Hey Macs… We know that elbows only open and close. What about the hips…do they only allow movement forward and back…like bending from the hips would be the forward movement…and any rotational activity comes from elsewhere. In other words…is there any rotational capacity within the hips at all, or are they only assigned forward and back movement. Thanks… :slight_smile: RR

Nice one, RR, this is an interesting area. It would be great to hear from those who know…
I found this on a brief search. The other thing I’d come across when I was digging through some spiral/dna stuff, is that all bones have a spiral structure to them, and apparently move helically over eachother at least to some degree. Feel free to correct me on that, since processing some of the more complex anatomy stuff is not always easy.

Boy, ain’t that the truth! Way to complex for me. I’ve been looking at ways in which too much forward spine tilt at address might be bad because it puts a “load” into the hips- in other words, they’ve moved forward within the ball socket area. Maybe the “loading of the hips” should be reserved for transition. I’ve looked at a lot of YT videos of Hogan DTL from GolfBulldog and in those his forward spine tilt is more pronounced coming into impact versus what it was at address, among other things.

Maybe that’s behind Hogan’s admonition to feel erect at address, avoiding as much as possible loading the hips forward then because since they will be doing that later…the then and later combined would be too much and would cause a pull out or up. Not to mean eliminating forward spine tilt at address…but to do so without forward loading of the hips as much as possible.

Sounds like there is, in everday life movement, some rotational capacity within the hip area. Yeah…would be good to hear from the experts about anatomy of the hip area and how it works. :slight_smile: RR


Yes both internal and external and internal rotation happens at the hip joint. Also flexion (forward) and extension (backward) as well as abduction (away from the center) and addcution (toward the center). But the forward backward motion is way more in magnitude because of the shape of the femoral neck attaching almost at right angle to the shaft.
Having said that I think engaging the external rotation of the right hip (feel pressure by your right nut according to Hogan) is important because it tightens the muscles to provide a firmer structure during impact. Our elementary teachers used to use that as a form of punishment (to be a chair for 10 minutes and its not easy). I have seen a youtube vid of Hogan where his left foot slides on the backswing (strong pivoting on the backswing) and have tried to swing left handed to feel the pivot activation from the left side but not with a lot of success. As an aside we dont want a lot the abduction/adduction movement of the hips aka sliding.

The shear or tensile mobility in long bones is miniscule but prevents them from breaking under shearing stress. Somewhat like graphite shafts.

PS: you guys refer to me as an expert and although I have studied applied anatomy at graduate Med School, dont qoute me if some money is involved. : :laughing: :laughing:

Thanks Macs…nice! Have a few more questions that I’ll have to dig the answers out myself, but you’ve provided a solid start in which to work from. :smiley: RR

Thanks, Macs, interesting stuff. What do you know about the pelvis and spine relationship? Are they basically fused or can they move independently from eachother? I could probably find that out, but seeing as I’m here…

One of the confusing issue for me has been the use of movments terms which are not anatomically correct. And the pelvis is one of them. I think the pelvis is made ery immobile so it can provide a stable base for the spine or torso to rotate around. The torso rotation is a very counter evolutionary movement as we are the only mammals who can do it with any purpose. As a corollary of that, it is a well known fact that humans have the most back problems. We havent evolved enough yet to adopt to our errect posture. The other anatomically incorrect word is shoulder rotation which is actually rotation of the upper spine.
So back on topic the pevis joint with the sacrum and thereby the spine is almost immobile (gives in a little bit during child birth and ? related happenings mostly under hormonal influence). So again the pelvis is for stability and the rotatory motion of the hips help in that. The pivot then is basically the spine and in golf swing it has to act in an upper and lower segment, kind of agianst each other. In transition we square the lower spine but keeping the upper one turned. Then from P3 to P4 we do the opposite; fire the upper segment while keeping the lower segment relativley stationary. All of this is no mean feat and oviously depends on your genetic flexibility; aging; training and any disease process. The later to some degree affects 75% of the population because of our unwise move to stand erect.

Cheers, Macs… good stuff. In accordance with some of Snead’s thoughts and a lot of the old time swings, it seems important to move the pelvis with the legs maybe first, as the initiator. What about just in terms of functional everyday motion? Any thoughts on that? Transitioning from the top with the legs becomes much more instinctive when they’ve been involved from the get go. A line from a Snead video that I love is the ‘feet and hands move together’, you can feel the rhythm and fluidity in it. I’ve often felt very connected in my movements when I linked the motion of the club away with the motion of my left knee. Johnny Miller does that really well, and has some the best leg action I’ve ever seen, at least it’s one of my favourites. It’s clear why it’s so important to maintain pivot work through impact. It seems to all go back to the legs carrying and moving the machine.

RR - the hips can be used for thrusting, but if you are only assigning them “forward and back movement” you will be seriously one-dimensional and non-desirable for the more sophisticated/practiced female! While the hips can be motivated both forward and back…timing, depth of thrust, frequency of movement should all be used given your partner’s verbal, physical and auditory cues. And please do not discard circular and rocking motions of the hips as well.

Good luck and happy hunting.
Captain Chaos

The feet knees and ultimatley hips for sure move the pelvis in big ways. The aim will always be to moe it in a way to always provide a stable base for the upper torso. After we had that discussion about my heel plant, I have changed my view of the heel plant and agree more with your line of thinking. I am now a big believer in foot pressure points and how to feel them at differrent points in the swing. Foot pressure are easy to relate to as they are in contact with ground. I believe the hands are the only floating structure that you can relate to in fast motion because they are so richly innervated (larger area of the brain assigned to them).This is how the human body is represented proportionely to the brain. humunculus.jpg. So for me its feet and hands these days in term of feel.
I relate to the left knee during the take back too but again that is a way for us to keep the pelvis stable. I have seen a youtube vid of Hogan where his left fots get dragged very much like the right foot dragging during the through swing meaning he is using the full force of torso for the backswing too.

