The overhead deep squat is by far the single most informative test performed on athletes. For golfers, we utilize this test to help determine the cause of swing faults leading to performance issues including ball distance, swing inconsistencies, swing speed, swing path, swing power, and flight patterns as well as the cause of golf injuries.
MyTPI has performed extensive research on various biomechanical tests and how they relate to the golf swing. They have found several correlations between the two: Those who can't do a deep squat tend to have loss of posture during the downswing and/or early extension. Also, if golfers can't maintain the club overhead, they typically will stand up out of their posture during the downswing. Among amateur golfers, a whopping 64% showed early extension and 45% showed loss of shoulder plane, both contributors to loss of posture in the golf swing.
What's fascinating is that MyTPI found 54% of PGA tour players place more weight on their right leg during the deep squat compared to 14% of Amateur golfers. This is most likely due to the PGA tour players effectively learning how to load and unload the right hip in the right handed golfer to thrust the pelvis forward into rotation during the kinematic sequence. (We'll get to Kinematic Sequence in another blog.)
Why is the Overhead Deep Squat so informative in our sports medicine clinic? It can tell us where to put our thumb to release scar tissue, thus improving range of motion and correcting imbalances as well as target the golfers rehabilitation to correct dysfunction and improve swing mechanics. For instance, having the golfer perform a deep squat allows us to test bilateral (both legs) symmetry of mobility AND stability of the hips, knees, and ankles. The overhead portion allows us to test the bilateral symmetry of the mobility and stability of the shoulders as well as the thoracic spine, all required in an efficient, and non-injury producing golf swing.
This test is not only informative for golfers, we use this test for just about every sport that involves running, jumping, walking, and so on. Meaning, all land sports including skiing, running, tennis, all ball sports, cycling, etc. For an example of the squat analysis, visit our sister company, Press Play Analysis
Our own Mike Rawlins, CPT demonstrating an Overhead Deep Squat on a slide board.