My Left Hip Pt II – Searching Maximum Leverage

Continuing yesterday’s post, I realized yesterday while doing my swing work that my lower left back and back hip area muscles were sore this week in a way I’ve not experienced before.

I thought it was just muscles realigning and being forced to work differently because I was wearing my therapeutic S.I. Belt which was stabilizing my loose left sacroiliac joint, thereby easing load from and transferring load to muscles that had become accustomed to the joint instability.

Instead, I felt the soreness only slightly when walking or swinging – until I would make full swings with the new setup changes I’d made last weekend and swing from address all the way to the finish.

When I increased my speed, I then felt the soreness reaching the bottom and again at the end.

I remember a story Moe Norman told decades ago when discussing how he’d built his own swing, that he’d literally hit balls for hours and then check out which muscles in his body were sore… indicating the muscles he should be using when he was making proper swings with his model.

Moe Norman

I then realized – the soreness was from my swing changes having put more load into those muscles than I ever had before in all my years of swinging – and they were sore in the perfect place to indicate I’ve increased my leverage from the top!

I mentioned in a previous posting about the 3 Levers that the secret component to the 1st Lever (shoulders, C7 and leading arm) is that of the hips & legs, because the shoulders follow the hips.

Everyone knows this, or should – Jack Nicklaus said over 40 years ago that the Modern Golf Swing was bunk because if you freeze the hips, the shoulders can’t make a full turn.

He was absolutely correct – so it is only natural that if I increased my leverage to add speed to the downswing, you have to go back to the secret component that is actually responsible for the leverage to begin with – the hips & legs.

We talk a lot about the Kinetic Chain, and how the links must all be joined in order to perform a swing and create leverage.

I made a setup change that now increased the speed of my down swing with the same effort as before, and that is because I have added links to the Kinetic Chain that weren’t fully engaged in my previous swinging models.

I feel the soreness at the swing bottom or just prior because that’s where the added work is being performed, and at the end in the full stretch finish.Ā  So one force working the muscles swinging down and then stretching force as I finish.

The greatest driver of the leverage in the golf swing is all leading side – the weight shift to the leading foot (where that visual or thought of the “leading foot stomp” comes in), to begin the downswing that will engage the leading hip and back muscles, which then turn the shoulders back to square and around through impact.

Nothing you do in the weight room with your arms, chest and triceps will match the power created by that leverage, as you’re using your entire body weight shift just as with a judo throw.

If you want to know how the finish can stretch lower back muscles and not twist the lower back, it’s because the action of the full finish doesn’t twist the lower back, as demonstrated aptly by one Mike Dunaway:

Full Stretch Finish

That finish position just really stretches out the left side as that club shaft begins to drop behind you.

The soreness is nearly completely gone now as the muscles adapt to the new work and stretching.

But the fact that it was there to begin with after I made what I view as a minor but very significant setup change tells me that I was right on the money when I tinkered and said, “what if I just do this?”

What if, indeed!

I stand by my prediction that with this new model work, I will be 52 by the next time I hit balls out of doors or play golf again, and that my longest drives are still ahead of me.

And if you know how long I could send it while working on previous models, you know why I’m very enthused at present.

I would even settle for simply driving it as long as I did in my mid-thirties to when I turned 40.

One mustn’t be greedy!Ā  šŸ™‚