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Why Do So Many Instructors/Announcers Insist Golfers Push Off Their Trail Leg?


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14 minutes ago, Elmer said:

I just got over foot problems and now you want me to practice with cheap flip flops?????
next you will tell me to put a tuck under my right foot!

I am nowhere near graceful enough to ever be compared to a "flower off of a cherry blossom tree at the end of spring."

But thanks for advice!

I am sure you got the joke but then didn't see an emoji so not taking any chances. To be clear -  I... am...kidding....! 😁

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Vishal S.

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Well, I think it's just left over axioms.

I did a self study the past summer, right or wrong, it has helped ME.

I am 69 years old and was losing distance.  For 50 something years I played 8 iron as 152....or so.  I was down to about 138, so I went to work to regain some speed.

To shorten the story and get to the subject, I discovered I needed to load the trail side fully to get an AUTOMATIC trigger to start the downswing.  It had become a gamble.

With the trail side loaded, the trail leg outer calf muscle were in full tension as well as the muscle running up into the thigh beside the knee.  The target side knee was pulled in just inside the lead foot and the outside calf muscles were stretched.

Kinda like Hogan said, the body was cocked. Unlike a rifle or firearm there is no trigger sear, so the trigger in the golf swing is a dynamic.

A compilation of all of the "loaded" muscles gave ME a dynamic trigger to "GO"

The trail leg REACTED by unleashing the pent up pressures as well as the lead leg creating a slight weight shift to the lead leg and a bit of lateral slide(for lack of better term).  To do this, the trail foot has to be firmly planted.  If you have a gimpy trail foot, you may not be able to make that transition real firmly, hence not being able to "push off" with the trail foot.  Not so much a push off, but a firm anchor.

Edited by dufferifick
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To answer the OP. Because they are intellectually lazy and go back to old adages instead of getting correct takes on the golf swing. Most announcers are not experts in understanding biomechanics of the golf swing. 

I believe if you are transitioning correctly, then the back leg does little to nothing in terms of bracing or pushing off the ground. 

Rory at A5-ish. He has loaded heavily on his lead leg. To push off, you need to prep that by pressing down into the ground to push against. Stand straight legged and try to push off the ground. You can only do that by doing a calf raise, with the ankle. If you want to do a vertical jump, you have to load the legs by squatting down. In the image below, Rory has much more flex in his lead leg (loaded), than his trail leg. 

image.png

Rory at impact. He has extended his lead leg, and you can still see some flex in his trail leg (signs of not pushing off). You can still see his right foot in banking inward. It doesn't make sense to push off with the trail leg, when the right foot then banks inward (losing contact with the ground) and rotates up to the toe due to the leg being pulled forward from the hip to the toe by rotation and weight shift. 

image.png

Rory post impact. You can see how loose his leg is here. Really, his right leg is very passive in the golf swing. It is just being dragged along for the ride. If he pushed off, he would be fully extended, like his lead leg. 

image.png

Yea, like in the other thread, the biomechanics of a good golf swing is such that the trail leg is not a mechanism to push off of. The trail leg is very passive.

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4 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

To answer the OP. Because they are intellectually lazy and go back to old adages instead of getting correct takes on the golf swing. Most announcers are not experts in understanding biomechanics of the golf swing. 

I believe if you are transitioning correctly, then the back leg does little to nothing in terms of bracing or pushing off the ground. 

Rory at A5-ish. He has loaded heavily on his lead leg. To push off, you need to prep that by pressing down into the ground to push against. Stand straight legged and try to push off the ground. You can only do that by doing a calf raise, with the ankle. If you want to do a vertical jump, you have to load the legs by squatting down. In the image below, Rory has much more flex in his lead leg (loaded), than his trail leg. 

image.png

Rory at impact. He has extended his lead leg, and you can still see some flex in his trail leg (signs of not pushing off). You can still see his right foot in banking inward. It doesn't make sense to push off with the trail leg, when the right foot then banks inward (losing contact with the ground) and rotates up to the toe due to the leg being pulled forward from the hip to the toe by rotation and weight shift. 

 

Yea, like in the other thread, the biomechanics of a good golf swing is such that the trail leg is not a mechanism to push off of. The trail leg is very passive.

