Swing Analysis Videos
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"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: Train Your Release, Swing Analysis Videos
Tags: Not Enough Distance, Release, Analysis, Concept, Intermediate
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In this analysis video, we're going to look at bracing strategies.
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So bracing is a component of the release, which is going to begin somewhere around this
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part of the swing and transfer or travel all the way until this part of the swing.
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We're basically the club passes the body.
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So bracing is essentially a pulling away or a counter movement to help shallow out the angle
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of the attack, curve the hand path inward, but also from a mechanical perspective to
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transfer the speed from the handle to the clubhead and prepare the body or get the body
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in position and get the right muscles active to be able to handle all that speed.
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So in the case of someone like Jamie said, Lowski, you can see that his lower body is
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starting to push as upper body is starting to kind of crunch and pull away and then as
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those arms extend, now he's in a great position where if I had a cable pulling away just
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like the club over here, he's in a good position to be able to pull on that with a lot
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So that means that his body will safely be able to handle a lot of speed.
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There's one argument that essentially your body can only speed something up as fast as you
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can slow it down.
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So if you can't handle a lot of speed from a deceleration perspective, it'll be very hard
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to create a lot of speed from acceleration perspective.
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In this video we're going to take a look at different strategies of how golfers use either
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their lower body, their core, their upper body or their whole body to initiate and complete
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this bracing strategy that is so critical for a good release.
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Now technically you can observe a bracing strategy with any club, but it's going to be
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It's going to be easier for us to see bracing strategies when we look at driver.
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So over on the left we have Tom Watson and the beginning of the release is kind of in
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this zone here and then we're going to look at a couple examples of total body bracing
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before we then get into comparing that to people who use more of a lower body or an upper
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So you're not going to see a major movement through any one particular area in his body.
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He's using a little bit of his hips.
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He's using a little bit of his core.
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He's using a little bit of his neck.
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He's using a little bit of his shoulders.
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It's kind of distributing the load very, very throughout his entire body.
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And so what you'll tend to see in this pattern is golfers are going to look like they
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have a lot of rhythm and they're going to look very, very smooth through the ball because
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there's going to be no look of kind of aggression and there's going to be no look of a stall.
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Now over here on the right we have Adam Scott.
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He's also a total body bracer.
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If we look at his lower body in his core, you can see a lot of activity going on in his
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But if we start looking right around here, you'll also see that he has a fairly pronounced
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In fact, he's using his SCM pretty aggressively in order to create stability in the ribcage
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to help create that platform for the right side of Domino's to really grab onto and
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desolary it from.
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So these are two different examples of what it looks like to use your entire body.
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We'll explore a few more.
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So over on the left we have Greg McDowell.
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He's another kind of total body bracer.
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You'll see a fair amount of this side crunch movement.
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But he's not doing it just from the neck.
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He's not doing it just from the core or just from the hips.
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He's kind of distributing it through his entire body and through the entire load.
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So you'll see it kind of initiate there with the legs, but he's using a lot of his total
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This helps create that look of really fluid tempo.
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It gets him in a good position so that if there was a cable machine pulling where the
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club is pulling, his body would be able to handle a lot of force that way.
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Over here we have Bubba Watson.
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You'll see he's a little bit more of a legs and upper.
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It doesn't use as much of his core so you can see he's doing a fair amount with the knees
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in there and at about the same time you'll see his head start to or his neck doing a little
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bit of a crunch as he tries to stabilize his shoulder girl.
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There are some schools that thought they basically look at the shoulder and the neck as kind
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of a whole complex.
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So the shoulder, the scapula and the neck kind of all work in integration, a lot of their
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muscles kind of have multiple roles.
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One muscle that can move the neck that same muscle can also move the shoulders depending
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on which is the fixed point.
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So they tend to work in conjunction.
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So you'll see a lot of people using their shoulder and neck mechanics.
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Here's an example of someone using knee, some core and shoulder and neck so we put him in
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the total body category.
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So now the last one we're going to look at for a total body is going to be Jordan
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You can see that there's a fair amount of leg activity going on kind of through there.
