Swing flaws and body limitations connections: Flat shoulder plane

This swing flaw has to do with the alignment of the plane of the shoulders compared to a line drawn straight up through your spine. 

Angles drawn at address 

Angles drawn at address 

As you come into your backswing you should not see the lead shoulder raise up, thus widening this angle. 

As you can see, now that he is at the top of his backswing this plane has totally changed. 

As you can see, now that he is at the top of his backswing this plane has totally changed. 

Shot Implications 

- This can lead to poor power into the ball

- Club is out of position and a compensation movement has to happen in order to get the club face on the ball. This leads to inconsistent ball striking. 

Body Limitations 

Shortened latissimus dorsi musculature or stiffness in the spine can lead to an inability to turn the upper body independently of the lower body. 

Try this exercise to stretch your lats! 

Make sure that you have tightness in this muscle before you stretch it out. You can perform 3 x and hold each one for 30 seconds. 

Make sure that you have tightness in this muscle before you stretch it out. You can perform 3 x and hold each one for 30 seconds. 

 

Both the hips and shoulders have to demonstrate great flexibility and movement. In order for you not to compensate elsewhere it is critical that the shoulders and hips both have the movement ability to help you get into an aggressive position at the top of your backswing without demonstrating the flat shoulder plane.  

Try this exercise to make sure your hips are rotating effectively. 

Sitting in this position, as one knee goes in toward the floor the other goes out. You can alternate positions performing 30 x alternating holding for around 5 seconds. 

Sitting in this position, as one knee goes in toward the floor the other goes out. You can alternate positions performing 30 x alternating holding for around 5 seconds. 

Remember that none of these exercises are meant to cause pain. You should also seek the advice of your primary care physician before starting any new exercise program. If you are having pain, you can reach out to your local TPI professional for a golf specific assessment. I can be reached at pinnacleDPT.com, over the phone at 501 529-2010, or at brian@pinnacledpt.com. 

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

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How Do I Hit the Ball Further? Work your Butt!

As a Titleist Performance Institute Medical Provider I get asked the question, “How do I improve my driving distance.” The answer from my perspective as a movement and musculoskeletal expert is that you have to have a combination of flexibility and stability. The body is made up of regions that are meant to be very mobile, think of your shoulder, and other regions that are meant to be stable, think of your low back. Stability is often attained by strengthening key regions of your body that help to generate power and help transfer that power into the ball.

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The gluteus maximus is a muscle that is very active in the forward swing which is the phase from the top of the backswing until when the club is horizontal. Studies have shown that for a right handed golfer there is 100% activity in the right gluteus maximus muscle.

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A simple exercise to help strengthen this muscle is below. The top picture is your starting position and the bottom is your ending position. You can perform 10 to 15 repetitions and hold the end position for 5 to 10 seconds. This is a great way to strengthen your glutes which will allow you to hit the ball further!

This is the starting position. 

This is the starting position. 

You want to pull the knees apart (the band around the knees provides additional contraction of the hip and core musculature) then lift your butt off the floor. 

You want to pull the knees apart (the band around the knees provides additional contraction of the hip and core musculature) then lift your butt off the floor. 

If you are having pain with this exercise you can reach out to me at brian@pinnacledpt.com or over the phone at 501 529-2010. My website pinnacledpt.com tells more about my philosophy as a Physical Therapist.

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Thanks and Here's to Helping You Reach our Pinnacle! 

Prevention Strategies for the Injured Swimmer

"Coach, I just did my thousand warm up and my shoulder is killing me, what should I do?"

There are a lot of factors that go into determining why a swimmer is injured. I wanted to give you some tips and ideas on what you can do to try and treat these injuries on your own. 

Tip 1: The best strategy is to avoid injury before it comes! You must have a solid flexibility, strengthening, and endurance training program under your belt that you are performing consistently! 

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*Stay tuned for my video series that is going to give you this exact program! 

Tip 2: Careful monitoring of training volume, intensity, and duration will go a long way in calming down an injury. Complete rest is rarely indicated because of the deconditioning that develops. Certainly looking at adjusting the above parameters for a short time will give the athlete time to allow the healing process to be effective. 

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Tip 3: Specifically for the shoulder, avoidance of using hand paddles is a good idea as these put more stress on the shoulder. Avoiding or limiting the painful stroke is also a good idea. Modification of the dry land training program will prevent continued stress to the injured area. 

Thank you Lord, I don't have to use paddles today! 

Thank you Lord, I don't have to use paddles today! 

Tip 4: Application of ice to the affected area helps to reduce pain and inflammation as well as proper use of anti-inflammatory drugs when appropriate will help reduce pain and improve function. 

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Tip 5: Have your coach take a look at your swim mechanics. Ensuring that you are swimming with correct technique goes a long way in avoiding increased stress to structures in your body that can cause pain. 

I hope these tips are helpful for you and keep you swimming and performing at your best. 

If you are still struggling to get your injury under control please reach out to me anytime at brian@pinnacledpt.com, or call me at 501-529-2010.

Come back next week for the start of the video series on exercises that you MUST be performing!

Thanks and Here's to Helping you Reach your Pinnacle! 

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