__By Ron Kaspriske
One of the pioneers of common-sense physical fitness is Gray Cook (@graycookpt). He has a series of tests he uses to assess the functional movement of athletes. One of his favorites for golfers is the good ol' toe touch. Essentially it tests your body's ability to deep squat or hinge the hips correctly. Both are important to swinging a club the right way since you are typically swinging from a bent-over position.
"Everyone automatically assumes people can't do it because the hamstrings are too tight," Cook says. "That's the case only about a third of the time. There are many reasons, but if you can't toe touch, you're going to struggle with making an effective and safe golf swing."
Do you struggle to touch your toes without noticeably bending your knees? The most likely reason is that your brain is preventing you from doing it with straightened legs. It's like someone throws a shut-off switch to prevent you from getting injured. Your brain senses that you don't have enough mobility to round your back when you go into the touch. In order to learn how to do toe touches correctly, follow Cook's progression:
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.