Click here and enter your email address to watch the full video
Tyler Ferrell is the only person in the world named to Golf Digest's list of Best Young Teachers in America AND its list of Best Golf Fitness Professionals in America. Meet your new instructor.
Swing Analysis Videos

Subscribe now to watch the full video.

Analysis - Bracing Strategies - Pros Vs Ams

"Bracing" is the term I use for moving your body away from the golf ball and target. It serves two key mechanisms. It helps to transfer speed from the handle to the club head, and it helps get your body in a position to safely decelerate the speed that you've created. It is also a common way for getting the club to shallow out so identifying your own bracing strategy can help you really understand your release.

Playlists: Swing Analysis Videos, Train Your Release

Tags: Not Enough Distance, Release, Analysis, Concept, Intermediate

00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:05,000
In this analysis video, we're going to look at bracing strategies.

00:00:05,000 --> 00:00:10,000
So bracing is a component of the release, which is going to begin somewhere around this

00:00:10,000 --> 00:00:16,000
part of the swing and transfer or travel all the way until this part of the swing.

00:00:16,000 --> 00:00:19,000
We're basically the club passes the body.

00:00:19,000 --> 00:00:26,000
So bracing is essentially a pulling away or a counter movement to help shallow out the angle

00:00:26,000 --> 00:00:32,000
of the attack, curve the hand path inward, but also from a mechanical perspective to

00:00:32,000 --> 00:00:37,000
transfer the speed from the handle to the clubhead and prepare the body or get the body

00:00:37,000 --> 00:00:41,000
in position and get the right muscles active to be able to handle all that speed.

00:00:41,000 --> 00:00:47,000
So in the case of someone like Jamie said, Lowski, you can see that his lower body is

00:00:47,000 --> 00:00:53,000
starting to push as upper body is starting to kind of crunch and pull away and then as

00:00:53,000 --> 00:00:59,000
those arms extend, now he's in a great position where if I had a cable pulling away just

00:00:59,000 --> 00:01:05,000
like the club over here, he's in a good position to be able to pull on that with a lot

00:01:05,000 --> 00:01:06,000
of force.

00:01:06,000 --> 00:01:11,000
So that means that his body will safely be able to handle a lot of speed.

00:01:11,000 --> 00:01:16,000
There's one argument that essentially your body can only speed something up as fast as you

00:01:16,000 --> 00:01:17,000
can slow it down.

00:01:17,000 --> 00:01:23,000
So if you can't handle a lot of speed from a deceleration perspective, it'll be very hard

00:01:23,000 --> 00:01:26,000
to create a lot of speed from acceleration perspective.

00:01:26,000 --> 00:01:30,000
In this video we're going to take a look at different strategies of how golfers use either

00:01:30,000 --> 00:01:36,000
their lower body, their core, their upper body or their whole body to initiate and complete

00:01:36,000 --> 00:01:41,000
this bracing strategy that is so critical for a good release.

00:01:41,000 --> 00:01:45,000
Now technically you can observe a bracing strategy with any club, but it's going to be

00:01:45,000 --> 00:01:46,000
more exaggerated.

00:01:46,000 --> 00:01:50,000
It's going to be easier for us to see bracing strategies when we look at driver.

00:01:50,000 --> 00:01:55,000
So over on the left we have Tom Watson and the beginning of the release is kind of in

00:01:55,000 --> 00:02:02,000
this zone here and then we're going to look at a couple examples of total body bracing

00:02:02,000 --> 00:02:07,000
before we then get into comparing that to people who use more of a lower body or an upper

00:02:07,000 --> 00:02:09,000
body strategy.

00:02:09,000 --> 00:02:15,000
So you're not going to see a major movement through any one particular area in his body.

00:02:15,000 --> 00:02:17,000
He's using a little bit of his hips.

00:02:17,000 --> 00:02:18,000
He's using a little bit of his core.

00:02:18,000 --> 00:02:20,000
He's using a little bit of his neck.

00:02:20,000 --> 00:02:22,000
He's using a little bit of his shoulders.

00:02:22,000 --> 00:02:27,000
It's kind of distributing the load very, very throughout his entire body.

00:02:27,000 --> 00:02:31,000
And so what you'll tend to see in this pattern is golfers are going to look like they

00:02:31,000 --> 00:02:34,000
have a lot of rhythm and they're going to look very, very smooth through the ball because

00:02:34,000 --> 00:02:41,000
there's going to be no look of kind of aggression and there's going to be no look of a stall.

