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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: How to swing like Rory

By Ron Kaspriske

fitness-friday-rory-mcilroy.jpgIf you wonder why golfers such as Rory McIlroy can routinely rip drives in excess of 330 yards— despite weighing less than 170 pounds—the answer can be found in kinesiology. McIlroy, like most long hitters, has the ability to dissociate his lower-body movement from his upper-body movement.

In simpler terms, he can rotate his pelvis without his torso moving in the same direction. This ability, known by golf-fitness experts as lower-body dissociation, allows a player to generate a tremendous amount of energy, which can then be used to smash the ball. If you watch a player such as McIlroy swing, you'll actually see his pelvis and lower body moving toward the target while he's still taking the club back with his upper body. This change of direction at the top of the swing creates a whip-like action that allows him to swing a driver through impact with tremendous speed. We're talking in excess of 120 mph. Average golfers swing a driver around 90 mph and a big reason is that they can't lead with their lower body during the downswing.

Related: View Rory McIlroy's swing frame-by-frame

Golf Digest fitness advisor Ben Shear (@ben_shear), who trains several players on the PGA Tour as well as amateurs like you and me, says there are many exercises that will help a golfer improve lower-body dissociation. Click on the video below to see a great one. Add this to your workout routine and see if it doesn't help you outdrive your buddies.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.

(Photo by Getty Images)