January 5th, 2016

Some Exciting Results from Recent MGS Research Part I

Some Exciting Results from Recent Research on the Minimalist Golf Swing - the world's only anatomically efficient golf swing

Part I

The two pictures of a golfer wearing reflective markers on the pelvis and arms and standing on force plates represent a view from the target side of a golfer at ‘early downswing’. At this stage, the lead arm (here left arm of a right-handed golfer) is horizontal and the clubshaft (usually) vertical. The red arrows show the quantity and direction of ground reaction force, an indication of how forcefully the golfer can use the ground to push himself off, for eventually better club speed.

The picture on the left is of a golfer with his existing swing, while the one on the right is when he uses the Minimalist Golf Swing, after a single session in the laboratory.

Force plate pic

Research on muscle activation in the typical golf swing states that “At the end of the backswing, the hip and knee are flexed (bent).”  [from Electromyographic Analysis of the Hip and Knee During the Golf Swing by Bechler et al.] Combine that with information from a paper titled “A Review of Biomechanical Differences Between Golfers of varied Skill Levels” (http://multi-science.atypon.com/doi/pdf/10.1260/174795408785024117) which states that, “....recreational golfers demonstrated greater left lateral bending at the top of the backswing, resulting from sliding of the hips away from the target and dropping the left (lead) shoulder toward the ground.”

Together it can be seen that all golfers, to some extent or the other, have a trail hip which is flexed (bent) and at a higher level than the lead hip.

The Bechler et al. paper adds, “Forward swing (early downswing) is initiated as the trail hip begins to extend (straighten out), pushing the hip forward...”. Combine this observed downswing muscle activation pattern with the words of well-known PGA Tour chiropractor (http://www.golfbytourmiss.com/2015/01/a-glut-of-injury-on-the-pga-50-to-75-of-field-visit-physio-van-each-week/), “....many tour players are unable to rotate their lead hip area during the downswing, so have to forcefully power through with the trail-side gluteal muscles.”

It soon becomes apparent that golfers do not have a pure rotation of the pelvis/trunk region during either the back- or the through-swing, but one in which the bent and high trail hip must straighten and become level with the lead hip, before rotation can take place (see pic.  to understand better).

Put pic of hip level at top and early downswing here remove these words

Hence, as seen in the picture of the golfer on force plates on the left, although the right (trail side for this right-handed golfer) side hip is attempting to power through, the left side (as seen by the red arrow pointing vertically upwards) is “stuck” and does not reciprocally rotate. This probably happens during the straightening part of the right hip, at which time the torso has to drop its level down, in order to begin to rotate.

The red arrow through the lead (left) foot is much longer in the golfer’s existing swing, which implies that more force is being exerted by the golfer through that leg. This is a wasted force and probably keeps increasing, not creating any useful motion which might add to beneficial force transfer from the hips to the torso to the arms and finally to the club for a ‘summation of forces’ being passed on to the club.

With the MGS swing, the hips are always level with one-another, and the right trunk never rises during the backswing, so pure rotation begins earlier and is not impeded in any way. Thus, as seen in the force-plates picture on the right, there is a pure rotational force-couple being generated, with one red arrow pointing forward, the other backward.

Kiran Kanwar

  •   Developer of The Minimalist Golf Swing System -100% scientific, simple and specific
  •   BS (physics, math); MS (sports science, nutrition); PhD (biomechanics - student)
  •   Class A Member: the LPGA, The PGA (GB&I), The NGA of India, The PGA of India

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