Because posture is so important we will address the top two dysfunctions in posture over a two week period. Improper posture or loss of posture is prevalent in 65% of amateur golfers. As I have stated in the past, poor posture in the golf swing, effects your set-up or address position and is the foundation on which you build your entire swing, much like the building the foundation of a house. You would not purchase a house that was built on a cracked foundation and you should not build a golf swing on a foundation of poor posture!
'C' posture is one of the most common physical restrictions I see as a fitness professional. 'C' posture refers to the C shape in the thoracic spine or as some of us refer to this issue as a rounded back or slumped shoulders.
Often a result of too much sitting, aging or over training the chest muscles without proper flexibility conditioning, this physical restriction is easily resolved.
Here are a few ways a 'C' posture negatively impacts on your swing:
- Can cause lifting up.
- Restricts the arc of the swing as a result of immobility in the spine and the inability to rotate the shoulders from the hips.
- Limits rotation effecting consistency and power.
Working on more mobility in the pecs, upper traps, lats and trunk supports a better spine angle at address, and stops you from losing your posture through your swing.
Fitness Tip: Breathing, deep diaphragmatic breaths, in and out through the nose is the foundation of yoga for golfers. When you see someone who practices yoga one of the things you notice is the way they stand tall, with great posture. The following tips will help you achieve the same posture.
Because this series is about posture I will coach you the way I coach all my players ' from the inside out. In yoga we begin working on posture from the base of the spine towards the crown of the head. Before you begin these exercises I want you to pull the navel towards the spine, slightly tuck the tailbone under and lift the ribcage off the waist. Now pull the shoulders blades together and down the back. Feel as if your head is being lifted off your neck.
Here we go!
Seated neck stretch on chair: Sit on the edge of your chair, navel in and ribcage lifted. Lengthen your cervical spine and slightly tuck your chin down. GENTLY place the fingers on the top of the cervical spine and press on the head. Hold for three deep breaths, REMOVE the hands for the neck and SLOWLY lift the head. Repeat three times.
Chest opener at the wall: Place the right foot forward and the right palm against the wall below shoulder height. On the inhalation pull the navel towards the spine and on the exhalation press the right chest away from the wall. Hold for three breaths, repeat three times and switch sides.
Rhomboid stretch: Stand with the arms extended slightly below shoulder height. Clasp the hands together, palms facing inward. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation press the arms away from you, tucking the chin into the chest. On the inhalation, lift the head and pull the shoulder blades together. Keep the shoulders down. Repeat five to ten times.
Fitness Tip: Squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold for an extra breath to build more strength in the upper back.
Half cow face pose arms for lat stretch: This stretch is typically used to target the triceps (which it does) but I also use this stretch to target the lats. Lift the left arm allowing the palm to fall towards the back. Place the right hand on the left elbow. Focus on lifting from the lats and not raising the shoulder. This will activate or load the lat muscle. If you want to move deeper in this pose stretch the upper body to the right. Hold for five deep breaths and switch sides.
Spinal rotation: On your back, place the arms perpendicular to your body, palms facing the ceiling. It is important that the shoulders DO NOT come off the floor. Lift the legs off the floor and on the inhalation roll the legs to the right. On the exhalation bring the legs back to center. Switch sides and repeat this dynamic trunk stretch ten times in each directions.
Fitness Tip: This is a GREAT warm-up exercise for your pre-round work-out.
Next week we continue the series designed to give you better posture! For more information on getting better posture, check out our new DVD More Power and Distance at www.Yogaforgolfers.com. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletters on the site.
Happy New Year!