Updated: May 5, 2022
The kinematic sequence refers to the order in which various body parts accelerate and decelerate through a motion. It originally gained popularity in golf, particularly with the Titleist Performance Institute. Golf is a sport that has fully embraced technology and innovation, long before baseball and other sports. Golf is also an easier sport to analyze because there are less moving parts. The ball sits on a tee and therefore all the processes are repeatable and the athlete does not have to react to a moving ball like in baseball.
We have always thought that power is created by your entire body, and researchers set out to prove it for golf. Even if you do not know anything about golf, you can tell when someone strikes the ball easily, or when they look like they have never hit a golf ball in their life. True professionals know how to maximize every aspect of their body to create torque and power for ball strike. Amateur players will attempt to “muscle up” or use their upper body without tapping into the potential of their entire kinetic chain, which refers to the connection of your body.
The image above shows the 4 main parts of the kinematic sequence in golfers. Power starts from your hips, goes to your torso, then your arms, until finally the club impacts the power onto the ball. This seems intuitive, but it is important to understand to allow for further concepts.
Acceleration is calculated based on how fast something changes velocity. If your car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 10 seconds, that is much faster acceleration than if it goes from 0 to 60 mph in 10 minutes. We want rapid acceleration in a golf swing because force is based on mass times acceleration. Higher acceleration leads to a higher force which means a further driving distance!