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Back pain vs. Hip Rotation: The truth of lumbopelvic rotation

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

MYSWING 3D GOLF - FINDING YOUR BODY-SWING CONNECTION


Do you experience low back soreness and pain during or after your round of golf, or even swinging a few at the driving range?


Do you feel tightness in your hips when you try to rotate but not sure if you are rotating properly or enough?


In this blog, we are going to discuss lumbopelvic rotation & hip rotation and how they relate to back pain if you are not rotating properly or don’t have the range to rotate well.



HIP JOINT ROTATION INTERNAL (FOOT GOES OUTWARDS) AND EXTERNAL ( FOOT COMES INWARDS) - 35 DEGREES EACH DIRECTION

Lumbopelvic rotation is the key to separation of lower body to upper body. True lumbopelvic rotation is only approximately 5 degrees and when you look at the pelvis rotation in golf swing, it’s a combination of lumbopelvic and hip joint rotation. In order to rotate properly into the backswing, you will be around 35 degrees of hip internal rotation on the trail leg and 35 degrees of hip external rotation on the lead leg.








Golfers that tend to have back pain or soreness after a round of golf often fall into the category of having “tight hips” and restricted hip joint rotation which leads you to using your lumbopelvic joints and lumbar spine more to rotate in the golf swing. Although it is important to have good hip internal rotation in order to load into the hip for the backswing, hip external rotation is important as well but commonly overlooked by golfers.





Tight hip flexors and groins are one key to restricting hip external rotators. As you have 6 small muscles deep to the Glutes Max controlling hip external rotation, those muscles are often inhibited by the active adductors in the groin - pulling your leg inwards as you rotate and causing knee to drop too much as you try to rotate more.



GLUTEUS MEDIUS AND MINIMUS ARE PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR LATERAL HIP STABILITY & INTERNAL ROTATION

GLUTEUS MAXIMUS WORKS TO DRIVE THE HIP EXTENSION FOR POWER GENERATION

PIRIFORMIS IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON HIP EXTERNAL ROTATORS (DEEP SIX) THAT GETS TIGHT AND WEAK - WHICH LEADS TO IMPINGING THE SCIATIC NERVE AND RESTRICTS HIP JOINT INTERNAL ROTATION



As a result of that, it often leads to increase in pelvis side tilt and spine tilt, increasing the stress and load on the joints in your lower back and forces on the disc if you don’t have a stable core to stabilize the spine during rotation


AN EXAMPLE OF INCREASED ROTATION & TILT FROM THE LUMBAR SPINE TO MAKE UP FOR RESTRICTED HIP ROTATION



Since golf is a very one sided sport, it is also a key to maintain good hip rotation, both internal and external on both hips regardless of direction of swing.


Why? Because as you rotate both ways during the swing, both hip joints are required to rotate about 35 degrees opposite of each other in order for your pelvis to stay stabilized and allow you to post up to rotate through impact. The good mobility in the hip joints and pelvis along with SI joints all play a key role in proper use of the hips during the swing, so you don’t get stuck and stop the rotation right at impact.



If you find yourself restricted in your hips, don’t worry and start today!


Here’s a few simple exercises that can be done at home or as a warm up before you play!


This will help release the tension in the front of the hip - hip flexors and upper groin as you rotate your thigh outwards while pushing body forward to open...




These will help you with opening the hips up as well as activating the hip rotators so you can use your hips efficiently throughout the swing and not over stress your lower back!


This helps with improving hip joint mobility in all directions. www.swinglabtheory.com






Hip Rotators activation & control:


*Try this if you feel very tight under your glutes and restricted in either internal or external rotation.







Activating Hip Internal Rotators:


*Try this if you find it difficult in rotating into the hips during your swing.


This exercises are targeted at the Gluteus Medius & TFL muscles on the side of the hip to improve hip internal rotation & also hip lateral stability to help ...





Multifidus activation: Bird Dog Progression

This is to help stabilize your lumbopelvis rotation as you rotate through the swing.


This is an exercise to improve core stability by alternating arm and leg reaching out while keeping core engaged with a flat back. www.swinglabtheory.com



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