Posture up your swing
Posted by Chad
Are you sitting down as you read this? You may be developing muscle imbalances that affect your health and golf game. Read on to learn simple steps that can reverse this trend and get back on the course again.
Most people don’t stop to think how often they are in a seated position – in the car, while watching TV, at the dinner table, time on the computer, even reading the newspaper are all in the sitting position. If you have a desk job, sitting might be your most common posture during the day. The very job that provides you with the income to purchase equipment to fix that slice may be the source of the slice in the first place!
Sitting for a majority of the day may not only have a negative affect on your health, it can also wreak havoc on your golf swing. Muscle imbalances that develop can be the underlying source of swing faults and discomfort during your golf game.
In a seated position the muscles in front of your hip, your hip flexors, and those in back of your thigh, your hamstrings, are in a shortened position. At the same time your gluteals, or buttocks, and front of the thigh muscles, quadriceps, are in a lengthened position. This leads to the imbalance of some muscles being short or tight while others are inhibited or weak.
The hip flexors and hamstrings play a significant role in your hip mobility and posture control. Tight hip flexors contribute to what is known in golf as an “S-posture,” or swaying of the lower back while at address over the ball. This posture can lead to several swing faults and to acute lower back discomfort during your swing. If left untreated chronic lower back pain may develop, limiting your golf game and enjoyment.
Check out this video on Golf Spine Angle Correction on my merchant youtube video page.
In general, tight hamstrings are a common contributing factor in many lower back issues. Combine this with other muscle deficiencies and your hip mobility will be limited. Inefficient hip mobility results in swing faults as well as loss of distance or power. In your body if one area is not able to move correctly, the motion is borrowed from an adjacent joint, in this case the lower back.
Weakness in the glutes and quadriceps have an impact on the stability and control of the lower body. The glutes supply the rotational power from your hips as well as control the side to side movement of your body. Decreased strength limits the amount of power you are able to generate in your golf club and can lead to sway or slide in your swing. Straightening of the back leg during your back swing can also be linked to a lack of strength in the quadriceps muscles.
A physical assessment by a physical therapist can identify and determine the extent of weakness and/or tightness you may have and can help you to develop an exercise program to get you back in balance and out on the course pain free. Without this information, a golfer may be continuing to build imbalances and enhancing their deficiency.
If this description sounds like you here are a few tips you can do right now to begin to address your posture if it sounds like you may fit this description.
Follow the 30/30 rule: For every 30 minutes of sitting, get up and move around for at least 30 seconds.
Get to the course early to do a proper warm up before golf, by doing a cool down stretching routine after.
Be consistent with your strength and flexibility program, especially targeted to core stability and hip mobility.
Chairs – should be adjustable in seat height and tilt, arm rests, and back rest
Desk Top Surface – height should be at a level where your forearms will clear the top when your arms are crossed.
Keyboard and Mouse – should be positioned close to the body to prevent over reaching and strain on the neck and back
Monitor – center of the screen should be 20 degrees below eye level and the font big enough so that you do not have to lean in and strain your eyes to read
Posture – chest up, shoulders relaxed, arch of low back supported by back of chair and feet flat on floor.