Aurelien Van Stichelen
Golf posture: Are you Terrestrial or Aerial? Fix your balance the #1 Swing Killer!
Updated: Mar 28
For a house, you must lay the foundation - For your swing, you must acquire balance.
Managing your balance is crucial, during your backswing, downswing, impact, and finish. Every technical aspect of the golf motion becomes irrelevant if you don't know how to stay properly in Balance.
The loss of Balance is the #1 Swing Killer. What will work best for you based on your Body Preferences?
THE NATURAL BALANCE. Are you Terrestrial or Aerial?
Based on postural and movement research from Cyrille Gindre, PhD (Volodalen), there are two natural profiles to stay balanced: Grounded and Aerial. This means that you either have your Center Of Gravity naturally placed forward or backward. This is natural, you don't think about it, but it has a huge incidence on your Balance. While you may visit both sides in your life, everybody develop a strong preference for one side.
For Golf, this is crucial to find the perfect posture at the address and learn how to stay in balance through the whole sequence of your swing.
If you are not in your best profile, everything will start falling apart during your Backswing. Then, a ton of compensation happens, leading to poor ball contact and inconsistency.
Terrestrial and Aerial Golfers feel like a battle between Old school vs New school golf teaching. You know what? Both are correct, just need to know what works for you.
Let's take a look at those known golfers below and see the differences between Terrestrial and Aerial Golfers. Note that those Golfers haven't been test in person but analyze in Videos. I could be wrong. But you will get the general idea.
TERRESTRIAL GOLFERS OBSERVATIONS
Like Center Of Gravity Backward
Naturally going into more Body Flexion
More Anterior Muscle Chain Activation
Feet pressure more toward the Heels (under ankle bone)
Feel Stable / Athletic
AERIAL GOLFERS OBSERVATIONS
Like Center Of Gravity Frontward
Naturally going into more Body Extension
More Posterior Muscle Chain Activation
Feet pressure more toward the Toes (on balls)
Feel Light / Dynamic
Now, it will be too easy to apply the same posture / movement / sensation for both profiles. Some Golfers are strongly Terrestrial or Aerial, some are not while still have a preference for one side. This is why this need to be personalized. It has to fit with all your natural body preferences. The Golf Body Preferences system provides unique assessments to discover your natural posture at address and understand your natural balance.
You could be surprised how many Golfers, even experience players, have been tested in our program and had to switch/tweak the posture a little. Here below you can see Amber, who recently joined the Golf Program. She has been taught more like an Aerial type Golfer. However, when assessed, I found her Terrestrial. Note that this was the first day together. She was having a lot of dispersion on the golf course and was looking to understand why. After watching her swing at the end of the assessment, I just changed her posture for more terrestrial. I explained her the overall sensation to see her body response. Not even fixing the posture yet. Here what happened.
The results were promising right away. She could find the middle of the club face more easily. She was feeling more stable, in balance throughout the whole swing. She was relaxed and, thus, enjoyed it a lot. Just after 10 minutes, she was just not fighting her body anymore and could feel a big difference.
The next session, we mastered her posture based on her body preferences in a more Terrestrial profile. Now, she has stronger foundation to improve her golf and enjoy the game for good.
Like Amber, once you find your preferred posture and fix your balance, you unlock the first step of your swing signature. You are closer to release your natural movement. Next step is to discover your natural spine rotation and improve your coordination, but that is a story for another day ...
- VOLODALEN, Terrien ou Aérien? (Terrestrial, Grounded or Aerial?), Gindre C
- 2 marches pour la machine humaine (Two walks for the human body), Sohier R. et Haye M., éd. Kiné-Sciences (1989)