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Helical structures and their influence on how we rotate and produce force in our swing

Rotation and anti clockwise rotation are binary - as you clockwise rotate other parts of the system rotate in an anti clockwise direction to maintain tensional compressive balance, or as its often described within anatomy as tensegrity. One way of visualising this is to  picture two gear cogs rotating together, for them both to move one has to move clockwise and the other has to move anti clockwise because of the helical shapes and angles


The X is the symbol of many things in life, religious cross, stop sign, skull and cross bones, unknown number, fingers crossed. One can relate this to duality, as duality exists in all forms of life - good bad, male/female, hot/cold, north/south, day/night, push/pull, compression/tension, toe/heel connection….


Muscles shorten/lengthen around the three axes ‘human axes’ to create rotation within the human body, therefore movement occurs because of a cross shape formed between the muscle and the axis of rotation, therefore production of the ‘X’ shape.


At every joint clockwise and anti clockwise rotation exists. These dualities, these reversals of right and left rotation at every crossing, provide nature’s first lesson in fundamental structure, the helix. The helical phenomenon plays a vital role in determining whether two separate parts will or will not connect and work together. 


The angle of the helical angle will control how the joints work and move - segment shape and structure which is why before we can guide and encourage how a golfer swings, we need to know the shape of their frame and helical structure. 

Endoskeletal - internal supporting skeleton 

Muscles sit outside of bones therefore we need to appreciate the torsional pulls in our body to understand how joints move the way they do. To fully improve how a joint moves we need to unwind these torsional pulls/compression.

To achieve a compressive balance, we need equal and cross overs of left right angles and right left angles. Dominance in one is why posture deforms under compressive load which can be very evident in transition in the golf swing. When we have a balance when compressed, on letting go it rebounds and coils in a spring like form, or as its more colloquially referred to within movement as ‘rebound’ or ‘elastic recoil’. Therefore, a right hand (clockwise) helix angle compresses with left compression and vice versa. Tightening the tension system stores both tension and compression forces in equal amounts, a state that engineers call “prestressing.” The energy remains stored inside the structure until it is disassembled.

In essence, we can only ever produce two movements in the golf swing, expansion (tension) and compression which is how we move to produce rotation and force.


Once we appreciate and understand our bodies helical structures and shapes, we can use the references below as a guide to best establish how to move to produce rotation and force in the golf swing:


Wide frame human:

Less rotation in back and downswing

‘Flatter’ rotation in backswing

More pelvis and thorax rotation at impact

Less pelvis lateral shift in downswing


Narrow frame human:

More rotation in backswing 

More thorax elevation in backswing

More pelvis lateral movement towards target in downswing

Less pelvis and thorax rotation at impact.


Almost every structure within the human body is a spiral shape, therefore to fully understand why players move the way they do and to equally, produce ideal movement approaches in the swing we need to appreciate and acknowledge the shape of the humans helix.


Using ‘average values’ in golf typically produces average movements, therefore to truly develop and maximise human swing performance we need to apply precise approaches to precise questions, as using generic approaches invariably produces generic players.


Adapted from Kenneth Snelson - The Binary world.

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