A lot of people are told they need mobility to play good golf. Not a lot of golfers are sure why or what areas they need mobility in.
Hip mobility is a big area where golfers should be able to move.
Each hip is responsible for opposite movements on the downswing and backswing. The trail hip needs to internally rotate, while the front hip needs to externally rotate on the backswing. The opposite is true on the downswing.
The hips are also responsible for hip flexion and extension. The hips must flex when on setup and the backswing. They will extend on the downswing into contact with the ball.
In terms of hip flexion, golf does not directly require each hip flex independently. Combined, the hips do not even need to flex that much. This is not to say that good hip flexion is not important, I am just putting it behind the other 3 from a mobility standpoint.
It does make the hip hinge all that more important. Setting up to hit the ball should be a hip hinge, just like a deadlift. Owning and controlling the hip hinge is very important for golfers and that is where most of them should spend their hip flexion efforts.
Hip internal rotation is the ability of the hips to swivel inward or clockwise on the left hip.
Improving hip internal rotation can be done in two ways, lateral core stability and mobility work.
The lateral core musculature is responsible for controlling hip IR. Activating the core will help those muscles move into IR. Try some side plank variations to activate the lateral core.
More on mobility in a minute.
Hip External Rotation
External rotation is not as hard to accomplish as IR but limitations are still problematic.
Just like lateral core activation will help improve internal rotation, anterior core control will help improve ER.
Try a PB Bodysaw to activate the anterior core and improve your hip range of motion.
In terms of improving the actual range of motion we can use different hip flow variations to help with that. It is important to activate the core before going into the range of motion work. The core stability exercises are almost like taking the emergency brake off of the hips.
By using the hip flow, we can train external and internal rotation simultaneously and then hit the reverse by transitioning to the other side. This is just like a golf swing without looking like it.
Hip extension is usually more connected to control and strength as opposed to range of motion.
Below is one of my favorite drills for someone who truly has a tight hip flexor.
Most golfers will struggle with hip extension because they lack glute strength. This is why hip dominant movements like deadlifts, RDLs, and weighted bridges, are so important. These exercises build strength in hip extension. In order to hit the ball far and well, you must be able to extend your hips.
Mastering the hip hinge will allow you to get in a better set up posture.
This can be done with a dowel of a broomstick. Place it on your back touching your head, upper back, and tailbone. Maintain those points of contact while pushing your hips back and allowing your chest to come forward.
Hip mobility is more than just stretching. Golfers need to work on their glute strength and core stability first and foremost. Once those two areas are firing well, we can move towards the range of motion work. A lot of people will go out of order without removing the restrictions.
If you want some guidance on which exercises should be in your program, then you need to get your FREE copy of the 15 Best Exercises for Golfers. Click below to get yours.