Great picture Macs…good to see “taste” assigned more space than sight so we don’t eat the forbidden fruit once we find it. I agree with you on hands and feet as they are the only true contact points for direct sensations. Well, maybe the arms tied to the torso too, and a few others, but perhaps in a more indirect sense in terms of it being a spatial awareness issue. :slight_smile: RR

Cheers again, Macs. I reckon foot pressure points are a great way to feel and move your swing. I do believe that the rotational journey of club around the body shows up very much in the foot pressure. We only get to feel it basically through the heels and balls of the feet, but it’s a rotational journey. The heel toe, toe heel journey is a sort of circular journey if you can picture that. Even the knees bending inwards scribe a parts of a circle, or at least a curve.
So, do you think that the torso/pelvis relationship works best in terms of power and coordination, when they’re with eachother. From an anatomical perspective, it would explain a lot of why so many good strikers have their ‘hips’ sort of behind and facing the ball- it’s often described as facing the target, but I think in great strikers, that intent is to align force with the back of the ball, not the ‘target’. I have a lot of thoughts and questions about this area. Good thread RR.
One of the main questions that always bugs me, and I tend to steer clear of the term as a result, is, what are the ‘hips’? Are they something? Are there actual hips, or are they just the pelvis? I find it beneficial to picture the pelvis as a solid structure to be moved and stabilized as opposed to thinking hips. Any thoughts? Like you, I do think correct anatomical descriptions would help- the ones that I like, anyway :slight_smile: There really is a lot in this discussion, I think. Thanks for your input.

Suffice it to say, The Captain’s brain awareness model might be somewhat differently proportioned?


or he would want those highly sensitive lips to be somewhere else. :laughing: :laughing:

In terms of golfswing sure; because you want to eliminate a lot of the movments i.e no lateral motion and no extension (rising up) or flexion (falling over). So basically you are left with the only useful range of motion i.e rotation.
I dont know if I understand your description of the pelvis facing the ball but if that means back to squarish and then resisting further rotation through ground pressure and thus allowing the upper torso to have to fire through from P3 to P4 then that will be ideal. Kind of from square to their final position they are dragged by the upper torso.
One more thing which has intrested me is that any extremely fast motion wether it is active or passive (caused by something else) feels powerful and active. I thing to an extent the right hand firing is like that and the right leg snapping after it can no longer resisit against all the big trunk muscles. These two movments feel like active slap in case of the right hand and leg drive by the right foot. But IMO (and I dont have anything to prove it) a lot of the power of both these come from the big back and abodominal muscles. Thoughts??

I like this topic too. Just trying to get some things sorted out about the hips. I’m still examining Hogan’s posture at address…I think his overall uprightness at address may speak to something he wanted to do in the hip area. From a walking down the street perspective: if we are walking forward with a bunch of forward spine tilt caused by using the hips directly, it is difficult to turn a corner- almost like the forward hip orientation within the socket fuses the spine and pelvic area together, and the turning of the corner is accomplished with the hips and shoulders moving at the exact same rate and direction.

Whereas when walking down the street perfectly erect, with no forward lean of the spine due to moving the hip forward within the socket, the hip and pelvic area are free to move independently of the torso.

I’m thinking Hogan may have wanted to have forward spine angle more as a result from the knees, and just the natural process of reaching down for something lower and away from him, while at the same time keeping the hips as “straight” within the sockets as he could keep them.

Too many thoughts…Good stuff all :slight_smile: RR

I’ll get back to more of this later, but I mean more that they facilitate the rotation of the upper body by orienting themselves to where the force will be required with pressure still in the right foot. Palmer and DL3 would be classic examples of what I mean. They’re aligned structurally with their pelvis/COG to apply force to the ball, but it’s also sort of the exit path, and then the upper torso rotates hard on that structure.

I’m not sure about the details of the first part, it sounds connected to Lag’s internal forces and I don’t know all the ins and outs of that. But I do see the back as a huge power source for the pull/left side. Because the left and right sides are doing different things and going in different directions, they’re powered differently. I’d see the upper back unwind as the left side power source, while the abdominal muscles at the front are more connected to the contraction and acceleration of the right side. As much as the right side ‘pushes’ it’s also pulled forward internally into it’s ‘push’, and is rooted in the right foot. It doesn’t have much without that pressure in the right foot, and I see that coming out of the front of the foot with the calf muscle playing a big role. It’s important, I think, to maintain the height in the right side coming into impact, and in particular the right ‘hip’. If the right side of the pelvis goes low early, it’s not good. This is one of the reasons why spinning out or straightening the left leg too soon is so bad. I really learned and benefitted a lot regarding the structure of the swing by studying the bones. It takes on a different picture when you look at all that stuff, it’s more nuts and bolts machine type stuff. Bone alignment is huge in my view- when the bones are out of line, the muscles have to work overtime to compensate and pull things back together. If you take care of that, then the muscles can be used constructively and not for saving balance or not falling over.

I just wish Ben had of phrased it “once you turn your hips in the backswing ,the right hip becomes the pivot point. To start your downswing, turn your left hip back to the left, pivoting around the right hip. The right hip should move towards the target enough to transfer weight to the left leg”


Gives you heaps of room down the 4:30 line!

Disclaimer: I may be completly off the mark! :laughing:


We all know that the ball doesn’t lie but the hips don’t lie either
Nothing good ever happens if my hips don’t keep moving and allow for the real work to get done. Notice the ground pressure you must apply if your intention is to really isolate and control the lower body :bulb:

That left arm connection is so last week, this week I’m all about the hips… again :laughing: