Our resident instructor Devan Bonebrake is back with another new instruction video, this time on the topic of kinematic sequencing. I know it sounds complicated, but it's actually quite simple. Today we're using two Swing Align golf swing trainers, a standard device worn the traditional way across the upper body, and the XL device worn across the legs, to illustrate the swing sequence and visually show the separation of your upper and lower body during the rotation in your golf swing. We have a number of swing tips out already on the various uses for a Swing Align XL worn on the lower body, but today's approach is a bit more advanced. Separation in the golf swing refers to the difference in rotation between your upper body and your lower body to help generate power. An effective golf swing utilizes the hips to create extra space to turn on the way back, then again to initiate the downswing with those big, powerful muscles of the legs. Many golfers, Devan's students included, struggle to turn their hips as much as they should. Common challenges include age, and lack of flexibility but generally the issue, according to Devan, stems more from a misunderstanding about how to properly utilize the lower body than it does from physical limitations. Wearing a Swing Align on the lower body makes it very easy to see how much your hips are turning. An easy drill to illustrate the effect your lower body can have on your rotation is to get both devices on and try to see how far you can turn without moving your hips at all. Keep the rod across your legs pointed down your target line as you try to rotate your upper body - it is challenging to properly and fully rotate! Then try again while rotating your hips as much as you can. You'll immediately notice the world of difference hip rotation can make in achieving a fuller rotation with your upper body. This is an important key to generating more power and control in your golf swing.
To replicate Devan's drill you can use the Swing Align Pro Bundle which provides all three devices - standard, XL and the ground based Swing Junction. First, put on both devices, standard and XL, as described above and set up with all three rods pointing toward your target – upper body and lower body aligned with the ground device pointed down your target line. Next, slowly make your move to the top of your backswing, paying particular attention to maximize your hip rotation using the nice visual indicator of that bright green rod across your legs. Once you're in a position you like at the top of your backswing with your upper body fully rotated - you'll find it much easier now to get your upper body to rotate 90 degrees or more so that the rod is perpendicular to your target line, begin to practice initiating your downswing. This initiation should come from your hips first, allow your upper body to remain back and lag behind your lower body rotation. While you're doing this watch the movement of that rod across your legs, really try to dial in your lower body rotation using that rod. Once you've done this move a few times and are satisfied that your lower body is taking the lead on that transitional move, set back up at address, get those three rods aligned again, and try to replicate that feeling on a full speed swing. If you struggle, go back and rehearse some partial swings and remember to pay attention to that lower body rod and having it lead your rotation back to the golf ball. At impact the rod on your lower body should be open relative to your target line with the rod on your upper body closer to square.
Remember, the body is the engine of the golf swing! Getting this move right is the first step to really utilizing your hips and legs to add significant power to your swing!