Can’t Touch Your Toes?
If you can’t touch your toes, that could be causing a problem for your swing…
Why would touching your toes even matter for the game of golf? You’re never bending down during the swing. The only time you’re bending down is to get the ball out of the hole and to tee it up…
It’s all in the hips
Well, lucky for you it really has nothing to do with touching the toes, but more about your ability to hinge at the hips. What’s a hip hinge you might ask? A hip hinge is a movement where you bend forward by “folding” at your hips, causing your bum to move backwards, while keeping a relatively neutral spine angle. This movement is paramount for everyday activities and the golf swing.
So what does this have to do with touching your toes. For most people who can’t touch their toes it’s not because they aren’t flexible enough. It’s usually because they’re bending forward with their upper body and back. When you attempt to touch your toes that way, your brain says, “hey, my face is going to fall into the floor!” To stop your face from going into the floor, your body naturally tightens up the back of your thighs and other muscles to stop you from falling forward.
So that tightness you feel in the back of your thighs may not actually be hamstring tightness, but your brain telling your body not to slam your face in the ground.
To naturally and easily touch your toes, you can hinge at your hips and this should allow the muscles in the back of your thigh to relax, for improved ability to reach down towards your toes.
Why does this matter for golf?
Maintaining a hinge posture throughout a majority of your swing will allow multiple things to happen. For one, it will allow enough space for your hands to come down in the slot, allowing the club to be on the correct plane to the ball. Second, by being able to stay in a proper position throughout your swing, it will help to increase the consistency of shots. Lastly, it will allow you to utilize the muscles along the backside of your body, which are vital for creating significant amounts of force and power in your swing to make sure you get the most distance on every shot.
If you can’t properly hinge at the hips and maintain that position throughout the golf swing, you will most likely end up losing posture. This will cause you to most likely stand up during the swing causing an early extension swing characteristic, which can result in blocked shots to the right or hooks to left, for the right handed golfer.
How can you learn to touch your toes properly?
If you can’t touch your toes and want to learn how to hinge at the hips properly, please check out the video below. I go over 2 drills that will help you learn how to hinge properly at the hips so you can get down to touch your toes in no time!
If you can’t bend down to touch your toes because your back may hurt when you do, check out this article to get some help for your back. Or if you feel that something in your hips is limiting your ability to bend forward, you can check this article out for some help with that too.
If you gave those 2 drills in the video the ol’ college try and still can’t touch your toes, I want to help you! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you within 24 hours. Or you can schedule a free 30-minute phone call with me HERE so we can chat about your exact situation so we can get you feeling your best so you can play your best.