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And you'll see his upper body kind of working himself away.
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And so even though he incorporates more of that left shoulder shrug, you can see the
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amount of glute squeeze, you can see the amount of side bend and kind of core activity.
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He's using his total body to be able to handle the speed of the club right about there.
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And then all the real goofy stuff is more during the kind of the real deceleration phase.
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So after the club is reached, it's for this point away and he's just finding a way to kind
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of handle the force.
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But it's a very solid, bracing and deceleration pattern.
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I think that's part of the reason why he has such consistency.
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I'll notice that a lot of the golfers who we've shown in the total body bracing strategy tend
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to have some really good levels of consistency.
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So now over here on the left we have John Senden.
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Now I wanted to use him because you'll see that it looks very fluid through the ball.
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Now part of that is because he's more of an upper body dominant swinger.
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In fact, he's one of the most accurate and consistent upper body dominant swingers on
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tour at least in my opinion.
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But he's also not someone who swings very hard.
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So what you'll tend to see is there's not a lot of bracing going on from the lower body.
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It's mostly from the rib cage up.
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So from about this level up is where all of his bracing is actually occurring.
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But because he's not swinging very hard, it doesn't look very exaggerated.
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So this is one example where you can't just look at tempo, it might throw you off a little
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bit if you're looking at bracing strategies.
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But if you kind of look at the frame by frame and what's moving and what's stabilizing,
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you can get a pretty clear picture.
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So John Senden is going to be the first of what we're going to call more of an upper body
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But we'll look at a few more who are little bit more obvious.
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Okay so over on the left we have Cory Paveon and on the right we have Lee Westwood.
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These are both more of the upper body bracing strategy golfers.
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So there are a couple of big shoulder neck muscles.
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You'll see Cory Paveon doing a pretty good little crunch movement where this part of his body
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is kind of working away from the golf ball.
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That's going to help him shallow out the angle attack as well as initiate this transfer
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from the handle to the clubhead.
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But you won't see a ton of kind of, you won't see a ton of dynamic bracing happening
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from his legs, his hips, his core, all that area is more passive and kind of supporting
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what his arms are doing as opposed to really driving them through that phase.
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Now over on the right we can see an even more pronounced kind of neck crunch movement.
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The neck crunch movement really helps stabilize the shoulder girdle and gives the arms a
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stronger platform to really push off of.
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So you'll see that he's doing much more of this neck and upper rib crunch as opposed
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to what we'll see later when we look at the lower body guys who are using more of their
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legs to drive the pattern.
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He's still using some legs because he's a torque row but he's one of the most obvious
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kind of neck shoulder upper body bracing strategy golfers that we can look at.
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So now finally we have a couple examples of amateurs we're going to be able to see more of this
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upper body bracing strategy.
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Unfortunately I don't have any amateurs who use the total body bracing strategy because
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it's the most optimal and usually the guys who have really good upper body or total body
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bracing strategies end up playing really well and possibly getting on tour.
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So here's an example you'll see not a ton of movement happening from the lower body a little
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bit from the legs kind of down here in the bottom to get you know create a little bit more
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momentum to brace away from the club which you'll see the big thing is his upper body working
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away right through here which actually helps kind of round the rib gauge and puts his chest
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any good position to be able to handle the speed of the club right through there and you'll see
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that he adds a little bit of that left shoulder shrug through that phase there.
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The shrug can be a large muscle used for upper body bracing in addition to some of the
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other back muscles but you can also use your chest or your abs as if you were doing kind of a
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crunch away from the the pull of the club. So he does it a little bit more with his upper body
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moving away and that left shoulder shrug. Over here on the right we're going to see a very good
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example of someone who uses more of that neck crunch strategy so that's more of a crunching and
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bringing your chin in towards your chest helps if helps you do sit-ups and things like that
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more functionally right because it it kind of it activates some of the muscles that run all the way
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from your chin down towards your pelvis so you have your neck flexors your trunk flexors
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in your hip flexors and they kind of all work in chains. So by flexing his neck like so he's going to
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allow his abs to be able to handle a little bit more force or a little bit more speed. So this is a very
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common pattern that you'll see with guys who look really really rounded it impact.
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If their chin goes down at the start of the release that's usually a good indication that they're
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using this type of upper body neck bracing strategy. So now we're going to get into a few of the
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lower body bracing strategies. Now Lexi could you can make an argument that she's more of the total
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because she does use a fair amount of the neck but you can also see a very pronounced movement from
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more her knees less than less of her hips. She tends to get some hip-hippic action but very pronounced
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quad very pronounced knee action to help kind of get her in good position for that her bracing
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strategy. But she does use some of that neck side crunch that you'll see that's prominent with a
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a few other offers that we'll look at. So over here on the left we have Jim Furik. He's
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one of the more lower body dominant bracing strategy golfers that buckle move that you'll tend to
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see in the follow-through. We'll usually happen right when the club passes the body so you can see that
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little knee buckle happening there. That's usually instead of using the glutes and the abs that's
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usually more the hip flexors in the quad and that will tend to cause that little look of the knee
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buckle or the look of the drop when you're using the hip flexors and knee flexors or sorry knee
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extensions of the hip flexors and the quads instead of the glutes and the abs. Which you'll see that
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there's not a lot going on with his shoulders, his arms are more kind of extending out to to control the
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path and really work on that flat spot but he's not using his arms a ton or his upper back or neck
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as his bracing pattern. So very similar to Lexi's move, Rory over here uses kind of a combination of both
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a lot of lower body activity and a fair amount of neck. Again, I could have made an argument that he's
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more of a total body but he does such an exaggerated job of using the lower body to really
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get himself in position or to handle that speed and transfer all that speed from the handle
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into the rotational speed of the club that I feel like he belongs in the lower body category and then
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we're going to use Phil Nicholson to bridge us more into kind of a back category. So he does a lot of his
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movement. It's not a ton from the shoulders and neck. He's getting most of his crunch and most of his
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movement kind of between his rib cage and his hips. So you'll see definitely some lower body action
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but a lot of it is going to be that mid back crunch you can actually see the shape if I
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create that there not just for a rotation but you can see that he's actually going into more of a
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a double crunch and the flexion to basically pull away from the handle and start that bracing process.
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So now we've got a couple more examples of amateurs working more with their lower body and
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or a trunk. Again the guy on the right you're going to see a bit of the neck movement as well
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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
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almost jim-fiery kneed buckle on the way through and then over here on the left we'll have another
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example of kind of more of a pure back movement. So you'll see that as opposed to getting
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the crunch pattern that a lot of the good Tor pros get where they're using more of their abs with
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their hips because his back stays very very straight you can see that he's using much more of this
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mid back extension strategy with a little bit of a shrug here towards the end as the club
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goes from really accelerating the really decelerating. Now lastly we'll look at a couple others who
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use more of that back extension strategy so here's another one of our amateurs golfers and you'll see
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anytime that you've got that core buckle on the way through that's going to be more of an avoidance
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of the glutes and abs and relying more on the back end hip flexors but you'll see he does a decent
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job of using a little bit of his abs in order to get the crunch but it's definitely more of a back
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extension strategy in order to stabilize the speed through there and then over here on the left
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again as he gets down you can start to see the the kind of extension as he works away from it
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and then really through the ball you'll see that the major movement is going to happen in this area
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here as opposed to a really pronounced shrug or really pronounced knee buckle you can see that his
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absorption method is going to be more through the back right in through there. That's going to be one
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of the more common patterns that we're going to see among amateurs. Prozyve demonstrated that you
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can use either an upper body, a lower body or a total body pattern but the I feel the the
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best strategy to create maximum speed maximum safety maximum consistency is to develop a
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bracing strategy using your whole body. If you find that you're either lower body dominant or
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upper body dominant that will help you understand a little bit more how you're releasing the club
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and potentially why you're releasing the club that way and what you could do about it. If you have
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any questions about your bracing strategy feel free to submit your swing here at Galsmart Academy.