 

Well, his lead leg is still bent!  Does that mean his lead leg is not doing anything either?

His weight has already shifted to lead leg, so what little the trail foot/leg did has dissipated.

I'm not saying you "push off" but it is planted for a reason.

Lift your trail foot and try to hit your full drive length.

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4 minutes ago, dufferifick said:

Well, his lead leg is still bent!  Does that mean his lead leg is not doing anything either?

image.png versus image.png

He lost nearly all his flex in his lead leg. His lead leg has done a TON of work. 

It isn't absolute like, the lead leg is bent 30 degrees, it must get to zero. Going from 30 degrees to 5 degrees bent means that leg has done a lot of work. 

7 minutes ago, dufferifick said:

His weight has already shifted to lead leg, so what little the trail foot/leg did has dissipated.

Pushing off has nothing to do with his trail leg. 

Here is before he even reaches the top of the backswing, he has shifted right. 

2023_02_23_09_59_18_Window.png

Here is Rory right about where his arms start to come down. He shifts his weight nearly fully forward before starting down. Also note, he has GAINED flex in his trail leg here and he has shifted forward. So, he did not push off to shift forward. You can slide your body weight from left to right with out pushing off (extending knee). 

2023_02_23_09_57_58_Window.png

19 minutes ago, dufferifick said:

I'm not saying you "push off" but it is planted for a reason.

Lift your trail foot and try to hit your full drive length.

That is not a good example of having someone try to do. You need the trail leg for balance. You can't back away from the term "Push Off" because that is what the thread is about. This isn't a discussion about one legged swing. 

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5 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

image.png versus image.png

He lost nearly all his flex in his lead leg. His lead leg has done a TON of work. 

It isn't absolute like, the lead leg is bent 30 degrees, it must get to zero. Going from 30 degrees to 5 degrees bent means that leg has done a lot of work. 

Pushing off has nothing to do with his trail leg. 

Here is before he even reaches the top of the backswing, he has shifted right. 

2023_02_23_09_59_18_Window.png

Here is Rory right about where his arms start to come down. He shifts his weight nearly fully forward before starting down. Also note, he has GAINED flex in his trail leg here and he has shifted forward. So, he did not push off to shift forward. You can slide your body weight from left to right with out pushing off (extending knee). 

2023_02_23_09_57_58_Window.png

That is not a good example of having someone try to do. You need the trail leg for balance. You can't back away from the term "Push Off" because that is what the thread is about. This isn't a discussion about one legged swing. 

I have already "backed away" from pushing off in my first post. I just can't follow not being able to not back off in a thread about questioning why people advocate it. That was the whole idea behind thread...to back off of using "push off".

I was referencing to jpg above the statement; mid swing. both legs are still bent so is the target side not doing any work?

I don't think you push of per se. I know I feel pressure on the big toe to the heel on inside of the trail leg during transition. If he shifted "already to the right" that means the right leg is doing some work. To get back to his left side there is a shift of weight and I don't think JUST THE LEAD LEG DOES ALL OF THE WORK; just enough to get started into transition. More of a flow instead of push.

I think we are saying ALMOST the same thing, except I believe the trail leg does a bit of work...not just a whole lot, but some. I don't thnk it's completely passive.

IF I had to hazard a guess, it'd be 15% or so(maybe more maybe less), after that, yep, it's along for the ride.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, dufferifick said:

More of a flow instead of push.

I think we are saying ALMOST the same thing, except I believe the trail leg does a bit of work...not just a whole lot, but some. I don't thnk it's completely passive.

IF I had to hazard a guess, it'd be 15% or so(maybe more maybe less), after that, yep, it's along for the ride.

 

 

No one is saying it's passive.  But may be something like 'posting up' would be a better term than 'push off' (what the thread is about... :-)). It is bit misleading at best. 

I was out playing golf four months after completely shattering my trail (right) ankle back in early 2020. Had it been my my lead ankle, I would have probably given up golf for good.  

Edited by GolfLug

Vishal S.

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33 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

No one is saying it's passive.  But may be something like 'posting up' would be a better term than 'push off' (what the thread is about... :-)). It is bit misleading at best. 

