Faults Fixes - Week 2 - Flying Elbow

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In our series of Faults and Fixes, this week focuses on flying elbow or chicken wing arm. When the body is restricted in movement, either by a lack of flexibility (which is usually the case) or lack of strength, extraneous or unnecessary movements occur in the golf swing. For example if your shoulder turn is restricted and you cannot keep your arm straight you will bend the arm to get the club to the top of the backswing. (Trust me, over the last 18 years I have seen golfers do anything to get to the top of the backswing!)
 
One physical restriction manifesting in the golf swing as the chicken wing swing flaw is the issue of shoulder flexibility and a lack of range of motion in the shoulder turn.
 
Remember to breathe deeply, focus on the muscles where you feel the restriction and visualize the muscle relaxing. Breathing, movement and focus are the foundations of yoga ' connecting the body and mind.
 
Note: If you do not own a Thera-Ball, I highly suggest you invest in this piece of fitness apparatus. Many of my training with amateur and professional golfers are a hybrid of yoga and Thera-Ball conditioning. Go to the PRO SHOP to select the size for your height.
 
Reverse Table pose

Reverse Table pose with ball

Begin on all fours and draw the navel towards the spine stabilizing the core and supporting the low back. Inhale deeply and lift the right arm.
 
Reverse Table pose with ball

Exhale and twist from the torso bringing the trunk, shoulders and arm towards the sky. Return to the starting position and repeat five to ten times. Switch sides.
 
Reverse Chest Opener

Active or Dynamic Chest Opening pose

Lie on the Thera-Ball supporting the head and neck. Lace the hands under the neck. Inhale deeply as you draw your navel towards the spine, fire the gluts so the hips are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you press your elbows away from the body, feeling the stretch through the chest and upper back / shoulder area. Return to the starting position and repeat ten times.
 
Shoulder Twist on the ball

Shoulder Twist on the ball

Lie on the Thera-Ball supporting the head and neck. Lace the hands under the neck. Inhale deeply as you draw your navel towards the spine, fire the gluts so the hips are parallel to the floor. Bring the hands together at chest height.
 
Shoulder Twist on the ball

On the exhalation twist the shoulder to the right (twist to the point that you are on completely on the right shoulder). Focus on the range of motion (ROM) in the shoulders as well as the relationship of the ROM from the shoulders to the hips.
 
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    Katherine Roberts - Total FitnessEditor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.