certainly entitled to and I fully respect your opinion about the function of the back knee in the golf swing.  I have simply found that 'if' a golfer can properly condition their thoracic spine to fully rotate, then the involvement of the back knee can become less, the swing becomes more compact and more powerful with reduced timing issues for proper contact through the hitting zone.  Thanks so much for your input!

 

That right there is the part with which I disagree.

 

But since we're using vague terms and relying on our own perceptions of what is or isn't "acceptable flexibility" and "excessive straightening" and such, the discussion will go nowhere.

 

I'll simply, again, point out that the best players in the world extend their trail knees slightly, and very, very, very few people are capable of keeping their trail knee as it is at address while making a full torso turn.

post #193 of 228

Once again, you are correct..."very, very, few players" can maintain a flexed back knee and complete a full shoulder turn. Whether they should or shouldn't and/or how much they should or shouldn't extend their back knee, however, should be answered as a team decision based on the physical evaluation performed by the golf fitness expert and the student's golf instructor.  The decision should be based on what is both optimally performing AND least stressful on their body --- not just because that's what the best players do.  What the 'best' players did when I was the therapist on tour caused significant injuries...I treated 87% of them over 3 years on tour. Can we simply agree that every golfer should be individually evaluated to find out what swing is best for them and then work toward that objective?   

post #194 of 228

The human body is pretty similar from individual to individual. Most of us got two arms, two legs, hips etc. Each swing is different and lots of different things work, but I don't see why we should let the back leg do anything but straighten somewhat on the backswing. Our bodies are not that different.

post #195 of 228

For my swing I like right side loading with a 'feel' of maintaining right knee flex. Not sure what it really does, but probably straightens a bit.

 

If S&T or a more centered approach works well for you, great. The more methods & 'feels' to help different players the merrier. Sam Snead is a classic example of a straighter back leg.

For discussion purposes, though, I want to pick a bit at the examples in the original post video. I apologize if I am beating any already dead horses in the forum in my newbie ignorance.

For me, Charles Howell III is not a model of ballstriking. Better player and swinger of the club than me for sure. But among pros in 2013 his effective / expected (accounting for waywardness) driving distance was 124th & his cumulative proximity gain or loss versus the field baseline (average) was 139th. His short game keeps him competitive (4th within 75 yards & 17th in putting).

 

I would say it is hard to gauge how much Phil's left knee is straightening given the camera angle. By the time he reaches the top it looks to me like his left hip has turned back around toward the target so if he is 'sitting' into his left leg you can't really see because the long axis of his thigh bone has rotated back around with the hip to point toward the camera so the thigh is more face on to the camera than it was at address. I think if you viewed this swing from down the line, but behind his foot line his left knee would look a lot more flexed.

post #196 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by natureboy View Post
 

For me, Charles Howell III is not a model of ballstriking. Better player and swinger of the club than me for sure. But among pros in 2013 his effective / expected (accounting for waywardness) driving distance was 124th & his cumulative proximity gain or loss versus the field baseline (average) was 139th. His short game keeps him competitive (4th within 75 yards & 17th in putting).

 

I would say it is hard to gauge how much Phil's left knee is straightening given the camera angle. By the time he reaches the top it looks to me like his left hip has turned back around toward the target so if he is 'sitting' into his left leg you can't really see because the long axis of his thigh bone has rotated back around with the hip to point toward the camera so the thigh is more face on to the camera than it was at address. I think if you viewed this swing from down the line, but behind his foot line his left knee would look a lot more flexed.

 

a) Charles Howell III is a great ballstriker. He wouldn't be on the PGA Tour if he wasn't.

b) Nobody's said "straighten." That's a binary state. Phil's knee definitely decreases flex.

post #197 of 228
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by natureboy View Post

 

For me, Charles Howell III is not a model of ballstriking. Better player and swinger of the club than me for sure. But among pros in 2013 his effective / expected (accounting for waywardness) driving distance was 124th & his cumulative proximity gain or loss versus the field baseline (average) was 139th. His short game keeps him competitive (4th within 75 yards & 17th in putting).

 

 

As Erik said, CH3 hits it extremely well, I'd give my right arm to hit it like he does.

 

I made the video 2 1/2 years ago and since then he's found a competent instructor and now gradually reduces flex in the trail knee.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by natureboy View Post

 

 

I would say it is hard to gauge how much Phil's left knee is straightening given the camera angle. By the time he reaches the top it looks to me like his left hip has turned back around toward the target so if he is 'sitting' into his left leg you can't really see because the long axis of his thigh bone has rotated back around with the hip to point toward the camera so the thigh is more face on to the camera than it was at address. I think if you viewed this swing from down the line, but behind his foot line his left knee would look a lot more flexed.

 

 

I don't know what to say, Phil (and many other great players) release flex in the trail knee. Especially that guy in your avatar pic ;-) Notice the space between his knees at the top of the backswing, that's not happening because his knees aren't changing flexion.

post #198 of 228

In fact, our bodies are quite different. Besides different obvious height and weight differences we also have different degrees of lever lengths (arms and legs have different bone lengths ... arms: from the shoulder to the elbow and from the elbow to the wrist; legs: from the hips to the knees and from the knees to the ankles), different widths of shoulders and pelvis, different angles from the hips to the knees (valgus and varus), differences in the amount of pronation and supination of the foot/ankle, different degrees of forearm angles from the elbows down to the hands (carrying angles), in say nothing about the individual differences in posture, balance, flexibility, core and extremity strength, hand-eye coordination, etc.

 

There have been several golf books written concerning different body types (endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph) and the benefits of teaching golfers with different body types to swing in a different ways (The Laws; written by Dr. Jim Suttie).

 

I evaluate golfers physically every day and they do have significant differences in structure.  And, the law of structure governs function is always in play.  Therefore, we need to understand how to evaluate and modify a golfer's structure before we are going to safely, efficiently and permanently improve their swing function. Once golfers get this and swing instructors understand this completely, then golf performance and injury prevention will become much easier and more successful.

 

Let's stop forcing square pegs into round holes.  Every golfer's body and swing should not be the same!

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