What’s your QL ?

People have asked if Mike Austin mentioned the QL in my lessons. The answer is “yes”. The QL is the quadratus lumborum, the muscles which attached the pelvic bone to each side of the spine.
There’s been much study and some dispute of late as to the precise function of the QL. Some argue that it aids in lateral flexion, as in a side bend. Others say that it has little to do with that motion. What is intriguing is the studies generally agree with how Mike Austin told me to utilize the QL. Namely, when one side is activated it brings the lowest rib (the 12th rib) down toward the hip.
To get a feel, stand erect and act as if you are going to raise your left heel but don’t allow the foot to raise. You are activating the left QL.
What does that mean to us as golfers? At address the right knee (for a right hander) is flexed. You then straighten it which bumps the right hip to 4 o’clock. At the same time you utilize the QL to crimp in (concave as Mike would say) your left side. That lowers the left hip and shoulder and sets the plane upward. Now your swing can move on the previously discussed “in curve” and the path of the club will naturally move up as it travels along the upward plane set by the left hip and shoulder. But remember our past lesson. You don’t move your head. (You’re not a dinosaur!) How is that possible? You start raising you left heel which allows the turn.
Gray’s Anatomy FIG. 389– Deep muscles of the back.

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8 thoughts on “What’s your QL ?

  1. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely loved
    every bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to look at new things you post…

  2. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article
    seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to
    let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon.
    Many thanks

  3. Considering a righthanded player.
    Which QL (left or right) is used on the backswing?
    When using the left QL the left hip is not lowered.. correct?
    I am a bit confused, thought Squish was talking about left QL for backswingand right QL for downswing.

    Chuck great site was rereading some of your posts, to bad there is no activity lately.. the 18 thread has died aswell the org mikeaustin forum.

  4. Thanks so much William.
    We are working on some things right now. i will also be getting things out on the hand action.
    All the best, Chuck

  5. Chuck, thank you so much for making this website.
    I just can’t have enough of it.
    I hope you come up a DVD soon, I will definitely get one.
    i got the book how to kill the ball from Dan Shauger, and the DVD 512yards DVD from Mike Dunaway, I think I got the hip motions ok, it just the release from the top, right hand motions that I am not 100% sure about it.
    Do you have any video that can explain that part a little bit more?
    Thanks a lot and have a nice day.

  6. Stu,
    Thank you very much. I am very happy to hear of your success with the swing. Mike Austin used anatomical and engineering terms since that’s how he developed the swing and that’s the framework in which he viewed it. He figured out how the key muscles, joints and neurological pathways could best be used to most efficiently hit a golf ball. The terms may seem a bit foreign to us as laymen at first, but in fact that provide great precision. As I progressed, and now that several years have passed, it never ceases to amaze me how poignant Mike’s ideas and concepts were. The beauty is that you can see it in the swing motions and witness in the ball flight. Mike also did use analogies. As evidenced from the clips, he also used his voice to gain attention and to cement a concept into a student’s psyche.
    Thanks again, Chuck

  7. Perfect, thanks Chuck! Very well explained. I understand Mike used the anatomical jargon a lot when he taught. E.g., abduct, adduct, pronate, supinate, anterior, posterior, etc… Did he teach using these terms with you and what were the advantages of learning this way? I would guess that since the human body is (more or less) universal in terms of the musculo-skeletal system the only variability from person to person is the size, length and strength of the tissues involved. Would you say he used these terms to try and avoid the trappings of “feel” descriptors? Or, did he teach using feel analogies also?
    As always, a very enlightening post. Thank you for sharing your unique insight and knowledge. I love the Mike Austin swing!

    Calgary, Alberta

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