Swing flaws and body limitation characteristics: Reverse spine angle

The reverse spine angle swing flaw is evident when the player demonstrates a lean of their upper body toward the target. For a right handed golfer this would be to their left at the top of their backswing. 

This lean of the upper body toward the target is a key characteristic of the reverse spine angle. 

This lean of the upper body toward the target is a key characteristic of the reverse spine angle. 

Shot Implications

This position makes it very difficult to properly sequence your downswing. The proper kinematic sequence is for the hips and pelvis to begin the movement of the downswing followed by the upper body, arms, and finally the hands and club. This allows for the energy stored in the muscles of the trunk to be released in such a way that maximizes power into the ball. If this sequence is abnormal then power is bled from the swing and increased forces can be put into the body. This position also makes it difficult to find the proper path of the golf club as it travels toward the ball, which leads to inconsistency in the path of your ball toward your selected target. 

A SHANK IS WHEN YOU HIT THE BALL MORE TOWARD THE HOZEL OF THE CLUB. 

A SHANK IS WHEN YOU HIT THE BALL MORE TOWARD THE HOZEL OF THE CLUB. 

Body Factors

In order to maintain your spine angle during the backswing your body has to be able to do certain things. First, you have to be able to separate your upper body from your lower body. If you are unable to do this it could be because of a mobility issue ( joint stiffness, or muscular tightness). Another reason why you may not be able to separate your upper body from your lower is because of what is called a motor control/stability issue. This is when your body must be trained in how to properly move.

Mobility in the thoracic spine (upper part of your back) as well as your hips are critical during your backswing. If mobility in these areas is limited your body will lean and sway to compensate. This compensation is the reverse spine angle swing flaw. This position puts a lot of stress on the right side of your low back. 

Mobility and flexibility are shown here, but don't try this as a warm-up before your golf round. 

Mobility and flexibility are shown here, but don't try this as a warm-up before your golf round. 

Stability in the core and around the hips is critical to efficiently move and properly sequence your swing. We know stability is an issue when we test you using the TPI screen and other exam techniques. Working on strengthening the core and looking at your rolling patterns is a way that we help to train your stability. 

Exercises

Try this exercise to ensure you are keeping your pelvis in neutral. This is another body issue that can cause you to extend or arch your back which then puts you in a reverse spine angle position. 

Call today for your free phone consultation. I am here to be a resource for you. 

 501-529-2010

Thanks and here's to helping you reach your PINNACLE! 

Swing flaws and body limitation connections: The dreaded sway

My job as a level II TPI medical provider is to determine what limitations a golfer has in their body that may lead to injury, or a faulty swing pattern. I don't understand how to teach you to swing the club, that is why I work with your swing coach! My job is to prepare your body through gaining flexibility, strength, power, stability, and mobility where you need it so your swing coach can then teach you to maximize your swing. 

The Sway

This swing fault is where the lower body moves laterally (sideways) away from the target. This swing fault can lead to decreased power, reduced lower body speed and decreased trunk stability. Th results in decreased distance with your clubs. 

sway.png

Body Connections

So what limitations in the body lead to this swing flaw? 

The Ankle

If the ankle has a limited ability to move it can effect your body's ability to keep the weight on the inside part of your arch during the backswing. This can contribute to the body moving away from the ball (sway). Try this exercise to prevent this from happening. 

Start with the foot flat, without lifting the whole foot, try and lift the inside arch of the foot and curl your big toe under. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and perform 15 x on both feet. 2-3 x a week is adequate to build strength in your arch and help with mobility. 

Start with the foot flat, without lifting the whole foot, try and lift the inside arch of the foot and curl your big toe under. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and perform 15 x on both feet. 2-3 x a week is adequate to build strength in your arch and help with mobility. 

The Hip Muscles

Ensuring that two of the butt muscles the gluteus medius and maximus are activated will help prevent the sway from occurring. Try these two exercises to ensure these muscle are strong. 

The object with this exercise is to tighten your buttocks without feeling any tightness develop in your hamstring or back  muscles. The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds and perform 20  repetitions. 

The object with this exercise is to tighten your buttocks without feeling any tightness develop in your hamstring or back  muscles. The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds and perform 20  repetitions. 

This exercise targets the gluteus medius muscle, a key muscle in keeping your pelvis stable. Can perform by walking sideways both directions, make sure not to sway your upper body and stay in a slightly squatted position. 

This exercise targets the gluteus medius muscle, a key muscle in keeping your pelvis stable. Can perform by walking sideways both directions, make sure not to sway your upper body and stay in a slightly squatted position. 

Hip Range of Movement

The hip has to be able to rotate, if there is stiffness in the hip joint a sway will happen to allow you to get to the top of your backswing. Try this exercise to ensure appropriate hip range of movements. 

You can alternate sides bringing one knee toward the ground as the other knee goes out. Alternate 30 x. 

You can alternate sides bringing one knee toward the ground as the other knee goes out. Alternate 30 x. 

Thoracic Spine (Upper Back)

Movement in the upper back is critical to provide an efficient turn during the backswing. If this area is stiff  the body will sway to compensate for the lack of movement above. 

From left to right is the sequence. You want to make sure you don't allow the knees to separate during this drill. You can move 10 x to the right and then repeat to the left. 

From left to right is the sequence. You want to make sure you don't allow the knees to separate during this drill. You can move 10 x to the right and then repeat to the left. 

Try these exercise to prevent the dreaded sway and if you need any assistance or any of these exercises cause pain, please feel free to reach out to me at 501 529-2010 or brian@pinnacleDPT.com. 

 

Thanks and here's to helping you reach your PINNACLE!