00:02:41,000 --> 00:02:44,000
Now over here on the right we have Adam Scott.

00:02:44,000 --> 00:02:47,000
He's also a total body bracer.

00:02:47,000 --> 00:02:51,000
If we look at his lower body in his core, you can see a lot of activity going on in his

00:02:51,000 --> 00:02:53,000

00:02:53,000 --> 00:02:59,000
But if we start looking right around here, you'll also see that he has a fairly pronounced

00:02:59,000 --> 00:03:00,000
neck movement.

00:03:00,000 --> 00:03:07,000
In fact, he's using his SCM pretty aggressively in order to create stability in the ribcage

00:03:07,000 --> 00:03:14,000
to help create that platform for the right side of Domino's to really grab onto and

00:03:14,000 --> 00:03:16,000
desolary it from.

00:03:16,000 --> 00:03:21,000
So these are two different examples of what it looks like to use your entire body.

00:03:21,000 --> 00:03:23,000
We'll explore a few more.

00:03:23,000 --> 00:03:25,000
So over on the left we have Greg McDowell.

00:03:25,000 --> 00:03:27,000
He's another kind of total body bracer.

00:03:27,000 --> 00:03:31,000
You'll see a fair amount of this side crunch movement.

00:03:31,000 --> 00:03:33,000
But he's not doing it just from the neck.

00:03:33,000 --> 00:03:35,000
He's not doing it just from the core or just from the hips.

00:03:35,000 --> 00:03:41,000
He's kind of distributing it through his entire body and through the entire load.

00:03:41,000 --> 00:03:45,000
So you'll see it kind of initiate there with the legs, but he's using a lot of his total

00:03:45,000 --> 00:03:46,000

00:03:46,000 --> 00:03:49,000
This helps create that look of really fluid tempo.

00:03:49,000 --> 00:03:53,000
It gets him in a good position so that if there was a cable machine pulling where the

00:03:53,000 --> 00:03:58,000
club is pulling, his body would be able to handle a lot of force that way.

00:03:58,000 --> 00:04:01,000
Over here we have Bubba Watson.

00:04:01,000 --> 00:04:05,000
You'll see he's a little bit more of a legs and upper.

00:04:05,000 --> 00:04:10,000
It doesn't use as much of his core so you can see he's doing a fair amount with the knees

00:04:10,000 --> 00:04:17,000
in there and at about the same time you'll see his head start to or his neck doing a little

00:04:17,000 --> 00:04:22,000
bit of a crunch as he tries to stabilize his shoulder girl.

00:04:22,000 --> 00:04:27,000
There are some schools that thought they basically look at the shoulder and the neck as kind

00:04:27,000 --> 00:04:28,000
of a whole complex.

00:04:28,000 --> 00:04:33,000
So the shoulder, the scapula and the neck kind of all work in integration, a lot of their

00:04:33,000 --> 00:04:37,000
muscles kind of have multiple roles.

00:04:37,000 --> 00:04:43,000
One muscle that can move the neck that same muscle can also move the shoulders depending

00:04:43,000 --> 00:04:44,000
on which is the fixed point.

00:04:44,000 --> 00:04:46,000
So they tend to work in conjunction.

00:04:46,000 --> 00:04:50,000
So you'll see a lot of people using their shoulder and neck mechanics.

00:04:50,000 --> 00:04:54,000
Here's an example of someone using knee, some core and shoulder and neck so we put him in

00:04:54,000 --> 00:04:56,000
the total body category.

00:04:57,000 --> 00:05:00,000
So now the last one we're going to look at for a total body is going to be Jordan

00:05:00,000 --> 00:05:01,000

00:05:01,000 --> 00:05:08,000
You can see that there's a fair amount of leg activity going on kind of through there.

00:05:08,000 --> 00:05:12,000
And you'll see his upper body kind of working himself away.

00:05:12,000 --> 00:05:16,000
And so even though he incorporates more of that left shoulder shrug, you can see the

00:05:16,000 --> 00:05:22,000
amount of glute squeeze, you can see the amount of side bend and kind of core activity.

00:05:22,000 --> 00:05:27,000
He's using his total body to be able to handle the speed of the club right about there.

00:05:27,000 --> 00:05:32,000
And then all the real goofy stuff is more during the kind of the real deceleration phase.

