Do you think your swings are explosive? Yes, your swing might be fast. But is it explosive? There’s a difference between a fast swing and an explosive swing. The latter sounds cooler. And it looks cooler. Also, in most cases, it gets you more distance.
The answer to the question we asked at the very beginning of this guide is probably no. Because you can’t master explosiveness overnight. And worse, most rookie players don’t even know how to get such a swing style.
That’s what we’re going to talk about in this post. Do you know what the secret behind explosive swings is? It’s your hips! The better control you have over your hips, the more strength you get in your swings.
So, let’s learn in this guide about some hip workouts that can give you the explosive-like feeling when you’re at the course.
The Curse of Restricted Mobility
In general, golf doesn’t feel like a sport where you’ll need much mobility. However, the reality is different. It’s all about how mobile you can get without moving from your spot. That’s the beauty of this speed. You need to move certain body parts at lightning fast speeds to get the ball as far.
The hip, also known as part of the gluteal muscles, is a combination of three different muscles in adjacent areas. The largest muscle of the group, the Gluteus Maximus is responsible for the large movements such as extension and lateral rotation. The glutes also help stabilize your hips for a smoother transition of power.
For those players who can’t get the ball far enough are mostly lacking in the area of mobility. And the most of effective mobility in golf comes from the hips.
Not just golf. If you look at other sports such as baseball, football, or basketball, you’ll notice that the players spend a lot of time in their hip training. Because they want explosive hips. More mobility on your hips means you can rotate your lower body faster.
It is beneficial because there should always be a speed difference between your upper body and lower body rotation during the swing. As you’re increasing the rotation speed of your lower body, you’ll need to increase the upper body rotation as well. Hence, the explosive swing.
Hip Workouts for Explosive Swing
Let us start this section off with a fair warning. Some of these workouts may look like a hoax to you because they don’t mimic the action of a swing in any way. It’s common for new players to think about what the benefit of doing such exercises would be.
To get your answer, keep reading.
Fix Your Hip Hinge First
If you want to win a race, you need to start with a properly maintained race car. You can’t take any old junk out of the garage to race. The same goes for your hips. If you’ve never done a hip workout before, you’ll need to fix your hip hinge before anything.
But how do you know if your hip hinge is correct or not? The process is very simple. All you need is a 3 or 4 feet stick. You can use a long alignment stick for the testing as well.
- Stand straight. Take the stick with one hand and place it on your back, in the middle of the body. The stick should be touching three points on your back. The back of your head, the top of your spine, and your lower back.
- Once you confirm the three points of contact, slightly bend your knees and start bending over from the waist. If your hip hinge is correct, you’ll maintain all three contact points until your upper body is parallel to the ground.
- For most players, however, it’s not the case. After a few degrees of bending, the stick seems to be coming off from one of the points. It’s because the core muscle is not developed and the hamstrings are really tight.
- You need to start here before you jump into serious hip training. If your mobility is restricted due to an incorrect hip hinge, you should fix it first. Keep repeating the process very slowly until you can curve your upper body losing any of the three contact points.
A Light Start with The Bridge
As we’re just starting with the workouts, let’s keep the first one light. It’s known as ‘The Bridge’. Because in the final form of this exercise, you’ll look somewhat like a bridge. This is a hip extension exercise to your set your body in the mood for the upcoming ones.
- Simply lie flat on the ground with the arms laid flat on your sides. Lift your feet, fold your knees, and dock using the balls of your feet.
- Use the balls of your feet to create pressure on the group and extend your hips using the force. Keep rising until your stomach is flat with your thighs.
- While in this position, you’ll notice that your core is getting engaged. It should feel very much like how it feels to do a plank.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Rinse and repeat.
The Good Old Squats
What? Does it feel too normal? Believe it or not, the squat is one of the best lower body exercises to ever exist. It’s simple to perform. This is great because it extends your hips to their maximum degree.
Along with training your glutes, squats strengthen your thigh muscles. When you put the combination of a flexible hip and the power from your thigh, you get an explosive speed. It comes from the good transfer of energy between your upper body and the lower body. You ultimately transfer the energy through your thighs.
You can use weights at the gym for regular squats. It’s great for building those muscles. You can also try doing free hand squats with one of your clubs to test out the mobility.
Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
This is a simple exercise as well. For this one, you’ll need to kneel down on the ground. The purpose of this workout is to increase the forward movement of your hips. The gluteus maximum needs to extend as far you can take it.
- Sit on the ground with one foot forward and one foot kneeling back. It should look like the final form of a lunge.
- You’ll be using the front foot as your anchor to the ground. Holding it in its place will also ensure that you’re only extending your hips and not your lower back. Squeezing the feet on the ground should also activate your core.
- Now, holding this position, push your hips forward without bending your lower back. If you’re getting just a little, that’s still progress. The key is holding the stretch for 20-30 seconds for each leg and repeat.
Seated Piriform Stretch
You may have noticed that we’re still in the light to medium weight exercises. It’s because you don’t always need all the weight in the world to strengthen a muscle. Building up your hips is one of the easiest tasks if you’re dedicated enough.
In this workout, you’ll sit on a chair or a bench and stretch your hips upward. If you’re sitting on a chair, make sure it doesn’t have armrests because you’re going to need the space.
- Sit on a chair. About half of your hips should be out of the chair, extended.
- Cross one of your legs over the other. Grab the folded need with both hands and pull it toward your chest.
- Hold the position for 20-30 seconds. Let go. Repeat with the other leg.
Kneeling Pop Up
We’re dialing up the difficulty a notch here. It’ll take a good amount of practice to get right. Also, it’ll put all the previous workouts you’ve done to the test.
- Start kneeling down on the ground with both knees.
- Activate your core. You can cross your hands at this point if you want.
- Build up all the energy you can from the ground.
- Launch in the air using the strength from your hips and your core and land on your feet in a half squat position. If this doesn’t sound or look explosive to you, we don’t know what will.
Glute Bridget with a Barbell Bar
Remember the bridge? This is an advanced version of that workout. In this exercise, you’re going to need a bench to support your back instead of the ground. Because you won’t be lying down for this one. Also, you’ll need a barbell bar. Just the bar will do.
- Squat in front of the bench and rest your bank on the edge of the bench. Grab the bar with both hands and place it right below your waist, across the body.
- As you did in the bridge, fall closer to the ground and use your hip to extend. Fall back and extend.
- This exercise will increase the mobility and strength of your hips dramatically. As you’ve added weight to the mix, when you extend your hips during a swing, it’ll feel natural and effortless.