Half Kneeling Stick Turns (scap stabilized to closed hip)
Damn that was a mouth full. Despite the lengthy name, this drill is useful for many things, including:
- Stretching your chest.
- Opening and activating your shoulders.
- Challenging your balance.
- Opening your hips and activating your glutes.
- Improving your thoracic spinal rotation (a.k.a. Your torso rotation).
If you look back at the Hug’ n’ Turn you’ll see that you are opening your hips, chest, and thoracic spine, but there is less balance required. In the Hug’n’Turn you get to have a fist on the ground. In this rotational drill you have one less point of contact with the ground making this more demanding on your trunk and hips. There is quite a bit of stabilization required here, making this a great way wake up your core.
Remember to squeeze your glute on the down leg to get really rooted into the ground. Squeezing your glute like in the Half Kneeling Hip Flexor stretch will open the front of your hip, help you balance, and take pressure off of your lower back. Similar to the Split Squats from last week, this can increase your control of the weight shift during your swing, leading to less Sway (excessive lateral movement in your backswing) or Slide (excessive lateral movement in your downswing).
Turning against your closed hip will open your chest and thoracic spine, creating more range of motion, which leads to a fuller shoulder turn. Improving your thoracic rotation will also help you set-up with better posture and maintain it during your swing. This gives you more time to produce power while keeping your shoulders and low back out of pain.
The ability to create separation between your upper and lower body is the key to storing elastic energy and delivering more power into the ball. ‘Closed hip’ means that your hip is in the way, so to speak, which naturally creates separation between your upper and lower body with each turn you make doing this drill.
A bigger backswing will give you the potential to produce more power, the opening of your hips will help you produce better hip extension. Hip extension is crucial for producing power from your hips, and keeping your back healthy. So yes, this drill has a long name, but it’s well worth your time to give it a try.
Perform for 2-4 sets of 8 reps each side and then tag or share it with your golf buddies.
- Start in the half kneeling position. One knee down, one knee forward so you have 90-degree angles in your ankles, knees, and hips.
- Place a 5-iron behind your back, held in your elbow pits with your hands on your stomach.
- If your right knee is forward rotate to the right as far as you can go while squeezing your left glute and keeping your right knee stable. Then rotate as far as you can go to the left keeping your right knee stable.
- Turn towards the front knee for the specified number of reps, then switch.
- NOTE: If you are unable to get the stick/club behind your shoulders below your neck, put the stick/club across the front of your shoulders.