00:05:32,000 --> 00:05:38,000
So after the club is reached, it's for this point away and he's just finding a way to kind

00:05:38,000 --> 00:05:39,000
of handle the force.

00:05:39,000 --> 00:05:44,000
But it's a very solid, bracing and deceleration pattern.

00:05:44,000 --> 00:05:48,000
I think that's part of the reason why he has such consistency.

00:05:48,000 --> 00:05:54,000
I'll notice that a lot of the golfers who we've shown in the total body bracing strategy tend

00:05:54,000 --> 00:05:57,000
to have some really good levels of consistency.

00:05:57,000 --> 00:06:00,000
So now over here on the left we have John Senden.

00:06:00,000 --> 00:06:06,000
Now I wanted to use him because you'll see that it looks very fluid through the ball.

00:06:06,000 --> 00:06:10,000
Now part of that is because he's more of an upper body dominant swinger.

00:06:10,000 --> 00:06:14,000
In fact, he's one of the most accurate and consistent upper body dominant swingers on

00:06:14,000 --> 00:06:17,000
tour at least in my opinion.

00:06:17,000 --> 00:06:21,000
But he's also not someone who swings very hard.

00:06:21,000 --> 00:06:26,000
So what you'll tend to see is there's not a lot of bracing going on from the lower body.

00:06:26,000 --> 00:06:30,000
It's mostly from the rib cage up.

00:06:30,000 --> 00:06:36,000
So from about this level up is where all of his bracing is actually occurring.

00:06:36,000 --> 00:06:40,000
But because he's not swinging very hard, it doesn't look very exaggerated.

00:06:40,000 --> 00:06:45,000
So this is one example where you can't just look at tempo, it might throw you off a little

00:06:45,000 --> 00:06:47,000
bit if you're looking at bracing strategies.

00:06:47,000 --> 00:06:52,000
But if you kind of look at the frame by frame and what's moving and what's stabilizing,

00:06:52,000 --> 00:06:55,000
you can get a pretty clear picture.

00:06:55,000 --> 00:06:59,000
So John Senden is going to be the first of what we're going to call more of an upper body

00:06:59,000 --> 00:07:00,000
bracing strategy.

00:07:00,000 --> 00:07:04,000
But we'll look at a few more who are little bit more obvious.

00:07:04,000 --> 00:07:07,000
Okay so over on the left we have Cory Paveon and on the right we have Lee Westwood.

00:07:07,000 --> 00:07:11,000
These are both more of the upper body bracing strategy golfers.

00:07:11,000 --> 00:07:15,000
So there are a couple of big shoulder neck muscles.

00:07:15,000 --> 00:07:22,000
You'll see Cory Paveon doing a pretty good little crunch movement where this part of his body

00:07:22,000 --> 00:07:25,000
is kind of working away from the golf ball.

00:07:25,000 --> 00:07:29,000
That's going to help him shallow out the angle attack as well as initiate this transfer

00:07:29,000 --> 00:07:33,000
from the handle to the clubhead.

00:07:33,000 --> 00:07:38,000
But you won't see a ton of kind of, you won't see a ton of dynamic bracing happening

00:07:39,000 --> 00:07:46,000
from his legs, his hips, his core, all that area is more passive and kind of supporting

00:07:46,000 --> 00:07:52,000
what his arms are doing as opposed to really driving them through that phase.

00:07:52,000 --> 00:07:59,000
Now over on the right we can see an even more pronounced kind of neck crunch movement.

00:07:59,000 --> 00:08:03,000
The neck crunch movement really helps stabilize the shoulder girdle and gives the arms a

00:08:03,000 --> 00:08:06,000
stronger platform to really push off of.

00:08:06,000 --> 00:08:12,000
So you'll see that he's doing much more of this neck and upper rib crunch as opposed

00:08:12,000 --> 00:08:17,000
to what we'll see later when we look at the lower body guys who are using more of their

00:08:17,000 --> 00:08:19,000
legs to drive the pattern.

00:08:19,000 --> 00:08:25,000
He's still using some legs because he's a torque row but he's one of the most obvious

00:08:25,000 --> 00:08:32,000
kind of neck shoulder upper body bracing strategy golfers that we can look at.

00:08:32,000 --> 00:08:37,000
So now finally we have a couple examples of amateurs we're going to be able to see more of this

00:08:37,000 --> 00:08:39,000
upper body bracing strategy.

