Do you ‘bend’ like a tree or ‘hinge’ like a door?
Hinge vs. Bend
You know, I’ve been at this fitness thing for close to 20 years now. It’s all I’ve ever done. And over that time period, I truly believe I am seeing a slow progression of the loss of normal human movement.
You see, a majority of you are slowly (and some quickly) loosing the ablity to move to the point where it affects how you live and play!
Here’s why that’s important… I’ve been screening and testing clients for more than 12 years, and in that time, one of the big things I’ve learned from those screenings is that people have progressively lost the ability to hinge at the hips.
The hips are a very big joint and are a source of a huge amount of power, stability and mobility. BUT (no pun intended!), 95% of you have no power, little stability and have lost mobility in the hip area, and leads to the presence of :
- Back pain
- Loss of range of motion
- An inability to touch your toes
- Poor address posture at set up
- Hip pain
- An increase incidence of hip replacements
You know, one of the biggest reason’s these occur is the seated work place. I’d bet that a great majority of you reading this right now are at work sitting in a chair, right?
In fact, I bet you right this second; your posture looks close to the picture below… does it? The funny part is that I’d guess that practically all of you probably sat up at the same time!
Take a look at the picture. Can you see how Tyler’s entire back is rounded? We consider that a “bending” of the back, (and call it a “C-posture”). “C” posture will decrease your ability to rotate your thorax (upper body) and make it difficult to use your core and glutes correctly to create power.
So why is this important?
As the “body guy,” I see my clients struggle with correct set up or address posture, and it’s typically because they’ve been told to “stick your butt out” by an instructor. So what happens over time is you get into your address posture by simply arching your lower back, and NOT hinging at your hips. This “stick you butt our posture” is officially called “S- Posture” and, like it says above, can lead to back pain and short pathetic drives off the tee.
So we don’t want pic #1 which is more of a “C-posture” or pic #2, which is an “S-posture,” but what we DO want is pic #3 below, which is a nice hip-hinged set up position.
The best way to get into that position is to take a club and horizontally drive it into your pelvis! See what happens?
Your butt goes back, and upper body “folds” over the club while maintaining a rigid (or straight) spine, thus hinging at the hips! You’ll also notice that Tyler’s knees are soft and shins vertical. They’re this way because the weight of his lower body moved backwards and the weight of my upper body counter acted that by moving forwards, thus automatically softening my knees.
Once you get this, we are willing to say that some of you are going to get a better turn in your back swing and follow through; some are going to hit It farther and many of you with back pain may not struggle with it anymore… that’s how important a proper hip hinge is.
So give it a try and remember to hit ‘em long,