Golf Solution #5: Load Your Back Leg the Right Way

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Load Your Back Leg to Utilize Your Power Potential.

At the top of your golf backswing, we really begin to find weight distribution faults that are more prevalent in golfers over 50 years old.

Generally speaking, you should have approximately 70% of your weight on your back foot and 30% still on your front foot. You have probably heard these or similar numbers before.

However, that is not the whole story.

You HAVE TO have more weight on the heel of your right foot than the toe, an approximately 35% to 65% split respectively.

Too Much Weight on the Toes

We have found that golfers over 50 years old, predominately have too much weight on their toes.

Too much weight on the toes can lead to a major loss of power coming from the right leg, casting/slicing swing path, and a loss of most of your rotational power capability.

So why do we find this in golfers over 50? It is probably not the reason that you might expect. The answer is both ankle flexibility and hip flexibility. That’s right, a weight distribution swing fault is almost always caused by a physical limitation.

In order to correctly load the back leg, you need to have approximately 55 degrees of right hip internal rotation (leg rotating in) range of motion. If you don’t have it (and you won’t have it unless you are stretching consistently), your body will shift weight forward (toward the ball) in order to get a full backswing…. that is bad news for your golf swing.

Check out this video Best Golf Stretch for Longer Drives for Golfers Over 50 on my youtube video page.

To check your position, take a full back swing and hold the position. Feel where your body weight is centered. Front to back and heel to toe.

Fitness Fixes

Perform this stretch to improve your backswing for more power and less back pain.

Take a long stride with your forward leg on a step. Keeping a flat back, rotate around your forward leg reaching across with your arm. Hold for 30 seconds.

Take a long stride with your forward leg on a step. Keeping a flat back, rotate around your forward leg reaching across with your arm. Hold for 30 seconds.

Perform this stretch if your ankle ROM is limiting you:

Left leg stretch for Gastroc Muscle. Notice the knee is straight and the heel is on the ground. Lean forward until stretch is felt.

Left leg stretch for Gastroc Muscle. Notice the knee is straight and the heel is on the ground. Lean forward until stretch is felt.

 

 

 

Pro Fixes

Transition Drill is a good drill that we use to help golfers feel the proper transition in the backswing. There are a couple things you want to focus on with this drill:

1. Keep your weight on the inside of your back foot
2. Rotate your hips in your backswing so you feel like you are coiling around your back leg SLIGHTLY.
3. This is a drill you can do hitting balls but you should tee up the ball.

Setup to the ball and take your normal golf swing. In you backswing lift up your left leg and rotate it slightly around your right leg. Continue your normal motion for a full golf swing.

Setup to the ball and take your normal golf swing. In you backswing lift up your left leg and rotate it slightly around your right leg. Continue your normal motion for a full golf swing.

 

Golf Training Aid Fixes

If you read our previous article on weight distribution for the address position, the same training aids will help you here. Here they are again:

The Pivotpro

GolfJOC PivotPro Training Right Handed1. The PivotPro. This is the best training aid for weight distribution. It’s an easy to use aid for golfers of all abilities to develop and improve their understanding of the importance of weight distribution. Your balance and weight distribution at address and throughout the entire golf swing

Your balance and weight distribution at address and throughout the entire golf swing is crucial to hitting the ball well.

When your balance is improved, this follow-through into a better golf swing with a more accurate, and powerfully consistent ball strike. You’ll find you have a more reliable putting stroke.

This simple device works by forcing you to keep your weight on the inside of your back leg. In turn, this encourages a full coil on your backswing, which produces the correct weight distribution and footwork.

The PivotPro is lightweight to wear. It will help you reduce slicing, coming over the top, hooking and hip sway. Best of all, you can use it indoors or at the range with your own clubs.

Golf Alignment Sticks

Golfnsticks Alignment Sticks2. My second recommendation is the Balance Rod: Golfnsticks Golf Alignment Sticks.This training aid is not as effective as The Balanced Golfer but is a lot less expensive.

Both training aids work by decreasing the support under your toes and heels. On the backswing, your right heel should be down and right toe should be up. Make sure you keep your weight on the inside of your right heel = BIG TIME POWER LOADING…try it out.

Thanks for reading!!

Dr Ryan York, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist

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