00:08:39,000 --> 00:08:44,000
Unfortunately I don't have any amateurs who use the total body bracing strategy because

00:08:44,000 --> 00:08:49,000
it's the most optimal and usually the guys who have really good upper body or total body

00:08:49,000 --> 00:08:54,000
bracing strategies end up playing really well and possibly getting on tour.

00:08:54,000 --> 00:09:00,000
So here's an example you'll see not a ton of movement happening from the lower body a little

00:09:01,000 --> 00:09:05,000
bit from the legs kind of down here in the bottom to get you know create a little bit more

00:09:05,000 --> 00:09:10,000
momentum to brace away from the club which you'll see the big thing is his upper body working

00:09:10,000 --> 00:09:17,000
away right through here which actually helps kind of round the rib gauge and puts his chest

00:09:17,000 --> 00:09:22,000
any good position to be able to handle the speed of the club right through there and you'll see

00:09:22,000 --> 00:09:28,000
that he adds a little bit of that left shoulder shrug through that phase there.

00:09:29,000 --> 00:09:37,000
The shrug can be a large muscle used for upper body bracing in addition to some of the

00:09:37,000 --> 00:09:42,000
other back muscles but you can also use your chest or your abs as if you were doing kind of a

00:09:42,000 --> 00:09:50,000
crunch away from the the pull of the club. So he does it a little bit more with his upper body

00:09:50,000 --> 00:09:56,000
moving away and that left shoulder shrug. Over here on the right we're going to see a very good

00:09:56,000 --> 00:10:04,000
example of someone who uses more of that neck crunch strategy so that's more of a crunching and

00:10:04,000 --> 00:10:10,000
bringing your chin in towards your chest helps if helps you do sit-ups and things like that

00:10:11,000 --> 00:10:17,000
more functionally right because it it kind of it activates some of the muscles that run all the way

00:10:17,000 --> 00:10:22,000
from your chin down towards your pelvis so you have your neck flexors your trunk flexors

00:10:22,000 --> 00:10:28,000
in your hip flexors and they kind of all work in chains. So by flexing his neck like so he's going to

00:10:28,000 --> 00:10:35,000
allow his abs to be able to handle a little bit more force or a little bit more speed. So this is a very

00:10:36,000 --> 00:10:41,000
common pattern that you'll see with guys who look really really rounded it impact.

00:10:41,000 --> 00:10:46,000
If their chin goes down at the start of the release that's usually a good indication that they're

00:10:46,000 --> 00:10:53,000
using this type of upper body neck bracing strategy. So now we're going to get into a few of the

00:10:53,000 --> 00:10:59,000
lower body bracing strategies. Now Lexi could you can make an argument that she's more of the total

00:10:59,000 --> 00:11:04,000
because she does use a fair amount of the neck but you can also see a very pronounced movement from

00:11:05,000 --> 00:11:13,000
more her knees less than less of her hips. She tends to get some hip-hippic action but very pronounced

00:11:13,000 --> 00:11:19,000
quad very pronounced knee action to help kind of get her in good position for that her bracing

00:11:19,000 --> 00:11:26,000
strategy. But she does use some of that neck side crunch that you'll see that's prominent with a

00:11:26,000 --> 00:11:31,000
a few other offers that we'll look at. So over here on the left we have Jim Furik. He's

00:11:32,000 --> 00:11:39,000
one of the more lower body dominant bracing strategy golfers that buckle move that you'll tend to

00:11:39,000 --> 00:11:45,000
see in the follow-through. We'll usually happen right when the club passes the body so you can see that

00:11:45,000 --> 00:11:51,000
little knee buckle happening there. That's usually instead of using the glutes and the abs that's

00:11:51,000 --> 00:11:59,000
usually more the hip flexors in the quad and that will tend to cause that little look of the knee

00:11:59,000 --> 00:12:06,000
buckle or the look of the drop when you're using the hip flexors and knee flexors or sorry knee

00:12:06,000 --> 00:12:10,000
extensions of the hip flexors and the quads instead of the glutes and the abs. Which you'll see that

00:12:10,000 --> 00:12:18,000
there's not a lot going on with his shoulders, his arms are more kind of extending out to to control the

00:12:18,000 --> 00:12:26,000
path and really work on that flat spot but he's not using his arms a ton or his upper back or neck

