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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Office Work and What it Does to Your Game!

You're the typical type A personality. You can literally sit at your desk and do work for hours at a time without a break. Although your boss and your bottom line may benefit from this productivity, your golf game DOES NOT! 

Upper Body Implications

What we see with the typical work station set up is that we are forced to take a posture that causes a rounding of our shoulders, a forward head posture, and an increased curvature of our thoracic spine. Pain can also go hand in hand with these postures. As the old saying goes, form follows function. Being in this position for most of the day will cause changes in body structures that are having a negative effect on making an optimal golf swing. 

Poor office posture .jpg

Rounded Shoulders

Tightness of pectoralis major/minor musculature and the inefficient position of the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) can prevent you from getting your arms to an efficient position in the top of your golf backswing. 

Use this stretch to prevent tightness in the pectoralis musculature and pain in the neck and shoulders. Perform 2-3 x throughout the work day. Each time you perform this stretch you can do 3 repetitions holding each stretch for 30 seconds. You should be feeling a pulling sensation just below and in front of your shoulder. If you have had previous injury in your shoulder consult with your medical provider before trying this stretch. 

You might have to find a strategic location in your office to perform this stretch. You can always tell your boss you do your best thinking when you are in a corner! 

You might have to find a strategic location in your office to perform this stretch. You can always tell your boss you do your best thinking when you are in a corner! 

Thoracic Kyphosis

This is the fancy word for increased arch in your upper back (the thoracic spine). What happens here is that the joints in the thoracic spine that allow that area of your back to move become less mobile with prolonged poor posture. This will literally reek havoc in your golf swing because you need around 50 degrees of thoracic spine rotation at the top of your golf backswing to create any type of power and coil in the musculature. This coil is then released to exert energy into the golf ball. 

Use this exercise to prevent lack of mobility in this area as well as neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. You can perform this exercise 2-3 x per day. Each time you perform the exercise you want to hold this end position shown below for around 5 seconds. Start in an upright sitting position. 10 repetitions each time is adequate. Make sure you are feeling this in-between your shoulder blades. You are basically using the top of the chair as a fulcrum to help mobilize your Thoracic Spine. 

Make sure your chair is not going to roll backward when you perform this exercise. 

Make sure your chair is not going to roll backward when you perform this exercise. 

Cervical Spine

This is the neck and with a forward head posture we find that a lot of tension is developed in the musculature on the back side of your neck which leads to neck pain and headaches. This occurs because you have now created an increased demand of trying to hold your head up against the force of gravity! Your head is not a light part of your body. Some of us even know co workers who have REALLY BIG HEADS! With the continued load of gravity pushing it further down, the ligaments, bony structures, and musculature have to counter that movement. 

What also happens in the above scenario is that the musculature that is deep in the front of your neck becomes weak, this can effect your neck's ability to move.  During the golf swing you need around 70 degrees of cervical rotation. 

Use this exercise to ensure the deep neck flexor musculature stays strong and that you are preventing increased loads on your neck which may lead to pain. Always remember that when the neck is stacked directly over your shoulders, gravity is just applying compression, not flexion (bending forward) which is what can cause neck pain. Perform this exercise 4-6 x throughout your day. Each time you perform it you can hold for around 5 seconds and perform 10 repetitions. The idea is to make a double chin, but remember you want to be gentle. Double chin is in! 

Try to keep your chin level, don't let your neck extend. Imagine your chin is resting on a desk and you are trying to push it straight back. 

Try to keep your chin level, don't let your neck extend. Imagine your chin is resting on a desk and you are trying to push it straight back. 

I included the above exercises because they can be done without a lot of equipment in your office. Remember, we are all individuals.  Finding the best exercise plan for your specific needs mean you have to have a thorough examination, evaluation, and plan of care established for YOUR SPECIFICATIONS. 

Use these exercises to ensure you are ready to play your best golf after you leave the office for the day! 

If you need extra assistance, sign up for my free phone consultation under contact on my website (pinnacledpt.com) and I can be a resource for you to help you reach your Pinnacle!