What Your Golf Pro Can’t Help You Fix: Solution 2: Spine Angle

GOLF POSTURE AND SPINE ANGLE


Generally speaking, when I look at a golfer from the “down the line view,” men over 50 tend to have a “C” posture or a hunched over posture. Women can also have a “C” posture OR an “S” posture (excessive spinal curves that gives the appearance of an “S”).

golf flexibility

Good Flat Back Posture VS Excessive “C” curve VS Excessive “S” curve

Due to the anatomy of the bones in your spine, the more your spine is abnormally curved, the less the spine can rotate = limited backswing and HUGE loss of power.

In addition, if your spine is abnormally curved, it will not be able to maintain a pure rotation in our backswing.

Instead, your spine will have to rotate AND bend resulting in your head and torso moving up and down during your swing.  If your body is moving slightly up and down in your swing, you will hit the ball fat and thin more often than pure.

In short, if you have a “C” or “S” posture you will lose a lot of distance and be unable to consistently hit the ball flush.  It’s that important!!

Unfortunately, posture changes are not a matter of just trying to standing up straight. Poor posture over many years results in muscles changing lengths so that they are essentially “gluing” your spine in that poor posture. Thus, to stand up straight you have to fight your muscles adapted and now preferred position.

The best position for your spine is a neutral or fairly flat angle.  There are two main variations from this that I address with golfers.

The most common postural fault I find in golfers over the age of 50 is the classic “C” curve.

If you have a “C” curve, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on golf lessons, you will not be able to increase your distance without correcting your posture first because spinal rotation is that important.

Fitness Fixes

C Posture Fitness Fixes

stretches for golf

Lay on your stomach for 5 min before you get out of bed and 5 min before you go to sleep. This is the best and easiest way to improve your posture. With some types of back injuries, you should not lay on your back. If it doesn’t hurt, do it everyday.

golf flexibility exercises

Stand with your back flat against the wall. Fold your arms back and TRY to get your full arm from your shoulder to wrist touching the wall.

golf stretches

Raise your arms as high as you can keeping your full arms and back touching the wall. Perform 12 slow repetitions.
You may not be able to perform perfectly but you will bet better with practice!

 

 

S Posture Fitness Fixes

golf exercises

Lie on your stomach one leg off the side of the bed/couch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this video on Golf Spine Angle Correction for Golfers Over 50 on my you tube page.

exercises for golf

Bend the knee of the leg on the bed/couch as far as you can. Hold for 3 seconds, repeat 12 times.

golf flexibility exercises

Spinal Stabilization. Start on your hands and knees. Draw your belly button in gently to stabilize the spine. “Abdominal Draw In Maneuver”

golf stretches

Raise your LEFT leg and RIGHT arm at the same time keeping your midsection stabile. **Balance a towel rack on your low back for added difficulty.

 

Pro fixes

Any golf lesson you go to or “how to” golf swing site on the web will talk about the importance of posture in your setup. But good luck finding any solutions.

This is one of the biggest short falls of teaching professionals and one that I have been working to change. For the most part, most PGA teachers are very receptive and interested in making a change.

Like I mentioned earlier, if you have poor posture (a “C” posture in particular), golf lessons will do little to help you.

If you are still flexible, the correct way to set your posture at address is:

golf stretches

1. Stand tall with club in front of you. 2. Bend forward at the hips (NO BACK BEND). 3. Slightly bend your knees

 

 

 

 

 

Training Aid Fixes

As important as posture is to your golf game, there are no training aids for golfers that are offered to correct this deficit. Never fear! I will show you some great devices to help you straighten up, and add natural power and accuracy to your game.

First off, posture braces that work to hold your posture into position are only effective if you are are a resident of an assisted living facility. In that case, you probably won’t be playing golf anyway.

For the rest of us, a posture brace will only help your posture flexibility. But as soon as you take the brace off, you will not have the strength to hold the posture.

 

Click here to visit Best Posture Braces

golf posture

My next blog will finish up the chapter on your address position including head, arm, and foot positions. Stay Tuned!

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Golf Performance Specialist

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