Lexi Thompson has no problem generating and storing power with her big backswing.
By Ron Kaspriske
I always get a chuckle when I hear the golf-and-fitness term "separating the torsos." It makes me think of a magician sawing his assistant in half. In golfspeak, what it means is the ability to rotate one half of your body while the other half remains virtually still. It's a huge factor in being able to properly synchronize a swing and deliver good power into the ball.
Where fitness comes into the equation is that you need to train to separate the torsos repeatedly and effectively. I recently spoke with golf instructor Karen Palacios-Jansen (@kpjgolf) on the topic. Karen, one of Golf Digest's 50 Best Women Teachers in America, spends a great deal of time with her players in the gym and she is a big believer in training the body as well as the swing. She says the thing she notices a lot with amateur golfers is they have physical limitations that prevent them from rotating effectively with their upper bodies.
"When you watch good golfers swing, you'll notice in their backswings that the upper body rotates a great deal while the lower body stays relatively still. What they are doing is coiling -- literally generating and storing power they can use to compress the ball. It's important that you train so that your upper body can rotate against a stable lower body."
To be able to swing like a pro, you need strength in your hips, glutes and legs -- to provide a stable base to coil against -- and flexibility in your torso in order to be able to make a big turn. The muscles of the mid-back should be trained to be pliable enough so they don't restrict the amount your upper body can coil against the lower body. This week, Karen demonstrates a couple of exercises you can do before a round, or incorporate into your workout routine, to make a bigger, better turn. Click on the video below to watch.
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor for Golf Digest.
Follow @Ron Kaspriske
(Photos by Stephen Szurlej)