I was out playing golf four months after completely shattering my trail (right) ankle back in early 2020. Had it been my my lead ankle, I would have probably given up golf for good.  

Really, did you read saevel25's posts?

In October, I tore the heck out of my shoulder, could hardly lift it without great pain.  Just now hitting some balls again.

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2 hours ago, dufferifick said:

If he shifted "already to the right" that means the right leg is doing some work.

By work, you mean supporting the body, sure. In the backswing, the trail leg extends. You are overestimating how much the right leg does, and underestimating how much the hips do in getting the weight shift forward. Optimally, you have to have your feet grounded. 

2 hours ago, dufferifick said:

I know I feel pressure on the big toe to the heel on inside of the trail leg during transition.

Probably need to work on how you weight shift and turn. You do not want the pressure to get on your toes, in either foot. 

2 hours ago, dufferifick said:

To get back to his left side there is a shift of weight, and I don't think JUST THE LEAD LEG DOES ALL OF THE WORK;

It isn't just his lead leg. You have his torso turning and shifting forward. 

2 hours ago, dufferifick said:

More of a flow instead of push.

Flow is good, but flow is developed by properly sequencing and getting things to work athletically. Not really a trail leg thing. 

2 hours ago, GolfLug said:

No one is saying it's passive.  But may be something like 'posting up' would be a better term than 'push off' (what the thread is about... :-)). It is bit misleading at best. 

I did phrase it like passive. It is like weightlifting. You have primary muscles that provide the active movement. You have the primary muscle that does majority of the work. Like in a squat, it is the quad. You have synergist muscles that assists in the movement of the primary muscle. In the case of the squat, it is primarily the glute. 

I would say in the case of the golf swing. The right leg is there for support. Since weight shifts to the trail leg, it is holding weight, but since the hips are tilted, the weight shift is primarily caused by the hips and torso, not the right leg. The right leg is there for stabilization. It has to be active; it isn't going to be some sort of wet noodle. It is passive in that it isn't like you are doing a single leg squat with your right leg where you are moving the entire body with your right leg muscles. 

The fact the right leg gains flexion in transition, during the time you are shift your weight forward, means it is not actively causing you to move your weight forward. 

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3 hours ago, dufferifick said:

Really, did you read saevel25's posts?

In October, I tore the heck out of my shoulder, could hardly lift it without great pain.  Just now hitting some balls again.

My bad. But I stand by what I am saying. 'Pushing off' does not make sense. Off to where? There is not forward or upward propulsion like running. 

45 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

By work, you mean supporting the body, sure. In the backswing, the trail leg extends. You are overestimating how much the right leg does, and underestimating how much the hips do in getting the weight shift forward. Optimally, you have to have your feet grounded. 

Probably need to work on how you weight shift and turn. You do not want the pressure to get on your toes, in either foot. 

It isn't just his lead leg. You have his torso turning and shifting forward. 

Flow is good, but flow is developed by properly sequencing and getting things to work athletically. Not really a trail leg thing. 

I did phrase it like passive. It is like weightlifting. You have primary muscles that provide the active movement. You have the primary muscle that does majority of the work. Like in a squat, it is the quad. You have synergist muscles that assists in the movement of the primary muscle. In the case of the squat, it is primarily the glute. 

I would say in the case of the golf swing. The right leg is there for support. Since weight shifts to the trail leg, it is holding weight, but since the hips are tilted, the weight shift is primarily caused by the hips and torso, not the right leg. The right leg is there for stabilization. It has to be active; it isn't going to be some sort of wet noodle. It is passive in that it isn't like you are doing a single leg squat with your right leg where you are moving the entire body with your right leg muscles. 

The fact the right leg gains flexion in transition, during the time you are shift your weight forward, means it is not actively causing you to move your weight forward. 

We 100% agree on the mechanics. But describing the trail leg passive is not correct IMHO. I would say the right leg is actively countering the downward force to provide support and stability as more of a synergist/structural member, that ya' know holds up and carries the hip. It is way more active than lets say, the head, for eg.

Edited by GolfLug

Vishal S.

