Is your job affecting your golf swing?
Unfortunately, most of us work jobs that involve sustained postures and positions. This is most commonly due to seated desk work and long periods driving. Over time this can cause reduced flexibility, which in the context of golf, is often seen as poor set up posture and lack of mobility in the swing.
How posture impacts your swing
When addressing the ball it is important to have the spine in a neutral position with a flat upper back and shoulder blades pulled back. In order to achieve this position a certain amount of flexibility is needed throughout the thoracic spine and chest muscles.
The movement in this region is often compromised by slouched sitting postures over a long period of time and golfers without this flexibility often have a round back while addressing the ball. This is referred to as having a C-Posture (see picture).
Testing your flexibility
The ‘Seated Wall Slide’ is a simple test you can perform on yourself to see if you have appropriate movement in these areas.
- While sitting cross-legged with your lower back flat on the wall, bring your arms up to your side so that your shoulders and elbows are both bent to 90 degrees.
- Attempt to place both arms, including your wrist, completely flat on the wall.
- Slide both arms along the wall above your head and then back down to the starting position.
- Ensure your arms stay flat against the wall throughout this motion.
If you have any difficulty performing this activity you most likely have limited upper back flexibility. This may be affecting your ability to address the ball in a correct posture. Lack of flexibility will also reduce your length of back swing and possibly the follow through as well.
If you are able to perform the seated wall slide it can be used as an exercise to maintain flexibility and a great pre-match warm up exercise/stretch.
The importance of the Hip Flexors
When you are seated your hips are in a flexed position. With sustained sitting at work our Hip Flexor muscles tighten as they are held in a shortened position.
Tight Hip Flexors will limit your ability to achieve a full follow through position, causing your swing to have a limited turn through your lower body, which leads to compensations where the arms over swing. This problem is often compounded by a lack of rotation in the lower back (Lumbar spine), with the most common manifestation being an inconsistent swing that is usually a block or slice.
For those of you that work in a seated position it’s important to incorporate Hip Flexor stretching (see picture) as part of a regular stretching routine. This type of stretch is very effective at reducing tightness in the Hip Flexors and is another useful addition to your pre-match warm up.
Please visit www.perthgolfphysio.com for more information related to golf specific health.