As spring approaches many golfers are dusting of their golf bags and cleaning their clubs as they prepare for a summer of golf. The most important part of your preparation however is your body. Whether you have been exercising or sitting around throughout the winter months you can be sure that there are key areas in your body that need your attention as you prepare for the golf season. In review of data over the past twenty years Professional Sports Care has found three areas of the body that you must be aware of for a better golf swing.
Shoulder mobility must be addressed by doing stretching exercises that open the chest area and enhance external rotation of each shoulder. Most daily demands cause our shoulders to roll in and our upper backs to slouch forward. Exercise programs that are dominant in pushing movements, poor posture, and working on computers all day promote inflexibility in the shoulders. Immobility in the shoulders will challenge your golf swing with tendencies to loose your posture and difficulty keeping your head in a neutral position. Increased physical demands on the neck, middle back, and lower back areas will occur and become sources of pain and dysfunction.
Hip mobility is usually poor in most people whether they are active or sedentary. Throughout the day our hips are in a flexed position a majority of the time. This will deactivate the hip extensors and abductors. Additionally, limitation in the mobility in the hip extensors, internal, and external rotators will occur. These are motions required in rotary sports and even if you exercise regularly it is unlikely you address your hip mobility appropriately.
Torso mobility is the most challenging to improve upon. Movement patterns in the surrounding musculature, facet joints of the spine and rib mobility are often difficult to isolate. Any attempts to improve torso mobility will be rewarded since the majority of people need help in this area. Inactivity, poor posture, and being overweight are the primary causes of mobility problems in the torso and mid back. Weight gain causes abdominal muscles to weaken and become over-stretched. An ensuing anterior pelvic tilt and an increased lumbar lordosis are common biomechanical changes that will add pain and dysfunction. Rib expansion in the anterior torso will increase stress in the muscles in the mid back and often lead to an increased thoracic kyphosis (C-curve). Regarding your golf swing, this will decrease your swing width and cause many technical accommodations. Your can therefore see how important mobility in the torso area is. Addressing mobility in this area will only improve your golf game.
Exercises for these regions can be found at www.tomlafountain.com.