00:12:26,000 --> 00:12:35,000
as his bracing pattern. So very similar to Lexi's move, Rory over here uses kind of a combination of both

00:12:36,000 --> 00:12:42,000
a lot of lower body activity and a fair amount of neck. Again, I could have made an argument that he's

00:12:42,000 --> 00:12:48,000
more of a total body but he does such an exaggerated job of using the lower body to really

00:12:49,000 --> 00:12:56,000
get himself in position or to handle that speed and transfer all that speed from the handle

00:12:56,000 --> 00:13:03,000
into the rotational speed of the club that I feel like he belongs in the lower body category and then

00:13:04,000 --> 00:13:12,000
we're going to use Phil Nicholson to bridge us more into kind of a back category. So he does a lot of his

00:13:12,000 --> 00:13:19,000
movement. It's not a ton from the shoulders and neck. He's getting most of his crunch and most of his

00:13:19,000 --> 00:13:27,000
movement kind of between his rib cage and his hips. So you'll see definitely some lower body action

00:13:27,000 --> 00:13:35,000
but a lot of it is going to be that mid back crunch you can actually see the shape if I

00:13:35,000 --> 00:13:40,000
create that there not just for a rotation but you can see that he's actually going into more of a

00:13:40,000 --> 00:13:47,000
a double crunch and the flexion to basically pull away from the handle and start that bracing process.

00:13:49,000 --> 00:13:57,000
So now we've got a couple more examples of amateurs working more with their lower body and

00:13:57,000 --> 00:14:02,000
or a trunk. Again the guy on the right you're going to see a bit of the neck movement as well

00:14:03,000 --> 00:14:12,000
but he tends to be more of that trunk right side and you'll see as a result he gets a little bit of the

00:14:13,000 --> 00:14:21,000
almost jim-fiery kneed buckle on the way through and then over here on the left we'll have another

00:14:21,000 --> 00:14:27,000
example of kind of more of a pure back movement. So you'll see that as opposed to getting

00:14:28,000 --> 00:14:32,000
the crunch pattern that a lot of the good Tor pros get where they're using more of their abs with

00:14:32,000 --> 00:14:39,000
their hips because his back stays very very straight you can see that he's using much more of this

00:14:39,000 --> 00:14:46,000
mid back extension strategy with a little bit of a shrug here towards the end as the club

00:14:46,000 --> 00:14:52,000
goes from really accelerating the really decelerating. Now lastly we'll look at a couple others who

00:14:52,000 --> 00:15:01,000
use more of that back extension strategy so here's another one of our amateurs golfers and you'll see

00:15:02,000 --> 00:15:08,000
anytime that you've got that core buckle on the way through that's going to be more of an avoidance

00:15:08,000 --> 00:15:17,000
of the glutes and abs and relying more on the back end hip flexors but you'll see he does a decent

00:15:17,000 --> 00:15:23,000
job of using a little bit of his abs in order to get the crunch but it's definitely more of a back

00:15:23,000 --> 00:15:29,000
extension strategy in order to stabilize the speed through there and then over here on the left

00:15:31,000 --> 00:15:38,000
again as he gets down you can start to see the the kind of extension as he works away from it

00:15:38,000 --> 00:15:46,000
and then really through the ball you'll see that the major movement is going to happen in this area

00:15:47,000 --> 00:15:56,000
here as opposed to a really pronounced shrug or really pronounced knee buckle you can see that his

00:15:56,000 --> 00:16:03,000
absorption method is going to be more through the back right in through there. That's going to be one

00:16:04,000 --> 00:16:08,000
of the more common patterns that we're going to see among amateurs. Prozyve demonstrated that you

00:16:08,000 --> 00:16:15,000
can use either an upper body, a lower body or a total body pattern but the I feel the the

00:16:15,000 --> 00:16:20,000
best strategy to create maximum speed maximum safety maximum consistency is to develop a

00:16:20,000 --> 00:16:25,000
bracing strategy using your whole body. If you find that you're either lower body dominant or

00:16:25,000 --> 00:16:30,000
upper body dominant that will help you understand a little bit more how you're releasing the club

00:16:30,000 --> 00:16:35,000
and potentially why you're releasing the club that way and what you could do about it. If you have

00:16:35,000 --> 00:16:41,000
any questions about your bracing strategy feel free to submit your swing here at Galsmart Academy.

Subscribe now for full access to our video library.