In part 1 of this article, we are going to go deep into what the term disassociation is and why it’s such an important concept for rotational athletes such as golfers to understand, and a skill they need to be able to perform.
You Must Know What Your Sport Requires!
Every golfer knows that golf is a sport that requires rotational power. And training for rotation power requires that you truly understand the concept of disassociation. Yet, of the hundreds of golfers I’ve worked with over the years none have said they’ve been introduced to the concept of disassociation in their lessons.
What Is Disassociation?
As it relates to golf and other rotational sports, disassociation can be defined as the separation of one body segment from another in the transverse plane (the imaginary plane that divides the body into superior and inferior parts, or upper and lower half).
The Perfect Backswing Sequence
“The first move in the backswing we call the golf swing takeaway. For many golfers-learning to get a great backswing takeaway feeling can transform the overall look and simplicity of your golf swing.”__ Danny Maude, Golf Pro
In rotational sports such as golf, there is a loading phase and an unloading phase. For golfers, the loading phase begins when the hands move the club away from the target line on its way to the top of the backswing. In order to do this effectively, the athlete needs to move their upper body over a relatively fixed lower body. This stretches out what is anatomically known as the Anterior Oblique Sling.
This is the same way a quarterback throws a football and a boxer prepares to throw a right cross. The trail arm is moving away from the lead leg/hip. In other words, the upper body and lower body are separating or disassociating themselves from one another.
When you move your hands away from the target while keeping your lead arm parallel with the ground you are able to store elastic energy in your lead hip and torso because your spine is rotating around the fixed axis of your trail hip. This allows your torso to work in concert with your hips to generate greater club-head speed, in a more efficient and fluid manner.
Think Of It This Way…..
Think of a bow and arrow. In order to make the arrow go far and fast and to hit your desired target you must first stabilize the bow with your lead arm and pull the string back as far as you can with your trail arm. In order to pull the string back as far as you can you must have good posture, balance, strength, and muscular elasticity in order to keep one part of your body secure and stable while stretching out the opposing segment. One half of your body remains stable while the other is moving (mobile). This is what allows you to generate power and is a perfect example of how stability and mobility work together.
In a proper golf backswing, the upper body going in one direction while the lower body is going in the other direction, which puts incredible amounts of tensile load on the tissues that cross from the lead hip to the trail shoulder. In order to get “wound up” to release enough kinetic energy for a powerful golf swing it is essential that the upper body leads in the backswing over a relatively fixed lower body.
END OF PART 1