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MikeLowry5

Upper and Lower Half Separation

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So my third lesson today and my instructor has me trying to control my lower body and keep it steady.

I have a habit of getting too happy with the hips and legs during the backswing, straightening my front side leg and rotating around.

He had me work on not rotating my hips at all and just rotating the top half trying to create a rubberband like effect. Needless to say this was very uncomfortable and I was only able to make maybe a half backswing. I was hitting the ball fairly well however very uncomfortable.

From reading and looking at pictures it appears that the hips should rotate no more than 40 or 45 degrees to the shoulders 90. He is trying to get me at 20 and 90! I am more flexible than most men and I CANNOT get that much separation from my lower and upper halves.

Does anyone have any good YouTube videos, drills, etc for showing the proper use of the legs?

Thanks,

Mike

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According to my sources the lower body or pelvis should rotate between 30-45 degrees in the back swing. The upper body should rotate between 75 and 85 degrees. To attempt 70 degrees of separation is dangerous and far beyond anything that the PGA pros are capable of doing safely.
Many golfers, in my experience, over rotate the lower body and then cannot get it and the upper body into proper position at impact so they cast their arms and club to get it around to make contact. This makes impact inconsistent and can cause an alternating push or pull depending on timing of the hands. Very difficult to reproduce consistently and the casting also robs you of power.
Separation is great (to a point) if you have the core stability to control it and the ability to contract the abs so that the upper body rotates faster than the lower body.
mytpi.com has videos of exercises to build core strength while also creating separation.
Hope this helps.

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You are correct, I was turning too much and that appears to be his method for fixing it.

I did notice tonight that I am able to make a full backswing without rotating the hips when I bring the club back on a steeper plane. I have always had a tendency to bring the club too far to the inside which if you try at home will force your hips to turn.

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If he wants under 30 degrees, I'd switch teachers...

I agree with this.

Look at all the great classic swingers. They turn their hips back way past 60 degrees I would say... hogan most of all.

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Is it really that common for someone to just over-rotate the hips? I know women, being more flexible, can sometimes get too much rotation. But for the majority of us average-joes, is it common to have too big a hip turn independent of some other problem (i.e. swaying)?

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Go to youtube and type in High-tech golf lesson. Watch the video with the stanford girl and her coach its just what you are talking about. Golf tech calls it the xfactor and they have a sensor to put you on that pretty much beeps when your shoulders turn enough telling you to start the downswing, just to stop you from over turning.

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Yes most average golfers probably over rotate the hips to try to get a 'full' backswing thinking that they need a large hip turn to hit the ball hard. By stabilizing the pelvis and not allowing it to go to far you are then able to get the pelvis back into proper position, rotate the upper body off of the stable platform and become more consistent with more efficient sequencing.
If you aren't a flexible person creating the shoulder turn without a large hip turn will be difficult and take time stretching and training to get there but the end result will be better ball striking. The less flexible you are in the thoracic spine and shoulders the larger your hip turn will probably be because you can't create separation. If you have hip flexibility problems than you probably get rotation from the lumbars and won't have an issue with too great a hip turn but are heading down the road to low back problems and should get you hip flexibility looked at.

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Couldn't it be possible that the instructor is just trying to break a habit not necessarily suggesting a less than 30* hip turn? The OP may just need to get used to the feeling of slight tension required for a powerful unwinding during the downswing. If the teacher is a PGA pro I would caution questioning his teaching with only a tiny fraction of information.

Also, it sounds like you have a relatively flat swing. It is harder to keep the hips from turning too much the flatter the swing is, IMO.

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Couldn't it be possible that the instructor is just trying to break a habit not necessarily suggesting a less than 30* hip turn? The OP may just need to get used to the feeling of slight tension required for a powerful unwinding during the downswing. If the teacher is a PGA pro I would caution questioning his teaching with only a tiny fraction of information.

Yes I just found that out with tinking around. Going at it steeper has kept them more quiet.

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If he wants under 30 degrees, I'd switch teachers...

Not sure what your hip turn measurement was at the start but to take Erik's comment one step further...if the instructor "wanted" under 40 degrees I'd switch teachers.

If you were turning your hips past 45 degrees and he wants you to feel 25 to get to 40-45 that is fine...but the measurement being fairly correct in the end is what is most important. Dave

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Not sure what your hip turn measurement was at the start but to take Erik's comment one step further...if the instructor "wanted" under 40 degrees I'd switch teachers.

Swinging a club back at the house I'm already under 45. The one thing I think he's trying to do which he isn't explaining is for me to have a tighter, cleaner motion with the legs. I do know that I get a bit sloppy and let my back knee bow at the top of the back swing. That doesn't have to do with the hip rotation, that is a weight shift/backswing issue.

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Swinging a club back at the house I'm already under 45. The one thing I think he's trying to do which he isn't explaining is for me to have a tighter, cleaner motion with the legs. I do know that I get a bit sloppy and let my back knee bow at the top of the back swing. That doesn't have to do with the hip rotation, that is a weight shift/backswing issue.

I think you misunderstood Dave's post.

Dave wants you to turn your hips 45 degrees. To do that properly, you straighten your left leg (not lock it out, but decrease the flex in it).

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Can you explain the reason/importance for straightening the back leg on the back swing?

If you don't straighten your leg it's impossible to turn your hips properly.

Take an extreme squatting position so your knees are bent 70 degrees and your hips are bent 70 or so also. Try to turn your hips back without straightening your back leg. You can't do it.

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Note: This thread is 3555 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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