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Upper and lower body separation


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I've fought an over the top swing my whole golfing career. I recently compensated so much that I had this drastic inside takeway that despite my OTT allowed me to get an 8 degree in-out path on trackman, but for obvious reasons, it wasn't consistent. I'm planning on getting some lessons, and I wanted to really figure out what to communicate to my instructor.

 

I went to the range today I was back to my OTT default swing. I know my clubhead gets outside a good path, and it really happens during transition. When I rotate my hips, I can't hold my shoulders off and then come along for the ride, which causes the OTT. At the range I tried calming my hip turn down, and that helped some. I was recently told on this forum that my inside take away was too crazy to maintain, so I've been watching some backswing videos. As a result, I tried keeping my backswing more on plane today and I was also unintentionally lifting my arms more at the top of the backswing. It seemed to me that lifting my arms allowed my hips to fire first on the downswing without pulling my shoulders around too. I was able to keep my shoulders on a good path and really hit the ball well. I've seen A LOT of instructional videos in my day, but I've never seen any about lifting the arms to allow the lower and upper body to separate. When I had a flatter backswing and kept my arms more connected to my chest, I felt stuck and couldn't separate my lower and upper body. When I lifted my arms, suddenly the lower and upper body could move independently and my path was better (but I still hit some baby fades when I was trying to draw the ball, but contact was just way better overall) Could there be something to this?

 

 

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Everyhing moves laterally in transition with little rotation, once at arm parallel rotation dominates.

 

On inside arms here is how little pros have their arms “ inside” at arm parallel backswing.

 

 

 

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> @jut111 said:

> If your planning to get lessons do yourself and your future instructor a favor. Forget anything you think you know about your golf swing and what is wrong with it. Go in with an open mind and listen much more then you talk or think.

 

Do this and ask lots of questions. One of the biggest obstacles to golfers improving is poor understanding of what actually happens in good swing. Upper and lower body separation is just one example - the old fire the hips first , ole

 

Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife.  Doomed is your soul and damned is your life.

Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy.
Enjoy every sandwich

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> @jut111 said:

> If your planning to get lessons do yourself and your future instructor a favor. Forget anything you think you know about your golf swing and what is wrong with it. Go in with an open mind and listen much more then you talk or think.

 

Excellent advice! Having a decent golf IQ and a basic understanding of your swing should make the lesson more productive,but definitely don't go into the lesson with an agenda of what you think needs fixing.

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> @glk said:

> Everyhing moves laterally in transition with little rotation, once at arm parallel rotation dominates.

>

>

>

 

This first video shows what I'm talking about. It looks like the arm never gets more than 10-15 degrees inside the target line, and then when the hips rotate from 45 back to square, the arm only maybe comes back to parallel the target line or even less.

 

So let's take my normal default swing at it's best. Let's say I get into perfect backswing position at the top (unlikely but bear with me) with my left arm about 10 degrees inside the target line. When my hips rotate from 45 back to square, my left arm typically moves equally, which means it goes from about 10 degrees inside the target line to 35 outside (over the top). I think it's because my swing is flat or because I don't lift my arms enough. I guess I'm just speculating, but what I do know is that typically, I can't get my hips square without throwing the club outside.

 

But today I had a more vertical swing path, I lifted my arms more, and someone I had the ability to keep my left arm (the feel is my shoulders) inside or parallel to the target line as opposed to throwing it outside with my hips. I was doing it pretty consistently today. Not every shot was flush, but the drastic over the top move was tamed. Even when I've been able to string a few good shots together, they're typically really big draws. Maybe you'd call them hooks that land near the target line. Today I was hitting baby fades and draws so slight you could barely tell they shaped left. I'd love to be able to keep this going, but without knowing exactly what is helping me maintain that correct path, I'm worried I'll fall back into bad habits.

 

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About the lessons stuff, I guess I was just providing unnecessary context. I have a golf trip coming up and I won't be able to fit in lessons before it. I'd love to work a few things out before that trip.

 

That said, I don't intend to tell the instructor what I'm doing wrong. If I knew, I wouldn't be posting here. At the range, I've overheard lessons, and the instructor typically says, "what are you working on" "what have you been struggling with" etc. Last two times I had lessons I just really went with the flow and let the instructor guide the lesson. That didn't work too well for me. I figure like a doctor, the more you know and the more you can communicate, they better their chance of helping. I don't plan on arguing though or trying to do her job for her.

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To me the upper body separates once the lead knee moves forward to start the downswing.

The lead hip becomes the hinging point that the upper body rides. Allowing for the side bend.

 

And above AMG golf is good, and the videos with the “bones” feature are insightful. But they hardly know everything there is to know about the golf swing.

 

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I found videos by Russel Heritage useful on this. The key factor being pressure in the trail foot at transition allows the pressure shift to the lead foot. If their is too much pressure in the lead side at the top of the backswing makes it harder to get the rotation started and achieve separation between the upper and lower body.

All comments are made from the point of
view of my learning and not a claim
to expertise.

