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Thread: Hip Power

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    Golf: Evidence of How 'Loading the Hips' Improves Golf Drives

    ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2010) It's all in the hips. New research provides concrete evidence of how loading the hips improves the power and length of a golf drive.

    Golfers call it Factor X -- the ability to propel a golf ball harder and further than was ever thought possible.

    For modern coaches, the secret of Factor X has always lain in creating torque by twisting the body around the spine and turning the shoulders relative to the hips. This energy is then released by first rotating the hips towards the ball and allowing the shoulders to follow so that the hips, torso, shoulders, arms, wrists and club "whip" though the ball and create maximum angular velocity at the club head.

    Along with twisting the body around the shaft of the spine, coaches have also emphasized what they call "loading the hips," which for right-handers means keeping the right hip still so creating even more stretch as the pelvis rotates on the back swing. It is the power created by this movement that the Northumbria team has demonstrated.

    "Up until now, the evidence for 'loading the hips' has all been anecdotal," says Dr Su Stewart , who led the research. "Coaches emphasize it, and certainly any golfer can feel the tension the movement creates. What we have shown is how closely this relatively small movement correlates with increased angular velocity at the club head. A great golf drive is not simply about creating torque by rotating the body around the spine, it is also about creating torque within the hips by rotating the pelvis around the right hip joint itself."

    In the study, eight right-handed male golfers with handicaps below five were tested in the laboratory with a variety of techniques including an array of 12 motion-capture cameras and 39 reflective markers (35 on the participants, four on the club).

    When the results were analysed, significant correlations were found between club-head angular velocity at the moment of impact with the ball and left and right maximum hip moment. What's more right-hip torque was significantly correlated to swing intensity both at the top of the backswing and at mid-downswing showing that the right hip is instrumental in initiating and driving the downswings that achieve the greatest distance and so suggesting new avenues for both research and coaching.

    Previous biomechanical research on the golf swing has focused mainly on the upper body, while research conducted on the lower body has focused mainly on the feet and knees.

    The new research was directed by Dr Stewart and undertaken by her undergraduate student James Haigh. James was awarded a first for the study and, in a rare accolade for an undergraduate, is presenting the findings at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science conference in Glasgow.

    Golf: Evidence of how 'loading the hips' improves golf drives

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    Did the study get into the shoulder turn?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveT View Post
    significant correlations were found between club-head angular velocity at the moment of impact with the ball and left and right maximum hip moment. What's more right-hip torque was significantly correlated to swing intensity both at the top of the backswing and at mid-downswing showing that the right hip is instrumental in initiating and driving the downswings that achieve the greatest distance and so suggesting new avenues for both research and coaching.
    interesting.

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    I increasingly wonder who these studies are based on, and what their swings are like...

    I mean, its obvious that the Steven Nesbitt paper isn't based around Tommy Gainey. I'm not disputing anything there, or in this post, and optimal is the key word. Its interesting to think how some of these papers may have turned out with some of the 'less orthodox' swings on tour. Just a thought.

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    Here's one for ya Stevie:

    Scientists will never understand the golf swing, because most of their studies are flawed.
    Some say his scrotum emits its own gravity field.

    The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?".

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    As much as I would love to disagree with you, you do have a point.

    Some of the scientific studies I've read used low handicap players (0-5) as one of their more skilled models as well as higher handicap players (15-20) as their average golfers. But if Golf Digest is correct on their math, then the best players in the world (i.e. Greg Norman in the 80's and Tiger Woods in the early 200's) are +8, +9 and some have Tiger as high as +13...true experts at the game. Don't you think that anyone that gets 14 shots from the best players in the world may be somewhat flawed in their technique?

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    Do you need to know how to build a Bugatti Veyron to fix a pick up?
    "Enlisted men are stupid, but extremely cunning and sly and bear considerable watching." ~ US Army Officer's Guide, 1894

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    No, but if one study uses Lance Armstrong as their model and another uses the club champion at their home course, its not quite apples to apples. Is it?

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    Apple to apples maybe?
    JDMAC, JDMAC, ekennedy and 1 others like this.
    "Enlisted men are stupid, but extremely cunning and sly and bear considerable watching." ~ US Army Officer's Guide, 1894

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgranato View Post
    Apple to apples maybe?
    That's just wrong, but very funny

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