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50 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

 

Probably need to work on how you weight shift and turn. You do not want the pressure to get on your toes, in either foot. 

i

it's the whole inside of my trail foot.

I know when I swing, the trail foot actively resists the pressure from the leg unloading.

Newton's third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

enuf!

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10 hours ago, dufferifick said:

The trail leg REACTED by unleashing the pent up pressures as well as the lead leg creating a slight weight shift to the lead leg and a bit of lateral slide(for lack of better term).  To do this, the trail foot has to be firmly planted.  If you have a gimpy trail foot, you may not be able to make that transition real firmly, hence not being able to "push off" with the trail foot.  Not so much a push off, but a firm anchor.

The only real pushing off you do with the trail foot in the golf swing is during the backswing. You're elevating the right hip, which is what "firmly plants" the trail foot in the ground.

The trail foot often slips out and spins out when golfers lose traction in the downswing… specifically because they're not pushing off with it.

You're confusing some feels with real and also mixing up when things happen. If your leg is bending or your hip is going downward, you're not "pushing off" the ground.

Feel ain't real.

10 hours ago, saevel25 said:

To answer the OP. Because they are intellectually lazy and go back to old adages instead of getting correct takes on the golf swing. Most announcers are not experts in understanding biomechanics of the golf swing.

Nor should they be, of course.

10 hours ago, saevel25 said:

Yea, like in the other thread, the biomechanics of a good golf swing is such that the trail leg is not a mechanism to push off of. The trail leg is very passive.

During the downswing… yeah.

10 hours ago, dufferifick said:

Well, his lead leg is still bent!

It's extended from where it was. He's rapidly extending the left knee after increasing the flex in it.

9 hours ago, dufferifick said:

I was referencing to jpg above the statement; mid swing. both legs are still bent so is the target side not doing any work?

It's a still image. His left knee is in the process of extending.

9 hours ago, dufferifick said:

I don't think you push of per se. I know I feel pressure on the big toe to the heel on inside of the trail leg during transition.

You may not be doing it "right."

9 hours ago, dufferifick said:

If he shifted "already to the right" that means the right leg is doing some work.

To his right… during the backswing. The shift forward (toward the target) doesn't really involve the trail leg.

9 hours ago, dufferifick said:

To get back to his left side there is a shift of weight and I don't think JUST THE LEAD LEG DOES ALL OF THE WORK; just enough to get started into transition. More of a flow instead of push.

Have you read this?

5 hours ago, dufferifick said:

I know when I swing, the trail foot actively resists the pressure from the leg unloading.

Newton's third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

How does that apply here? What is it "resisting"? And how does it resist being "unloaded"?

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"  To maximise the golfers ability to create large amounts of rotational speed begins with the player driving their feet into the ground in order to transfer force through the kinetic chain and onto the golf club. (Chu, Y 2010)  Ground reaction forces of up to 2.0 x bodyweight have been observed when hitting long irons and driver. (Hume et al 2005)"

Kinematics

 

that's what Newton's third law has to do with it.

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5 hours ago, dufferifick said:

that's what Newton's third law has to do with it.

That doesn’t say anything about the trail leg.

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

That doesn’t say anything about the trail leg.

FEET  plural for foot.  Includes both feet. Left and right.

Foot is attached to the leg.

Guys, listen to what I am saying.

I am NOT saying "Push off". I don't like the terminology of "push off" either. I never have.

I say the feet, including trail foot, exerts pressure on the Earth.

The body uses that pressure as an anchor.  If that anchor is not there, the pelvis turn would not be AS EFFICIENT as it is;

I DO NOT advocate that the trail foot CONTINUES to apply any force AFTER the initialization of the transition. Never have.

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29 minutes ago, dufferifick said:

I DO NOT advocate that the trail foot CONTINUES to apply any force AFTER the initialization of the transition. Never have.

/me looks at the topic.

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Great view here. IMO this shows Rory’s trail leg reacting to his movements but clearly pushing off with his left leg. I see no pushing off of his trail ( right) leg.

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20 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Great view here. IMO this shows Rory’s trail leg reacting to his movements but clearly pushing off with his left leg. I see no pushing off of his trail ( right) leg.

how are you gonna see someone pushing off at the initialization of the transition???

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