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Many golf fitness experts will tell you about the importance of flexibility, mobility, and stability in the golf swing individually. However, they do not usually stress how important it is to be well balanced in all three instead of just being exceptional at one or two.

A Swing That Is Solid and Repeatable

Our bodies have alternating mobile and stable joints. It is important in a golf swing to have muscle stability that supports your joints. Understanding how these alternating joints function can help you build your understanding on how flexibility, mobility, and stability work together to create the perfect golf swing. It is important that you are well balanced between the three in order to create a solid, repeatable swing. This post will help you learn more about flexibility, mobility, and stability and their codependency. We will also assess misconceptions and common errors that can be damaging to our bodies and our game.

We’re Not All Pros on a PGA Tour

If you’ve picked up any popular golf magazine, you might notice that articles on how to swing are geared towards experienced golfers. We can all learn by watching videos of professionals hitting the ball but we must remind ourselves that we do not have the same training or capabilities that the professionals have. Without conditioning and training, it is not plausible for us to assume that we can get our bodies to do the same things their bodies can. With that in mind, it is important that we build our understanding on the way that our bodies move. One way you can do this is by completing a physical assessment so that we know our capabilities and limitations. Your physical assessment will look for ways to improve your flexibility, mobility, and stability which will be a great tool to have as you work on creating a good golf swing.

Completing a Physical Assessment

Physical assessments can be completed in person or virtually. These will determine both your capabilities and limitations then provide you with feedback on how you can improve your golf swing. The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) worked with some of the top physical therapists worldwide to create easy-to-do physical movement screens that analyze body movements while swinging your club. A TPI assessment consists of four basic aspects: mobility, stability, flexibility, and balance. We will focus on the first three and save balance for later.

What are Flexibility, Mobility, and Stability in the Golf Swing?

  • Flexibility is the ability of a muscle to stretch or lengthen. This can also include how flexible supportive tissues like tendons and ligaments are.
  • Mobility looks at how well our joints move as well as the range of motion of a single joint. It is the degree to which a joint can move prior to being restricted by surrounding tissues including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. While there are certain standards set for how joints should move, it is important to note that we are all not the same and there are several contributing factors that can limit are mobility (genetics, injury, physical traits, etc.).
  • Stability is most commonly referred to as muscle strength however it is more than that. Stability is also our ability to maintain and/or control joint movement and position. Your body coordinates that actions of surrounding tissues with the neuromuscular system. So while strength is a valuable asset to stability, it is important that our muscles are able to hold our joints in position as they move through their entire range of motion.

Stability is Not Just Strength

As stated above, stability isn’t just pure strength, it is also neuromuscular. Our bodies require conditioning to get our muscles to work through their full range of motion beyond what they have become accustomed to. We should work our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and stabilizers in multiple positions while resisting weights beginning with static weight training and progressing to functional weight-bearing movements to increase our stability.

  • Core Stability – To build your core, start by doing simple planks. As your stability and strength increase, hold yourself in the plank position then switch to moving through other planes and repeating this over and over— you could start in a side plank, then go down to an elbow plank, then rotate to the other side.
  • Stabilizing Your Shoulder Joints – Moving planks that require us to remain stable around shoulder movement. The muscles that support our shoulder joint into these positions stabilize our bodies. If our muscles can support the weight of our entire bodies on our elbows and toes then these muscles will certainly have the ability to swing a golf club. Stability is not simply static strength but dynamic strength that happens as we move our joints through their entire range of motion.

Flexibility & Mobility Issues Can Limit Each Other

It can be difficult to determine whether you have a problem with your mobility or flexibility without screening. For instance, if you can’t touch your toes without bending your knees or arching your lower back, do you have a mobility issue that is causing your hips not to hinge or does it have something to do with the flexibility of your hamstrings? If you cannot physically hinge at the hips, it won’t matter how long or flexible your hamstrings are, you still will not be able to touch your toes. If you’re able to hinge at the hips but your hamstrings aren’t long enough then, again, you will not be able to touch your toes. This is why physical assessments are important. They allow us to determine what problem(s) exists so that we can fix them.

You Need All Three to Make a Solid Swing

A golf swing is perhaps one of the more difficult movements in sports because you need flexibility, mobility, and stability. A solid swing requires flexibility in our muscles, our joints must have a wide range of movement, and we must be stable enough to hold our joints in place as other parts our our bodies move. If we are lacking in any of these, it will reflect in our golf swing. Having too much mobility and flexibility could result in hypermobility, but not having enough could lead to inflexibility that causes our movements to be rigid.

What Do You Need More Of?

Every persons is different so which element is more important is based upon how fit you are, your golf abilities, and your swing. But while one might need more improvements than the other, it is important that you have a balance of all three— flexibility, mobility, and stability. To determine how you can improve your golf swing, we suggest completing a TPI assessment to determine any limitations you might have. Once you’ve completed your assessment, you should first focus on improving any mobility or flexibility issues before working on your stability. But do not overlook any suggestions on improving stability as all three contribute to your swing. Mobility and flexibility allow you to drive the ball farther but stability builds your consistency. You may consider trying a golf fitness program customized to fit your needs.

You Will Need Nutrition and Hydration During Your Golf Conditioning

If you plan on partaking in any fitness program you should be getting at least the minimum amount of macronutrients and staying hydrated. This will help you build up your muscles and get yourself in better physical shape. You most likely will not have to change your entire diet but you will be encouraged to eat enough protein and healthy fats. You should also be drinking plenty of water— both of these steps will maximize your results. What you put into your body is a reflection of what you get out so having a balanced diet with minimal grains and processed foods will be better for your overall health and in turn help you become a better athlete. This is where GLFR Supplements will help the most.
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