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My problem is definitely not under rotation. I've used to think that my OTT was caused by my shoulders firing first, but in reality, I definitely do start the downswing with the hips. It's just that my hips and shoulders are stuck together.

 

I'd really like to figure out what is causing me to get stuck to where I can't move my upper and lower body independently. I have a club in my office, and the feeling I get is that maybe I'm over rotating my hips. The arm lift doesn't seem to matter all that much. When I really can't move my lower body without my upper body moving, it may be because my hips are over rotated. I can create both conditions in slow motion. If I take my natural backswing, my shoulders and hips are linked. I cannot move the lower body without the upper body following (and getting outside). I also also take a slow motion swing in which my hips are able to rotate without pulling my shoulders. I can't really tell what I'm doing differently. It feels taller or like I'm lifting my arms more, even though I don't think thats necessarily the case. The only real difference is that I'm focusing on being able to move my hips. I may be rotating my hips less, or even starting out with my hips more square at address, but I really can't tell. I also can't seem to find any videos or articles about not being able to separate the upper and lower body.

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What's worked for me is lead leg external rotation in the lower body to start the first move after the top of the backswing followed by turning into the lead arm in transition (keeping back at target just a hair longer).

 

There could be a ton of other things interfering with it: If you don't have any depth in the backswing it could throw off your rotation.

 

 

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> @pinhigh27 said:

> why would you ever want to separate the upper and lower bodies. what other athletic motion do you want parts of your body not working together. craziest thing ever

>

> if you wanted to punch someone as hard as you can, would you want your upper and lower bodies to be in sync or not.

 

Separation and in sync are really synonyms for sequenced.

 

Here is one of the best ever throwing punches, and arguably the hardest puncher ever

 

http://i.pinimg.com/originals/f3/4b/6a/f34b6a8f253f27d4bfdcdb8853743a4e.gif

 

Looks to me like his sequence exerts all force and speed from the ground up through his hands. Not everything is moving at once nor is there contrived separation, just good sequencing.

 

Golf is the same, all athletic motions are the same, you need good sequencing

 

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> @pinhigh27 said:

> why would you ever want to separate the upper and lower bodies. what other athletic motion do you want parts of your body not working together. craziest thing ever

>

> if you wanted to punch someone as hard as you can, would you want your upper and lower bodies to be in sync or not.

 

 

I'm not sure I was semantically clear, but my hip turn is pulling the club outside of a good path. I have been able to make a hip turn first that keeps the club on line, or more probably, helps the club fall into the slot. It's just that my natural swing pulls the club outside, while a very intentional swing that is difficult for me to perform allows me to turn my hips hard first without screwing up my path. So call it what you want, but I need to figure out how to get my hip turn working for, not against, me.

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> @Millbrook said:

> (

 

This video does a great job of explaining the value of separation, and even how it works, but it's not very instructional. At about the 1 minute mark, it does suggest that turn back over your trail leg as opposed to rotating in place may cause you to fail to be able to separate. I just tried it a little and it seems like there is something to that. I'll try to stay more centered and avoid a drift/sway back so I can get my hips moving better.

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> @bonvivantva said:

> My problem is definitely not under rotation. I've used to think that my OTT was caused by my shoulders firing first, but in reality, I definitely do start the downswing with the hips. It's just that my hips and shoulders are stuck together.

>

> I'd really like to figure out what is causing me to get stuck to where I can't move my upper and lower body independently. I have a club in my office, and the feeling I get is that maybe I'm over rotating my hips. The arm lift doesn't seem to matter all that much. When I really can't move my lower body without my upper body moving, it may be because my hips are over rotated. I can create both conditions in slow motion. If I take my natural backswing, my shoulders and hips are linked. I cannot move the lower body without the upper body following (and getting outside). I also also take a slow motion swing in which my hips are able to rotate without pulling my shoulders. I can't really tell what I'm doing differently. It feels taller or like I'm lifting my arms more, even though I don't think thats necessarily the case. The only real difference is that I'm focusing on being able to move my hips. I may be rotating my hips less, or even starting out with my hips more square at address, but I really can't tell. I also can't seem to find any videos or articles about not being able to separate the upper and lower body.

 

There are strengthening excercises with workout tubing that help with this. The idea is to isolate an area of the body so it can move independently. I started to explore this recently, and it has helped a lot. I think the teachers who preach about "fix your body" first are correct. If you and I cannot move like a PGA tour player, or even a peer player our own age. If we cannot move like them, then how will we ever make the golf swings they do.

When you see the pros doing movements with the tubing, look into what they are actually doing.

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> @bonvivantva said:

> > @Millbrook said:

> > (

>

> This video does a great job of explaining the value of separation, and even how it works, but it's not very instructional. At about the 1 minute mark, it does suggest that turn back over your trail leg as opposed to rotating in place may cause you to fail to be able to separate. I just tried it a little and it seems like there is something to that. I'll try to stay more centered and avoid a drift/sway back so I can get my hips moving better.

