Q: “What Is ‘Leverage?'” A: It Means Using The Lower Body…

Originally posted June 21, 2016 – But Still Very Relevant!

The question I was asked via an emailed query is very straightforward :

You constantly refer to “leverage” as the source of MCS power. No doubt you’re right. But I wish I had a clearer idea of what is being levered, what mechanical advantage is obtained thereby and how this increases clubhead speed.

True, the human body is more complex than the sticklike levers and fulcrums I learned about in high-school physics class more than half a century ago.

When you hit drives ungodly distances, all I see are relatively conventional swinging actions; the reason for the extra pop — the ghost in the machine — isn’t easy to discern.

And the answer, simply, is:

We use our hips and legs to power the swing, which produces leverage, instead of trying to swing with our arms and upper bodies.

When you think of a heavy axe – would you, if required to chop down a tree, simply stand there with immobile hips and legs, and try to swing the axe with just your upper body, the arms and the core?

Of course you wouldn’t, because if there’s a quicker way to enter “Hernia City,” it hasn’t yet been found.

How about a sledge-hammer?  Just upper body to swing it back?

Again, no.

You shouldn’t be doing anything with your back or upper body, really, on the golf swing…

I’ve said before about the modern golf swing that if you tried to take this type of stuff to other sports, you’d be thrown out of the training facility very quickly – it’s garbage, and you’ll only find it in golf.

This is not to attack everyone who swings modern golf style – if you put your faith in the people charged with teaching a proper swing, how is it your fault for taking what they say in good faith?

Even some teaching the golf swing in the modern style – if that’s all they’ve ever been taught and shown, how would they know that it is faulty athletic theory?

Most people only find out when they injure themselves and have to lessen their playing or even quit the game altogether – and this is one of my greatest pleasures, in working with people who were on the verge of quitting because of their back or hip or leg problems aggravated by modern swing techniques, only to have them delighted to be swinging easier and with more power than many of them had in their prime years.

And it really isn’t that complicated. I grant that the MCS is only one swing model in the mechanically-correct family of golf swings, and it is not an overnight journey to full MCS because it is so precise in positioning and mechanics – it’s not the only way to swing with mechanical-correctness, it’s an optimal swing model, so you have to adhere to the principles if you wish to optimize your swing.


dj drv

And if you want an optimal or even just a mechanically-correct golf swing – you will swing with the hips and legs, and not the upper body and core.

Dustin Johnson is one of those swingers who doesn’t float his leading heel on the back swing, which makes his swing model more to the modern than the classic – but as i pointed out and explained in my “Kinesiology of the MCS Golf Swing” video back in 2015, he has a very mechanically-correct swing in that he is using the hips and legs to swing:

dustin johnson top dtl

If he were to go the whole rest of the way and actually float his leading heel, which he may have to do as he gets older and loses that Gumby-like flexibility, he’d be even longer and have more power, believe it or not.

That’s not me saying that – it’s simple common sense, in that whatever Dustin’s numbers are, they are numbers he produces with a swing that doesn’t maximize his lower body action, so there’s room for more there, not that he needs it.

You and I however aren’t 6’4″ and an athletic specimen worthy of sculpting, so we’d be better off doing it the whole way, from beginning to end.

And, I might add, I have in my mid-40’s generated the club and ball speeds DJ has.!

It’s all about the lower body, my friends.  You’ll hear Ben Hogan say it plain and clearly in the clip I feature in the “MCS – Perfect Pivot video – if you aren’t using the hips and legs for power, you aren’t doing it correctly.

Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?

If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

8 thoughts on “Q: “What Is ‘Leverage?'” A: It Means Using The Lower Body…

  1. major tom

    a great visual is spaghetti arms, the more you tense up your arms trying to kill it the more power you’ll lose. arms are just along for the ride. that’s why when you swing easier it goes farther (usually better contact as well) and as dj has described, there is more time for the leverage to develop. definitely counterintuitive, especially for males. girls tend to finess the ball better than guys who typically have a tendency to brute force it.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I suggested another Wax Nation citizen a pivot drill using spaghetti arms, not a couple of weeks ago…

      1. targettom

        well thanks to your blog instruction and videos I’m getting there. I’m a bit of a slow learner I guess because while I started only 13 months ago, I have struggled with speed off and on for the last 5 months or so.

        I’m not at the “unconscious execution” stage yet but that should just be a matter of time with more drills. More stability in the swing = more consistency = hit the sweet spot regularly = more distance and straighter shots AND (importantly) no body pain.

        1. D Watts Post author

          It takes time to make meaningful changes, or everyone would have a perfect swing after a few tries. That’s the greatest barrier to improvement – the inability or unwillingness to wait for the changes to take effect. Usually, it’s a couple of bad strikes and back to what one was doing before.

          You are finding success because you’re sticking to it. Good for you!

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