The number one mobility restriction seen with most golfers is limited hip rotation. In the back swing (for a right handed golfer) you go into right hip internal rotation and left hip external rotation. Then it switches on the downswing, with the golfer performing right hip external rotation and left hip internal rotation. Lacking hip rotation is the most common cause of low back pain, as well as leading to one of the most common swing faults, early extension.
When it comes to joint restrictions, distraction is a gold standard technique to address the issue. To perform a self-distraction mobilization, you start in long sitting with your arms behind your body. You then push your leg away from your body to “self-distract” and then perform the “windshield wiper” maneuver. Rotate your legs 10 times in each direction and then change your hand position to in front of your body and repeat the rotations. You then cross one leg over the other, self-distract, and repeat the exercise. The last position is to externally rotate one leg as you perform the windshield wiper on the other. Make sure you are pushing the leg away from your body the whole time or else the exercise is not nearly as beneficial.
The other beneficial hip mobility exercise, that will also increase some glute activation (double win!) is the assisted hip airplane. Holding onto a surface in front of you, go into a single leg hinge pattern and by using your upper body, rotate as far as you can into hip external and internal rotation. Generally this is prescribed for 5 reps in each direction, for 5 second holds each. You’re looking to feel the stretch in the groin (inner leg) when going into hip external rotation and along the outside of the leg and glute when going into hip internal rotation.
Give these exercises a try the next few weeks and watch your hip mobility increase in no time. Once you have the necessary rotation in all 4 rotational centers of the body, your are cleared to focus on increasing your strength and speed without any risk for injury. Stay tuned for exercises and drills to work on all the ways to improve your game!