Max Vertical explained
Moving the dial: how Max Vertical helps you increase shot length
Max Vertical is one of seven swing metrics within the BAL.ON Smart App to analyze and improve your swing. The idea behind it is that you add vertical force to the other forces already at work. This increases club head speed and thus helps you to achieve longer shots.
In the golf swing, you couple two rotations, both of them relatively large and clearly visible: your arms swinging down from backswing to impact and finally finish as well as your core body rotating around the spine.
The Max Vertical swing metric aims to analyze an additional moment of acceleration along the vertical plane. Sounds complicated, but the key action is quite simple – it is a short, fast squat from which you charge back up abruptly, essentially kicking the ground.
Ground reaction forces speed up your club
What you do with the squatting is making use of ground reaction forces. Drop swiftly and focus your body dynamics on the ensuing push: with the starting of the downswing your lead leg should push off the ground strongly. This action creates a whip effect that propels your club even faster.
To get an analogue feel for this force you could place yourself on a mechanic weight scale, squat down (i.e. make yourself lighter for a heartbeat), then spring back up again. With a bit of practice, you can achieve nearly double your bodyweight for a very brief moment.
With BAL.ON you make your improvement measurable
Alternatively, and more telling for your overall performance, you can keep track whether you make good use of this effect with the BAL.ON Smart Pressure Insoles and the BAL.ON Smart App. Simply watch your rating on the Max Vertical Swing Metric over time. Additionally, we recommend exerting the downward pressure largely through your lead foot toe, and, coming back up, specifically training to kick yourself off the ground. This can result in your heels lifting off the ground for a split second.
The crux is to time the whip effect really well: your pushing off the floor should coincide with the moment your lead arm is parallel to the ground. Because of the natural time lag in your movement chain, try to initiate your pushing off the ground at the beginning of the down swing. BAL.ON’s replay function comes in handy to check whether you achieve this particular timing.
The right drill to harness vertical force
A reliable way to get grounded in this technique is heeding the Max Vertical drill inside the BAL.ON Smart App. It describes the move in detail and gives you practical advice on what to do when. Once you have the squatting and pushing-off really down, you can work on the effect systematically improving your swing simply by watching your Max Vertical swing metric going from red to green.
Some leading pros have incorporated the pushing off so far that they not only stretch the legs but also the ankles – to the extent that they are completely airborne when the kick is through. Justin Thomas is a good example to watch. This may not be for everybody, but some players find it hugely inspirational, especially when they see their carry values shine …