 

You have it. The 2 things which made a difference for me from the RH videos were internally rotate into the trail leg. Hogan said squeeze your right testicle against the leg. The other is that you need pressure in the trail leg to begin the transition and separation. In other words less pressure on the lead side allows you to put pressure into the lead side and get the separation.

 

Not being pedantic but it's turn into the trail leg not over. Look around the 1 min again where he shows the right and wrong.

All comments are made from the point of
view of my learning and not a claim
to expertise.

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> @BB28403 said:

> > @bonvivantva said:

> > My problem is definitely not under rotation. I've used to think that my OTT was caused by my shoulders firing first, but in reality, I definitely do start the downswing with the hips. It's just that my hips and shoulders are stuck together.

> >

> > I'd really like to figure out what is causing me to get stuck to where I can't move my upper and lower body independently. I have a club in my office, and the feeling I get is that maybe I'm over rotating my hips. The arm lift doesn't seem to matter all that much. When I really can't move my lower body without my upper body moving, it may be because my hips are over rotated. I can create both conditions in slow motion. If I take my natural backswing, my shoulders and hips are linked. I cannot move the lower body without the upper body following (and getting outside). I also also take a slow motion swing in which my hips are able to rotate without pulling my shoulders. I can't really tell what I'm doing differently. It feels taller or like I'm lifting my arms more, even though I don't think thats necessarily the case. The only real difference is that I'm focusing on being able to move my hips. I may be rotating my hips less, or even starting out with my hips more square at address, but I really can't tell. I also can't seem to find any videos or articles about not being able to separate the upper and lower body.

>

> There are strengthening excercises with workout tubing that help with this. The idea is to isolate an area of the body so it can move independently. I started to explore this recently, and it has helped a lot. I think the teachers who preach about "fix your body" first are correct. **If you and I cannot move like a PGA tour player, or even a peer player our own age. ** If we cannot move like them, then how will we ever make the golf swings they do.

> When you see the pros doing movements with the tubing, look into what they are actually doing.

 

they're literally average joes physically. unless you have a prior injury or some kind of debilitating physical condition there really isn't much separating you from a PGA tour pro.

 

people try to sell this narrative of them being great athletes or whatever to a) sell the game as a sport b) sell products such as TPI.

 

The average person really doesn't have much limitation that is making their swing suck. Their swing just sucks because they don't know how to swing.

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> @pinhigh27 said:

> > @BB28403 said:

> > > @bonvivantva said:

> > > My problem is definitely not under rotation. I've used to think that my OTT was caused by my shoulders firing first, but in reality, I definitely do start the downswing with the hips. It's just that my hips and shoulders are stuck together.

> > >

> > > I'd really like to figure out what is causing me to get stuck to where I can't move my upper and lower body independently. I have a club in my office, and the feeling I get is that maybe I'm over rotating my hips. The arm lift doesn't seem to matter all that much. When I really can't move my lower body without my upper body moving, it may be because my hips are over rotated. I can create both conditions in slow motion. If I take my natural backswing, my shoulders and hips are linked. I cannot move the lower body without the upper body following (and getting outside). I also also take a slow motion swing in which my hips are able to rotate without pulling my shoulders. I can't really tell what I'm doing differently. It feels taller or like I'm lifting my arms more, even though I don't think thats necessarily the case. The only real difference is that I'm focusing on being able to move my hips. I may be rotating my hips less, or even starting out with my hips more square at address, but I really can't tell. I also can't seem to find any videos or articles about not being able to separate the upper and lower body.

> >

> > There are strengthening excercises with workout tubing that help with this. The idea is to isolate an area of the body so it can move independently. I started to explore this recently, and it has helped a lot. I think the teachers who preach about "fix your body" first are correct. **If you and I cannot move like a PGA tour player, or even a peer player our own age. ** If we cannot move like them, then how will we ever make the golf swings they do.

> > When you see the pros doing movements with the tubing, look into what they are actually doing.

>

> they're literally average joes physically. unless you have a prior injury or some kind of debilitating physical condition there really isn't much separating you from a PGA tour pro.

>

> people try to sell this narrative of them being great athletes or whatever to a) sell the game as a sport b) sell products such as TPI.

>

> The average person really doesn't have much limitation that is making their swing suck. Their swing just sucks because they don't know how to swing.

 

Im going to disagree with you because I have done some of these programs. Honestly, go try them and see what your weaknesses are.

For example for years I had no idea what internal hip rotation was. I thought I was already doing it. But my muscles around that area were not strong enough, so I worked on them. And my entire swing became much tighter.

I understand where you are coming from thinking wise. But I do think you are missing a lot of the good information on how to prepare your body.

 

TPI really has no reason to exist other than to improve the bodies of players. I’m sure titleist would rather can the program to save money, if they wanted to.

And their are similar programs to TPI with parallel teachings , just try one that is golf specific.

I promise it will help anyone’s game, if they stick to it and are honest with themselves.

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